uncategorized workshops

norwich 2020

Online storytelling and community building workshops

We had the pleasure of welcoming Rita Sebestyen, PhD, to Wellbeing Wednesdays, an inclusive, online platform of weekly sessions and activities run through Zoom designed to follow the 5 steps to wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

Rita delivered two online sessions for our programme during May and June 2020. These sessions were interactive workshops, designed to explore how we can talk about our own experiences, boundaries and memories in a safe and comfortable way, using relational storytelling exercises. 

The participants in the online sessions were largely unknown to each other, and very few have ever met in person. The gradual rhythm of her sessions, and the clear and slow paced instructions, enabled participants to slow their own rhythm and focus their minds. Using techniques to move sideways through experience and memory, Rita enabled participants to explore personal storytelling in an accessible and inclusive form. Her structured but adaptable sessions empowered participants to feel in control over their own journey during the sessions, reflecting on their own boundaries, memories and stories. 

An engaged and attentive facilitator, Rita leads her workshops with respect and presence, responding whole-heartedly to each participant’s story and fully incorporating everyone’s contributions. Her broad knowledge and cross-disciplinary approach left participants in awe of her work, and grateful for the opportunity to take part in her temporary and creative community space. 

Melanie Kidd

Wellbeing Wednesdays Coordinator and Higher Education Parent Carer Champion, neaco/University of East Anglia (UEA)

uncategorized workshops

woolwich 2019

Otherness Dialogues Workshop for the EU project: Open European Societies.

Main partner and organiser

Throughout this workshop we will explore our memories and/or imagination of what we could call a safe space, and take different positions related to it. We will use description, storytelling and some performative elements to experience diverse points of views. Roles, languages and characters we choose will express these positions, which will interact during the proposed games. The methods are based on creative writing and personal storytelling methodologies, stemming from object-, character- and space-related narrative structures.

Photo by Olga Yocheva


  • How can we meet in a short time, in an easily accessible way with people speaking different languages, having different cultural background?
  • How can we give voice and empower participants through storytelling to express their individual, personal feelings, while understanding their own cultural, historical, social, economic, linguistic background?
  • How can we create positive, reinforcing discourses together?
  • How can we raise empathy and foster social inclusion through metaphoric-artistic language?

Key notions:

Observing. Space, time, exercises are conceived to allow perception, observation, reflection and self-reflection.

Boundaries. Storytelling uses the sideways technique, never enters spheres of privacy or trauma. The personal stories are related to the participants’ lives in a way that they are in control of their boundaries. 

Metaphor. The workshops often employ the simple and effective use of metaphor as a vehicle between semantics and imagination, which helps the participants express themselves in an artistic framework to protect their privacy and foster their creativity.

Empowerment. Storytelling fosters expression and (re)formulation of own, hybrid, fluid, hyphenated identity, without re-traumatizing or labelling.

Main aims:

  • To inspire storytelling through recollecting quotidian events.
  • To help the participants reflect on and retell their life events.
  • To enhance observation and co-creation.
  • To foster empathy.
projects uncategorized

language united 2018

Language United / contact-making event (June 2018 – Thessaloniki – Greece). 

‘Solidarity and Intercultural Dialogue.’

Language United was running from 17th to 21st June 2018 arose from identification of dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in Europe with participation of 10 partners from 10 countries. 

Language United / contact-making event (June 2018 – Thessaloniki – Greece):
Language United was running from 17th to 21st June 2018 arose from identification of dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in Europe with participation of 10 partners from 10 countries.

Othernessproject was represented by Ayse Tolunay and Arash Setodeh.

Partner organisations:

1.Arbeit und Leben (Germany) (Lead organiser): Education for democracy/organising projects and seminars,

2. AddArt (Greece): since 2014 – collective of 30 members,

3. International Public Association“Education Without Borders” (Belarus): training courses since 2003 

4. Multi Kulti Collective (Bulgaria): collective cooking workshops,

5. Othernessproject (Denmark),

6. Pirkanmaan Sininauha ry (Finland) : loneliness projects,

7. Madiba Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy),

8. ZAVOD NEFIKS (Slovenia): Language clubs and Erasmus projects,

9. Léo Lagrange Centre Est (France): Education and workshops against discrimination/working with kids and teenagers,

10. Reconciliation Consulting Group (UK).

–  Two different workshops discovering the use of language and how we can work around its idea as means of communication and national identity, 
– A storytelling workshop and language game. The aim was how communication can go beyond the borders of language,
– Brainstorming ideas about the grand project of language united: 2 international meetings (2 events +1 final meeting) + 1 kickoff meeting. There is also an expectation of a making a handbook to bring awareness.

uncategorized workshops

gribskov 2018


How can we relate within a short time, how we communicate, if our background is different, and we do not even speak the same language?
Are we curious about each other at all? If yes, how we pose questions, and how we answer them?
How we tell our own stories, and what kind of stories we tell about ourselves?
How do we ask the others about their stories, and what kind of other stories will we be able to process, to understand? Whom can we empathise with and why?
How can we get more empathetic and communicative?

The endless series of questions were not answered, not even asked. This time, we inhabited the space, we moved around, we perceived it and ourselves and each other. Movements, gestures, sound became of high importance in establishing connection.
Sounds, the beat of the drums were able to express a wide range of emotions, feelings, and even could tell simple stories. Owning stories and narratives are the cornerstone of empowerment, self-empowerment and the ability to relate.

This workshop was offered within the framework of a Europe for Citizens programme: You Are Welcome, having 13 partners in 7 countries around Europe.

Participants: unaccompanied refugee minors and students from the Nordsjællands Efterskole.

Time: 7th and 10th March 2018.

Led by: Rita Sebestyen

Lead organizer from Gribskov: Lisbeth Eckhardt-Hansen

Assistant: Marin Hermanssdottir

Othernessproject, Gribskov Center – Red Cross, Nordsjællands Efterskole, You Are Welcome, Europe for Citizens.

uncategorized workshops

cluj 2014


In cooperation with: GroundFloor Group and Játéktér/Playing Area

Paintbruch Factory

26-27 October 2014 

A two-day workshop was divided into three parts: one part consisted of movement exercises, meant to experience both the working of a community and the non-verbal elements related to the theme.

The designers and coaches of the movement elements were the actor Ferenc Sinkó and Ildikó Ungvári Zrínyi, university professor the Tg-Mures University of Arts.

The second part included the evocation of personal stories about birth and their discussion moderated by Kinga Boros, assistant lecturer at the Tg-Mures University of Arts.

The third part of the workshop was a performance lecture constructed on a text by Slavoj Zizek, by Attila Szigeti, lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Babes-Bolyai University. Imre Ungvári Zrínyi, lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Babes-Bolyai University moderated and summarized reflections on the event. Sándor Sajó, lecturer at the Faculty of Aesthetics of ELTE, Budapest reported about his participation at the IETM meeting in Sofia, where he represented the project. Rita Sebestyén from Babes-Bolyai University and Anikó Varga, editor-in-chief of Playing Area, moderated the discussion about  possibilities of cooperation with institutions.

uncategorized workshops

cluj & cardiff 2014

Gogol in Cluj/Cardiff

Three days of workshop, symposium, two special blocks for young researchers and also two performances were comprised into the Gogol in Cluj/Cardiff event between 21-23 March. The first international, practice-based research oriented event of the Representations of the Other project has come to life as an interwoven endeavour of the Gogol InterPlayground project – a rhizomatic, world-wide growing network that encourages the use of drama as a tool for social transformation –, the GroundFloor Group from Cluj (Romania), producer of cutting-edge performances in the Paintbrush Factory, this latter serving as a venue for this event as well. Organization and professional support was also assumed by editors and contributors to the Játéktér/Playing Area theatre periodical.