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Our home in Athens


The boat art center

Building a home

“The Boat Art Center” and the boat collective is initiated by the word غربت ‘ghorbat’ in Farsi and in Arabic, الغربة, ‘al ghorba’ which can be translated as ‘homesickness’, a nostalgia for the motherland, the unpleasant feeling of being ‘foreign’. we want to mend this feeling of ‘ghorbat’/’al ghorba’ for ourselves and the communities we live in. For this reason we created The Boat Art Center. There, we aspire to build a new culture of acceptance and community between non core groups, marginalized communities, and the local neighborhoods.

Key objectives

Our key objectives are: 1. To create a safe and inclusive space for all, providing an opportunity for anyone who may not have had the chance to explore or practice the arts. 2. To build a community of learners and educators, uniting communities to learn, create, and build together. Through collaborative learning we will train and provide the space for flourishment of future teachers, who can pass their knowledge and passions further. 3. To share the psychological benefits of artistic expression, strengthening and positively impacting people's mental wellbeing. 4. To provide empowerment opportunities for our communities and neighborhoods to manage sustainable resources for our projects. 5. To actively engage in the movement towards a more equitable and participatory society, and to promote this approach for community building.

Why our approach and ideas are innovative?

The Boat Art Center is specifically innovative, as it reflects on needs in society through an interdisciplinary lens and creates a pathway to interaction that does not need language but provides non-verbal communication through art, an aspect that challenges and is more open than ‘traditional’ community centers. We believe that art and culture, as privileged means for contact with others, allow people to position themselves in society, express themselves, and participate in public debates. The Art Center, as a center of artistic creation, but also of social creation, will then be a space vector of encounters, interactions, a means to fight against certain stereotypes, a place favorable to socialization. The Boat Art Center is a collective project that emerges directly from the community primarily concerned with the actions undertaken. Our work is stemming from the discussions, exchanges, and debates held during our weekly meetings, with the aim of putting into words our ideas, goals, and working together to implement them. Moreover the boat art center seeks to break dependency cycles by providing a safe, inclusive and diverse space where we foster an accepting and encouraging culture and communication, thus making everyone with ideas and self- initiative part of the collective as well as the decision-making and vision of the Boat Art Center. Self-initiatives are encouraged to be put in practice and led by the people who bring them. Our collective does not view people from minorities or marginalised community groups as people who are mainly in need of support but as people who naturally have capabilities, knowledge and leading skills. We support ourselves and each other to be able to live with less dependencies and be more self-reliant by building individual social capital within the boat collective network. This can break unhealthy dependency cycles, in which many people of our communities find themselves in, as a lack of justice, equal opportunities and inclusiveness in governments systems, organizations and places throughout Greece.

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