Community and Collaboration News from YIP February – March 2021

Graphic Harvesting

Dear friends of YIP,  

Greetings from Ytterjärna.

I write this newsletter from the upper floor of Tallevana, the buidling Yippies call home. The sun is shining, the little birds are serenading the apple tree, and the fjord no longer frozen, glistens in the distance. The trees are still naked, but with a closer look tiny buds show signs of Spring.

As the season transitions, so do the Yippies. This week we closed the Community and Collaboration block of the curriculum. Ten weeks of exploring and embodying what it means to live, learn and create collaboratively and in community to address complex challenges. The block culminated with the annual Initiative Forum, where this year, YIP13 invited us to engage with the question, “Are you Listening?” Many important conversations were sparked as we listened to each other, to ourselves, to nature and beyond. On behalf of YIP, thank you to all those who contributed and participated!

Having worked together as a large collective, the Yippies now embark in smaller groups to their various Learning Placements. And while the Organising Team will remain on campus, we will also embark on a journey of sorts, a journey reflecting on the past year and looking into the future to design the curriculum for YIP14. We are very excited to create a curriculum that aligns with the future and in-person education we wish to see and be part of! 

In this newsletter you will find:

• YIP 14 Applications
• Live Chat and Q&A: What is YIP?
• Encountering the World written by Mimi Matamoros
• Slava Theatre written by Christopher Becker
• Art of Hosting Preparation for Initiative Forum written by Cecilia Pasolini
• Initiative Forum Reflection written by David Beeth 

Written by Ami Cochrane

Apply Now

Spread the word! YIP14 Applications are open!

Applications are coming in for YIP14, and we want to continue to make YIP more accessible to people across the world who would benefit and bring their gifts to the program.

We have created a media kit with posters, social media posts and publication text. Please help us help people find YIP. Thank you for your support! 

LIVE Chat and Q&A: What is YIP?

Curious about YIP? Want to know more? We invite you to bring your questions and join us on Thursday 15th April 20:00 CET.

Date: Thursday 15th April 2021

Time: 20:00 CET

Place: ZOOM

Do you know anyone who would be interested? Please share and invite friends to the FB event.

Winter in Sweden
 Photo by Jelmer Verhagen

Encountering the World Learning Placement Update

During this week, the yippies explored the prospect of leaving our homebase in Ytterjärna and integrating into other communities abroad for our learning placements. This year, it has been especially challenging to plan our learning placements because of the ever changing travel restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic. At this point in our learning placement preparation journey we had all picked a location and a community we were heading to, however we had little idea if we would be able to travel by the time our planes were due to take off. This presented an opportunity to plan two parallel learning placements: the first option being the original plan to go abroad, and the second one to stay here in Sweden and discover what hidden gems we could find in our own community.

We began the week joined by our wonderful hosts for our learning placements (for option one). They zoomed in from Zimbabwe, Egypt, and the UK to discuss with us what it might look like if we were to travel to their communities. Throughout the week we further explored our two parallel options and received wise advice from a few contributors regarding what we might encounter in either situation when branching out into new environments. We ended the week looking deeper into what our options could be if we stayed in Sweden.

During this week, the yippies explored the prospect of leaving our homebase in Ytterjärna and integrating into other communities abroad for our learning placements. This year, it has been especially challenging to plan our learning placements because of the ever changing travel restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic. At this point in our learning placement preparation journey we had all picked a location and a community we were heading to, however we had little idea if we would be able to travel by the time our planes were due to take off. This presented an opportunity to plan two parallel learning placements: the first option being the original plan to go abroad, and the second one to stay here in Sweden and discover what hidden gems we could find in our own community.

We began the week joined by our wonderful hosts for our learning placements (for option one). They zoomed in from Zimbabwe, Egypt, and the UK to discuss with us what it might look like if we were to travel to their communities. Throughout the week we further explored our two parallel options and received wise advice from a few contributors regarding what we might encounter in either situation when branching out into new environments. We ended the week looking deeper into what our options could be if we stayed in Sweden.

At the end of the week I felt excited for whatever was to come. I felt like whether I go abroad or stay close to home I would find a rich experience where I could learn as well as contribute to whatever community I found myself among.

Written by Mimi Matamoros

Project Skills

Slava Theatre with Maria af Klintberg, Elin Tisell & Sanne Skjervik

Word of the week: intensity!

Spending one week with Maria, Elin and Sanne of Slava Theatre was a truly enriching experience for both the individual and collective level. During these five days we, YIP13, spent three hours a day exploring our bodies, our voices and our group dynamic through intense theatre exercises. We started the sessions with rhythmical running, that was then spiced up with various trust and group exercises such as guided blind running and collective stop’s and go’s. Space awareness, trust and listening were required.

After warming up, we explored our bodies. To name a few exercises, we moved against imaginary forces to create body tension and develop body control, and in duos we played with the different acrobatic possibilities of our body weight. Besides that, we also worked on our voice by singing and by learning parts of a Greta Thunberg speech.

The exciting and challenging part for our brains came at the end of the week when we put everything together: some of us sang, others recited the Greta Thunberg speech, and the rest moved in resistance. It created very interesting, intense and powerful moments, when we listened to each other and organically gave space for either the text or the song to take over the other.

Word of the week: intensity!

Spending one week with Maria, Elin and Sanne of Slava Theatre was a truly enriching experience for both the individual and collective level. During these five days we, YIP13, spent three hours a day exploring our bodies, our voices and our group dynamic through intense theatre exercises. We started the sessions with rhythmical running, that was then spiced up with various trust and group exercises such as guided blind running and collective stop’s and go’s. Space awareness, trust and listening were required.

After warming up, we explored our bodies. To name a few exercises, we moved against imaginary forces to create body tension and develop body control, and in duos we played with the different acrobatic possibilities of our body weight. Besides that, we also worked on our voice by singing and by learning parts of a Greta Thunberg speech.

The exciting and challenging part for our brains came at the end of the week when we put everything together: some of us sang, others recited the Greta Thunberg speech, and the rest moved in resistance. It created very interesting, intense and powerful moments, when we listened to each other and organically gave space for either the text or the song to take over the other.

The week was challenging, pushing and exhausting. At the same time it was liberating, powerful and beautiful. In my opinion it brought the group together and created a new form of group cohesion. It was a very good preparation for the Initiative Forum marathon that started afterwards. As you might have noticed, Theatre Slava transcends the conventional theatre methods, thus creating a unique and manifold experience which I really appreciated.

Written by Christopher Becker

Trying out Zoom

Art of Hosting Initiative Forum Preparation with Kajsa Balkfors & Nanna Frank

During the week of the 15th – 19th of February we focused a lot on the preparation of the online event called Initiative Forum. More specifically, we explored how to host and how to be hosted from the platform of zoom. For that week we were guided by our amazing contributors Nanna Frank and Kajsa Balkfors who are two experienced women in the Art of Hosting and online events.

Everyone had the opportunity to have specific sessions where they could focus exactly on what they would be hosting during the Initiative Forum. I decided to attend a session with Nanna about hosting Workshops: we looked at the general structure of an online session, as well as how to be engaging even through a screen and how body language plays a big role. We also put ourselves in the prospective of a participant, noticing how difficult it is to stay focused on a screen for long periods of time. Because of this experience, later we were able to plan a program where we took into consideration all the different points of view to make the event as enjoyable as possible for both sides.

For us it was the second time we had a course on the Art of Hosting. The first time we focused on working in small groups and finding a balance with the team we were working with, to then be able to present and actually host a lesson for the bigger group. This time we worked specifically on planning the Initiative Forum, where we worked in groups but also together as a whole, and instead of a lesson to present, the planning of the forum could keep running with the new tools that we had learnt. For me both times were important to give me the confidence of working with someone and then being able to present our work in front of a large group. I found all the tools and structures that we learnt very valuable, and I’m sure I will be able to use them many more times in the future.

Written by Cecilia Pasolini

Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony of the Initiative Forum is online!

Initiative Forum Reflections

Right now I’m sitting on a night train from Åre, in the north(ish) of Sweden. I’m coming back from 5 days of skiing with some of the other yippies and my body is exhausted. We had a short break right after the forum and we decided to make the most of it. I was very excited about writing this piece for the newsletter but I kept delaying writing it because, well, skiing. Today is D-day though, so I’m just going to have to send it!

The week of the Initiative forum began on Sunday. We had three days left until the forum and there was still a lot to prepare. The next 10 days were going to be non-stop.

It was Wednesday in a flash. Gameday! It was quite a similar feeling to playing a sport competitively, a mixture of excitement and butterflies in the stomach. I hosted the first event, a quick zoom lesson for anyone who wasn’t comfortable with zoom yet. It ended up being more of a one on one lesson with Kerstin (a local friend to YIP). I guess it’s just us yippies & locals that haven’t been forcibly exposed to zoom over the last year.

My role for the rest of the week was mainly being tech host for various sessions, which was a bit of a shame as I was unable to really participate in the sessions and join breakout rooms and have conversations with people. However, I heard nothing but great things from the people that did get the chance to participate. It must have been some awesome tech hosting. Although, to be fair, I was still able to meet some people while tech hosting some of the smaller events. The Deep Time Walk springs to mind, we were meant to just keep the call open for 15 minutes to explain how to download an app to listen to during a walk. We accidentally left it open and found 3 people in the waiting room at half past, and it just turned into a fun conversation, part of which was in Spanish. Or the pajama party, which was definitely a highlight of the event for me.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was how committed the participants were, some people attended almost every single session, in a program that we had designed so that people in different time zones would be able to attend at least some sessions live. I heard from my mum that she was completely sucked in by the forum, intending to attend one session in the morning and staying for the rest of the day. While she may be somewhat biased I do not think she was the only one that was drawn in. I learned a lot from the whole process, practical skills as well as working with different types of people. Seeing in what situations some people thrived but also witnessing some struggles, and how to deal with that. It was really an opportunity to put a lot of learning into practice. I can now honestly say that I organized a large online event for over 200 people.

I’m looking forward to see what else might come out of the forum, if something has changed for the participants, and how the ideas that were brought on day 5 progress.

We’re intending to keep communication channels open with participants with the Telegram chat but more importantly, the occasional repeat of something like the Pajama party, to keep in touch and get the chance to listen to each other once more.

Written by David Beeth

Initiative Forum
The Yippies participating in the Initiative Forum from the Hive. Photo by Jelmer Verhagen

Looking forward

In the next Newsletter you can expect:

• Experiences and Reflections of the Learning Placements

• YIP14 Update