THIRD CHAPTER OF THE BOOK IS WRITTEN BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE
THEY HAD THIS YEAR IN SARTEANO, ITALY.
here are some of the amazing things that they've created,
their thoughts and their feelings!
"I would like to thank Italian team and Sarteano for hosting us, they were amazing. Sarteano is one beautiful comune and I felt like I was in medieaval times. I found it as an perfect spot for TCFT to have these workshops and exploration never stopped. It is a rich historical comune. If life gives me a chance to visit again, I will not let it pass."
- Shared by Marko
"It's not easy to say what TCFT is. It's not so much an event or a series of things: it's almost a feeling, a complex one that is not easy to describe to those who haven't felt it. During TCFT the air you breath is different and everything you see is more beautiful. Now that I think about it, TCFT is almost like falling in love.
Being part of the organization, I didn't get to participate in many workshops and daily I had to face a lot of problems (belive me, a lot!). However, everything was worth it. Organizing TCFT gave me a sense of purpose as I was working towards something that not only was enjoyable but was also important. Thanks to TCFT I actually started thinking that arts matter and they can change the world. But TCFT is not just about arts. It is acceptance and freedom and understanding that we are in this world together wherever we may come from.
And in all of this, TCFT makes you think that you can do more than you thought."
- Shared by Ludovico
"TCFT was like a dream. I almost feel like it never happened. Looking at the pictures now, I think that I could've appreciate those moments even more. Making a lifetime friends after just 2 weeks is such a big thing. Mutual respect, feeling that you are treated like a royal, that you can always count on a pair of hands to help, that random guy from Gambia has given you a flower of friendship, that you are privileged to listen to someone's beautiful poetry while having a dinner all together, being a child again. The feeling that 24 hours is simply not enough to share all the experiences, ideas and other beautiful, and not so beautiful things. Listening to wonderful and unique musicians wherever you go, and feeling that people have given you the keys of their community, as well as all their respect, and wideness. Really, like a dream, that I don't want to wake up from!"
- Shared by Mina
"Since 2015, when all of this started in Srebrenica it changed my life in one amazing way. This project gave me much more than I ever expected. Each year I experienced something new that had a huge impact on my life and gave me hope and strenght to stay positive and continue to follow my path, which we all tend to lose. The most amazing part of this all are the people, the TCFT community which are always so great and supportive. I love them all."
- Shared by Marko
"Every new TCFT is stronger and bigger than the one before, full of everything. This one was really special, so intense and so amazing.
I'm thankful and respectful to be part of our art community/family. I learned a lot every day from everyone: about them and also about myself. How to be better, kind, more useful and more open for new challenges. How to learn and move faster, to be better in organizations and how to solve any existing problem I can encounter. How to perform, use art forms to change the environment, educate people and make this world a better place, as much as I can. Always happy to be with my dear lovely friends, old ones and new ones. And I also feel that this is not the end, this is just a new beginning for all of us.
Cause TCFT means LOVE!"
- Shared by Anja
"It's hard to say amazing three years. It's not just amazing; it's a life changing experience and to thank you all for it is impossible. It's impossible to show you all how grateful I am that I've met you; that we spoke, that we walked, lived, ate, cried, created, grew; grew together! It was hard to accept this fairy tale, it was hard to accept change, it was hard to accept myself, and then all of you. It was really hard to be a part of this amazing project, but it was worth it! Because every step that we make, that we made, it was a step to write a whole book; not just a story of this amazing group of people, who live in different countries, different communities, different environments. With so many differences between them, and even their countries, communities, entertainments not accepting them; when they are together they live only one dream - the dream of "The Complete Freedom of Truth". As someone who is an observer, I was with you part time - enjoying everything that surrounded me, enjoying everyone of you - and the other part of my time when I was drinking my coffee (you all know how much I love coffee) I was observing the whole process. Every time that I've watched you all, dealing with stress, with opticals, with a smile, with a disappointment, with disability, with religion, with the color of your skin, with sexuality, with diversity; I was amazed! I was amazed how all of you - including me - started speaking, started opening up, started crying, started dancing, started writing, started singing, started moving; how all of you with all that, which stands between us, started understanding! Caring for each other, and supporting. We didn't create just friendships, just relationships. We are not just a group - we are a community that lives in us. And truly with all my heart, I understand you, I accept you all, and I love you all."
- Shared by Sandra
A better world is already happening - all you need to do is to see it.
In a cultural association, it is just normal that everyone performs the most diverse tasks: most of us will step on the stage, but there is a lot to be done on the side of technical assistance, logistics, paperwork, communication, catering, and everyone finds their own place and makes efforts to complete one ore more of these tasks.
No wonder, then, if you receive a phone call asking you to be in Montelaterone - and discovering just a few days before what you will be doing there.
I sent a wish list, put a projector in my luggage and hoped for my English knowledge from school times to be still good enough.
On 5 April I saw quite a big group of Young (capital letter here may be grammatically incorrect - but absolutely appropriate) Europeans, along with some less Young people. They are studying (or, rather, experiencing) several kinds of arts, in an on-going training which has taken place for three years in different places. This year they arrived in Sarteano.
During their days in the Amiata region, I was mainly busy washing up, projecting films for the 'Incanti Notturni' (nocturnal enchantments) cycle, making sure everything would run smoothly - this is why the day after, with the excuse of accompanying and helping out the Schabernack-parents, I went to visit them. I wanted to discover what on earth 'The Complete Freedom of Truth' is.
And I was delighted.
I could not figure out how the whole thing was actually managed, but I didn't try hard either. I looked at faces, observed behaviours from a distance, I chatted a bit in different languages with many people. And I liked what I saw and heard. A lot.
Over a hundred people are involved in something which is based on communion, on sharing.
And they do share.
Everyone smiles, all of them, especially if they don't know you yet and they give you their hand to introduce themselves.
They work hard, and even when they say they feel tired, you can't see it from outside, because their eyes twinkle and their bodies move.
Of course there's also the urge to self-representation which is typical of the artist's ego, even though I did not see it; what I saw, instead, was teachers learning as pupils do, and pupils managing situations as if they were teachers. I saw teachers and pupils play together, I mixed up their roles.
I watched the staff being there, present, aware of making mistakes, too (God save the mistakes and all the Gods may bless them!), but they were constantly available, ready and awake, aware that they were also making Art (and therefore Politics) from behind the scenes.
I noticed that the trainers are generous in the transmission of their competence, and that they find reward and gratification in their daily work.
The pupils speak of gratitude, of relationships, of discovery of the territory, of impressions to be developed, of awareness that this experience might not be decisive for their art, but it will well be for their lives.
I also could not help noticing, among youngsters and elderly people, a broad diffusion of good manners: nobody was being loud on the phone while someone was speaking, nobody left rubbish behind; everyone was saying hello, being kind, respected timetables and the disabled young people could get exactly where they wanted to, without much hassle.
It is up to those who experienced this all to explain how this can be possible.
I dare give my theory:
The secret lies in the title and in the mission it tells.
The Complete Freedom of Truth.
Because when you are looking for truth, in your art and in your being, you will notice very soon that there are many truths and infinite ways to reach them. You will learn that this needs effort, and that if you want to live your truth, you need to respect other people's.
You will learn that when you are true, you are free.
And free human beings are beautiful."
- Sarah Georg
“I got involved with the project through Rebecca Pride, Course Leader for Costume. She sent out an email asking if people would be interested and I said yes. I had no idea what the project was about honestly, and it’s also very difficult to explain without experiencing it for yourself, but I thought that it would be a good opportunity.
“It turns out it was an amazing opportunity! The people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve brought back with me has changed how I view the world.
“The project was the for the promotion of the arts, international collaboration, and unity. Unity was a very strong theme, unity among countries, races, sexual orientations, genders. Bringing people together and letting them express their view and beliefs in the best was we knew how to, through art. The methods of art included were: Visual arts, Music, Parkour, Movement, Dance, Clownery, Puppetry and loads more.
“During the end of the project I got the opportunity to be a part of a youth forum. We had some fantastic ‘elders’, as they liked to call themselves, come to speak with us and talk about the ways in which we can make a change in our world. We had an M.E.P come, Political artists, and a wonderful woman who had been there during the rise of feminism in America in the 60s and 70s.
“I was shocked and amazed by the passion and motivation all of the young people there had to change the world. They all had their cause, something to fight for, whether it be unity, gay rights, black rights, recycling. They all had something they believed in and wanted to change in the world. It was truly inspiring.”
- Shared by Daisy https://aub.ac.uk/course-info/course-news/complete-freedom-truth/
Thank you Signora Marilisa Cuccia for your wonderful hospitality and generosity!
The Youth Forum took place at Abbazia di Spineto. A beautiful and breathtaking place! http://www.abbaziadispineto.com
"I ran the youth forum, teaching participants how to run effective campaigns and build power in a beautiful setting. it was a pleasure all round - as was working in the local high school."
Shared by Abraham
"My first time in TCFT, thank you so much to Tina Ellen Lee and all the TCFT members for welcoming me into their community. I am amazed as an Asian person, to be part of this wonderful European community of people, everyone is so open and full of love and smiles, so friendly and caring. It is a different and new experience for me, I was so shy when I first came here. Now I am confident and smiling radiant like the sunshine.
After the final show last Sunday, I was overwhelmed by emotion, so much tears. It had been stressful over the two weeks, and then I released all the stress after the show. But everyone hugged me, smiled and expressed their love. I love you all everyone at #TCFT #TCFT2017"
Shared by Ariel
"It is not always easy to communicate. It can be even harder to communicate when you do not speak the same language as someone. It can be extremely difficult to communicate when someone does not have the ability to hear. Dance is not about words, it uses movement to inform. It can transcend obstacles and communicate against all odds. The moment at which people can speak without words and reach a common ground, in this case through art, is magic.
At T.C.F.T I participated in a dance workshop, led by Billy and Ariel (both hip-hop artists) and Eliza (a contemporary artist). Initially, my interest was in hip hop, however, after experimenting with a fusion of the two styles, something special was created. Billy and Ariel began the workshop by teaching us a hip-hop routine, which was then reworked by the group, under Eliza’s instruction. We looked at the hip hop movement and recrafted each step in a contemporary style to create a new sequence. This process was exciting as everyone, including the leaders, ere taken out of their comfort zone, enabling us all to discover something new. This was important as it faded the divide between teachers and students, we were equal in our artistic contribution as a team.
Not only was I was drawn to the unique collaboration of dance, but I was fascinated by the way in which we communicated to create this fusion. Billy and Ariel are both Deaf, which had the potential to create difficulty in running their workshop. Furthermore, Eliza speaks Italian, whilst the participants in the group communicated in English though, for fifty percent of the group, English was not their first language. Undeniably, this created a language barrier, operating on several levels. This meant that the group had to be incredibly patient while Billy and Ariel signed to each other when making decisions, then signed to Rachael, who translated to the group in English, while Eliza’s interpreter listened, before translating into Italian to Eliza. Complicated. While this could have been frustrating, for me it wasn’t. I was astounded by the beauty in overcoming this complicated language barrier. At the precise moment at which the process of communication of ideas was complete and all heads in the room nodded in agreement, magic was created. Eliza had an interpreter working with her in every workshop, however, as these interpreters rotated, my focus would be on Rachael, who was present at every workshop. One might not consider the interpreters to be part of the creative process as they were not physically participating in the workshop, however, their work should not be overlooked. Watching Rachael over the course of the workshops I was repeatedly impressed by the way in which she communicated Billy and Ariel’s ideas to the group. There is an immense amount of skill translating specific instruction and finding the balance between awarding privacy and noticing appropriate moments to communicate snippets of conversation, which otherwise would have been missed by the group. By this, I mean the everyday components of conversation that we all have. For instance, while Billy and Ariel were conversing, Rachael listened and exposed that Billy had decided we would go with Ariel’s idea as she was “a way better dancer” which upon hearing the rest of us giggled. Rachael allowed for the group not just to understand Billy and Ariel as leaders, but as people. She is more than a translator; she is a communicator. Rachael’s role was intrinsic to bridging the gap that existed between the different modes of interaction and for that she deserves merit.
By the end of the two weeks we spent working together, the communication barrier diminished. Our art did not rely on words, we communicated in the shared language of movement. Hours before the final performance, we were met with an obstacle that had the capacity to damage the outcome of the work we had been doing. This resulted in coming together and finding a solution to our problem, involving a lengthy back and forth in the manner which I have previously explained. Contrary to previous barriers, it was at this point that we truly overcame any language difficulties. We were united in our determination to ensure that our art would remain intact for the final performance. Our collective passion for project enabled us to transcend language, noticing each person’s emotional investment in the work we had created. We shared tears and laughter and together solved our predicament as a team. Against all odds, we managed to create an amazing performance, but for me, while the performance was important, the process in which we became a company gave me far greater happiness."
- Shared by Annie
FIRST TIME AT TCFT
"Magical moments, amazing people, positive and creative energy!"
"I can’t use words to describe my feelings. People I met there, they are now my family."
After long journey, we finally arrived in small city Sarteano, in Tuscany. We met our host, and go to our home where we will stay next 15 days. Magic started first moment, in place where we have breakfast, a lot of people, new faces, new names, new cultures, different backgrounds…
After breakfast, TCFT magic has begun. We started to meet artists and find out about their workshops, that was really hard decision, all workshops have special energy, and in some point, you feel like you want to duplicate yourself and be part of every single workshop.
I personaly chose few workshops, one of them was ‘’ Contact improvisation’’. Theatre of Sarteano, was a host for this workshops, amazing theatre, scene, lights, all the thetare energy was there, when I first saw the theatre in that moment I felt like I’m in universe.
TCFT is amazing experience for alll young people who are envolved in eny type of art, at TCFT you can be free and share your ideas, and met people with same point of view. One of best thing about TCFT is colaboration, understanding, and freedome!
‘’Sarteano in Tuscany is not just city, it’s place with history, where you can feel spirit of medieval years.’’
- Shared by Ismir
„No more holding back, no more wasting time, viva TCFT“! Why? Because we are stronger and stronger every year, we are learning from each other, we support and respect each other, we share experience, ideas, thoughts and energy. Together we create positive changes in the society. Together we rise after we fall, because we are a community, we are a team, a family. When you spend a certain amount of time with another culture you are able to both give and gain knowledge. This is an International cultural cooperation between young people.
Still sorting my impressions, because lots have happened in Sarteano. I found inspiration, developed skills during workshops, and also found little things that remind me of our time together: In Piazza and at Castello di Sarteano, laughing with a glass of wine or Birra Moretti till dawn, with the best gelato in the world, giving special nicknames, sharing smiles, playing the akoce makoce game, sharing truths and secrets… as from every year before, all of this stays carved inside of me.
“…Makes me complete!” These moments make me complete because TCFT connected people from all over the world and no matter of age, these friendships will last forever and no matter where we are, I know and I feel that we will be able to meet and share ideas anytime in life without being bound by geographical distance, even if not through TCFT.
Translation of a Serbian song about friendships all over the world:
“My companions are pearls scattered all over the world
I am a visitant so sometimes meet them in a flight (bird flight)
whether it's fate, or who knows what it is
Whenever we meet each other always be watered (by drinks)
always ends with some of our songs”
These Companions are my pearls Forever and I am happy for iT!
- Shared by Lidija
- Shared by Margarida
"For the last night in Sarteano, Naomi and I organized the karaoke night. It was full a program involving musicians, dancers and poets.
We made karaoke as a fun competition with judges, special gifts for the first 3 places and jam session, amazing vogue dance and great poems in between our program. Everybody was welcomed to sing and express themselves. The night was a success and new voices have been heard.
It was really special to see all familiar faces there. We were singing, dancing, laughing a lot all night long and we were hugging and crying a lil' bit, because that was the last night in Italy that we spent together. So emotional and touchable moments for everyone of us. After all, we shared lot's of Love and we will try to keep all up."
- Shared by Anja
- Shared by Lidija
I first got in touch with Tina Ellen in 2012 (aged 12) where I was working on a project called 'Home in Bridport'. Here I developed a relationship with both Tina and Robert which lead them to encourage me to involve myself in the pilot of The Complete Freedom of Truth at Bryanston in 2014. This was due to them understanding that I struggled to interact socially as I had anxiety which often prevented me from leaving my home. Despite this, I forced myself to engage with the project and I can honestly say it has changed and influenced me as a person.
The first year (2014) I got involved in a few different arts, such as theatre and music. I also met lots of wonderful people who I am still in frequent contact with today. My biggest improvement over the week was that I managed to interact with others which in itself was far out of my comfort-zone. However, at the end of the week on performance day I could not push myself to get on stage in front of the big audience. At the time, this thought was too difficult for me which was sympathised and supported by everyone; an example of how TCFT allows individuals the space to be creative and express themselves without force at their own pace.
I believed this sparked something within me. I returned home feeling a new person with a slightly different outlook. This motivated me to push myself even further to involve myself in things that I wouldn’t usually dream of doing; international photography competitions (where I achieved 2nd place and had my work displayed in the London Gallery exhibition), Home in Bridport art exhibitions and Arts awards. I started to focus more on my school work and began to achieve in all areas of my life, whereas before I was told I wasn't likely to achieve at all.
In 2015 I was invited to go to Srebrenica in Bosnia to do further work with TFCT. This was an even bigger step for me but I was not going to decline such an amazing opportunity. This two-week trip was so eye opening for me and really influenced the way I began to view my life. It taught me about culture and true poverty. I also learnt the importance of community and political matters. Furthermore, I was introduced to art forms I had never tried before such as hip-hop dance, Indian styled dance and puppetry. This then lead me to perform in front of an audience which was the most challenging thing for me at this point in my life. Despite my fear and inexperience, I received so much praise and encouragement. This made me realise that TFCT was a place where I felt I could truly be myself without any judgment which made me feel a part of a family.
Just a week after I returned home I was invited by another TFCT member to be a part of a project with an organisation called Remix which is a performance company for both disabled and non-disabled people. This week allowed me to create new art work and friendships. It also gave me a better understanding of disabilities which of course will benefit me for the rest of my life. I also began to perform more and more which boosted my confidence each time, for example with TCFT in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In summer of 2016, I was given the opportunity to work with a youth organisation called Slyncs which is located in Blackburn which works with the young Muslim community. Here we mixed some of our youngest TCFT members with individuals from Slyncs which gave me an in-depth understanding of the Muslim culture and allowed me to create some strong friendships.
Shortly following this I was involved with the TCFT 2016 Bournemouth residential where I became a mentor for many younger participants due to my experience with TCFT, whilst continuously meeting new people and gaining new skills. This helped me tremendously as I was just about to begin my first year of college. Therefore, this confidence booster benefited me when approaching my new course in Health and Social Care. I chose this option due to my involvement with TCFT which has taught me my love for meeting new people and working creatively with them which in previous years I found very difficult.
In Easter 2017 I was offered the chance to go to Tuscany in Italy to do another two-week residential with TCFT. This expanded my confidence, skills and knowledge even further by working in a new location with new people. Whilst I was in Sarteano, I was chosen to visit another organisation which works with individuals who live in areas of conflict. This small trip also opened my eyes to the lives of others and really interested me. This experience helped me a lot when applying my new knowledge to my college work and was much appreciated by my tutors.
Since then I have involved myself in other positive opportunities such as NCS (National Citizen Service) which I applied to do by myself without the encouragement of others, proving that working with TCFT has helped me to overcome my lack of confidence and has encouraged me to try out things such as the above. I now feel equipped with so many skills, wonderful memories and values which will be an asset to me for the rest of my life. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have been given and I think that that more young people need to be given the chance to work with projects like TCFT as I know it will benefit our society for their positive messages to be spoken and heard.
Thank you Tina and my whole TCFT family.
- Shared by Jade