TRAINING PROGRAM "OLD TRADES"
FOR GYPSY YOUTH IN MARGINAL SUBURBS AREAS
I have created a program of training where gypsy youth (with primary school education) can learn old trades that their forefathers made since they arrived in Spain. Now, in some cities there are suburbs with an important number of gypsy population, in which there are a lot of unemployed young people and they are at high risk of social exclusion.
The gypsies have a particular lifestyle and they don’t have deep bonding relationship with the non-gypsy, and the children quit their studies early, all of this increases the problem of unemployment and social exclusion.In this program they can choose one of the four crafts suggested below; besides the professional training, this program teaches some subject based in the gypsy culture, and the students will learn about: history, customs, origin, famous people, etc.
This initiative could create a sense of identify and it could mitigate the sense of social exclusion respect to society, and they could feel proud of their culture and traditions. Some of the most important crafts of the gypsies were: craftsman, silversmiths, itinerant traders, espadrille makers, horse-trading intermediary, etc…For the program I choose 4 crafts:
-Metal artisanry (silver, copper..)
- Wicker craftsmanship
These professions are already part of the cultural heritage of “Gitanos”, even with historical records that can show proves of it from antiquity. They will have just to “remember” or better, reconnect with their family tradition (sometimes not so long ago!) and in so doing to rediscover a “lost” cultural identity. The idea to mix professional, artistic and educative inputs is because the principle of cultural neutrality, indeed even if the program comes from “paios” (non-gypsy) institutions, it must have a participatory, community-based approach on creation and implementation processes to guarantee high rate participation. The process of this program will be recorded in a television documentary.
After this training the young people will became certified members (with diploma) of a gypsy association of artisans which also run a fair-trade market, that serves also as showroom and art-gallery proposing periodical exhibitions and shows. This can be the beginning of an interesting story…