The YTT Learning Approach:
The YTT Learning Approach focuses on how participants/learners in both formal and informal educational settings, establish their own understanding and knowledge of themselves and the world around them through their experiences, and then consider and communicate these experiences visually. Whereupon these visual experiences are set side by side/in dialogue with the experiences of contrasting/dissimilar communities and populations, forming absolute emotional connections and insights. It is a student-centered, creative, transformative approach, through art, theatre and storytelling, concentrating on eliminating discrimination/innate prejudice and implementing empathy, whilst interposing the awareness of intercultural dialogue, peaceful co-existence, basic human-rights and gender-equality. Through creativity and imagination, this approach entrusts participants/learners with social, emotional and capacity-building skills to affect individual change and it empowers the participants/learners to positively contribute to society. The YTT Approach is defined by two distinct elements, the YTT Visual Language and the YTT Methodology
YTT Visual Language:
Through drawing, people can express clearly their thoughts and feelings independently of dialect, nationality or education (Arizpe, Colomer, & Martínez-Roldán, 2014). Since its inception, YTT has so far conducted dozens of psychosocial support drawing workshops, collaborating with several thousand refugee/migrant/ displaced communities, from more than 60 nationalities, aged from 2 to 70 years old, in over 40 camps/centres around the world. Each person living in these camps is offered to respond to a questionnaire, developed specifically for the person and region where they are currently living. Then, they receive three sheets of paper and coloured pens and they are invited to draw three sketches: one of their life before: Yesterday; one of their current life: Today; and one of their life imagined in the future: Tomorrow. The resulting images, are vivid, powerful and transmit distinctly the individual voice (life), as people who have been living and existing in extreme conditions and circumstances, produce a visual-storytelling that is intense and brutal, but exceptionally coherent and clear. The YTT structure of visualising a life in three tenses creates a raw, emotional and distinct language which speaks logically and directly to the audience.
Refugee Drawing Title: Yesterday. By a 9 year old Iraqi Girl. Currently living in Miksaliste Refugee Camp, Belgrade, Serbia.
Refugee Drawing Title: Today. By a 13 year old Iraqi-Kurdistan Boy. Currently living in Kara Tepe Refugee Camp, Lesbos Island, Greece.
Refugee Drawing Title: Tomorrow. By a 21 year old Ukrainian Woman. Currently living in Béziers Refugee Shelter, Béziers, France.
Refugee Drawing Title: Yesterday. By a 40 year old Somali Woman. Currently living in Moi Refugee Squat, Turin, Italy.
Refugee Drawing Title: Today. By a 14 year old Congolese Girl. Currently attending CCSM, Rabat, Morocco.
Refugee Drawing Title: Tomorrow. By a 17 year old Pakistani Boy. Currently living in Samos Refugee Camp, Samos Island, Greece.
Through these psychosocial support drawing workshops, YTT has collected thousands of drawings which are filed, scanned and analysed to form the YTT Visual Language database, which is constantly updated, representing the voices of refugee/ migrant/displaced populations and communities across the globe. Research on the YTT Visual Language database is led by the Department of Education at Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy. Each drawing’s pictorial elements are studied and coded, allowing YTT to continually expand and develop their different educational programs.
YTT Visual Database Research sample images
Applying the YTT visual language as the baseline structure, permits YTT to design and deliver specific tailor-made content for every participant/learner. The YTT methodology employs the activation of emotional/cognitive empathy and perspective-taking and fosters the concepts of identity, cultural/ethnic differences and social comprehension, accumulating in positive qualitative and quantitive results. Social psychology is also applied as a theoretical background, particularly the intergroup contact theory by Allport (1954).