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Sofit 2.0 – intense days in Gomel 

In the end of November-beginning of December, ShareMusic spent a few days in Gomel, Belarus. Back in Sweden, project coordinator Natallia Petersson is full of impressions.

Hi Natallia, was it cold in Belarus? Have you warmed up by now?
– Hahaha, yes, it was a chilly trip, but the warm welcome from the participants helped to keep up the temperature in the team.

Tell me, you had Magnus Berntsson, Chairman of ShareMusic & Performing Arts with you on the trip.
-Yes, it was the first time Magnus went with us to Belarus, during a focus group meeting he held a lecture and provided a Swedish perspective on being a parent of a child with disability. Together with the other participants, we discussed how we can achieve the goal of providing more leisure and cultural activities in Gomel.

How exciting! Great that Magnus could come along. However, he was not your only travel company in Belarus.
– No, we traveled with Sophia Alexandersson and workshops leaders: choreographer Veera Suvalo Grimberg and musicians Mike Fry and Finn Björnulfson. Veera and Mike are two of our perhaps most experienced leaders, but Finn made a debut. He is a percussionist and one of those who was recruited in spring. It is cool he is in the team. It didn´t really feel like it was his first time. A real support to future courses and workshops. For three days, we have been working in the Center of Inclusive Culture in Gomel. Mike, Veera and Finn worked with maps as a starting point and together with the participants they studied the subject using movements and choreography, musical instruments and percussion. The result was a performance with the poetic name ”Maps inside us”, which was shown to the audience twice. First, we presented a shorter version during a concert at the Center in connection with the International Disability Day. The following day, the performance was shown to the public live and we also broadcasted it on Facebook. Both performances were successful.

Maps inside us, sounds very nice. It describes ShareMusic quite well. Much travel is going on, both in the world and inside. This was hardly the last time SharteMusic was in Belarus, right?
– Indeed, our project Sofit 2.0 will continue next year. In addition, we visited the Youth Theater in Gomel, where we met the theater director, a director of symphony and concert orchestras in the city and representatives from the municipal council. They were very interested in our work and wanted to discuss future opportunities for cooperation.

Last but not least, what did the participants think about workshops?
– For many it was a nice and surprising experience. Someone said that they realized that music and movement are available to anyone regardless of education, occupation or function variations. Another person thought it was great to learn the new inclusive way of working artistically and would like to share this knowledge with other people. Seeing the participants happy and proud of what they have created together is always inspiring and gives lots of energy.

Photographer: Sergey Holodilin

Sofit 2.0 – intense days in Gomel