Training Minosia facilitators 21.09 to 30.09 &
EduLARping on migration & inclusion 25.09 to 29.09
In late September of this year, a big Erasmus+ “double training” took place. One part of this seminar was a Train the Trainers (ToT) program for prospective facilitators of the Minosia Labyrinth method. To allow the newly trained trainers to immediately apply their new found knowledge and try out the method with a group, the second part of the training consisted of a classic Erasmus+ program. A diverse group from various European countries came together to collectively explore the complexity of migration processes, the challenges and difficulties encountered by migrants and refugees in Europe, as well as personal and collective privileges, biases, and stereotypes.
The backdrop for this training was the beautiful mountainous nature of the Nature Park Hoher Meissner. Nestled within this park is a newly emerging seminar house Schwalbenthal that accommodated us for ten days. The seminar was hosted by solar e.V and the Dutch organization New Women Connectors.
For the first part of the training, there were ten participants: the organizing team and four aspiring trainers, all of whom had already completed their own Minosia journeys and intended to apply the method in France, the Netherlands, and Germany. The initial focus in the early days was on the framework that trainers hold when guiding a group on their Minosia journey. Backgrounds, structure, processes, as well as logistical challenges and requirements of the method were discussed. The first four days passed by quickly with playful energizers, theatrical methods, role-playing, questions, and discussions. Soon, the day had come when the Erasmus+ group was set to arrive to play Minosia and be guided by the newly trained trainers. Last-minute preparations were made.
The logistical arrangements of the location (with two seminar houses) and the already eventful days leading up to the group’s arrival presented a challenge for the new trainers. Despite little sleep and rest, they welcomed the group of around 30 people on September 25th, and any apprehension about embarking on the Minosia journey with a new group quickly dissipated, as the group turned out to be fantastic. Most participants had their own migration and/or refugee experiences and were already active in various activist and professional contexts in this field. A sense of community quickly developed which would only solidify over the next four days.
Early rising is often one of the downsides of seminars (especially for night owls), but here on the Hoher Meissner, the morning sunrise painted colorful streaks across the sky and cast light reflections on the fog swirling in the valley. This daily spectacle lured quite a few participants out of bed during the week, and those who couldn’t make it could later admire the photos in the WhatsApp group.
Throughout the week, in addition to sharing many photos, stories, opinions, experiences, and meals, the midday break provided an opportunity to explore the surrounding nature. In the evenings, invented card games were played, songs were sung, conversations were held, and laughter filled the air, with some also enjoying a cigarette or two. The time on the Hoher Meissner felt like a small parallel world to many, one that existed outside of their everyday lives where time functioned in a different way than usually.
The four trainers guided the group through the program and led the role-playing day, supported by the organizing team. There was a unique aspect to this role-playing day since, for the first time, Minosia (the imaginary land into which some participants migrated while others worked in various offices and jobs) was an unfamiliar place for the participants. There was a second accommodation at the foot of the mountain where the group was housed. On the day of the game, some participants in their roles as migrants had to climb the mountain and discover where Minosia was located before finding their way inside.
After the three and a half-hour role-play, it was analysed for the remainder of the seminar. Participants reflected on their own positions in contrast to their played characters, discussed the structural obstacles that arose and were observed, and related them to real-world circumstances. The topics of structural discrimination and injustice, intersectionality, inclusion as well as how to share or utilize privileges, were deliberated.
The seminar did not necessarily end with answers to all the questions that arose, but it concluded with the feeling of not being alone in the fight for a fairer world where all people can move freely and without hindrance. After the group departed, the team and the new trainers reflected on the time, the conflicts that arose, and their roles as group leaders. On September 30th, everyone returned home, and many of us will surely miss the time on the Hoher Meissner, the sense of community, the mountain air, and the rustling of the wind.
For more information, please visit the Minosia website: https://www.minosia.eu/