“Thanks to my mother and the amateur theatre, I have substantial experience communicating with different people. My mother ran a theatre for the blind and visually impaired. We travelled to a lot of theatre festivals together where we got to know and bond with entirely different groups of people: people with disabilities, people of diverse descent and different backgrounds”.
Sasha sees her expertise in communication, the ability to accept people as they are, not seeing the difference as an obstacle but as a resource. “I do my best to learn mediation practices as I see great potential in them. It is something you can learn only by doing. I want to share with others the ability to accept different people and be more empathetic. Acceptance of people that are not like you does not come naturally for some people, but it is vital to embrace the difference. It will help to diversify your experience and diversify your world”.
According to Sasha, her participation in our project helped develop her competencies and discourses and broaden her worldview in general. It’s been an incredible experience for Sasha, and she is not sure that she could have gotten it from somewhere outside the project. In Sasha’s view, the main asset of the project is people. “People are such a vital part of the project. I don’t know where I could have met so many different people and gotten so many insights. It is not just about the participants, but also about the work we are about to do with the Russian-speaking community in Finland”.
Sasha mentions that only through practise you can enhance your understanding of art, cultural mediation and develop empathy. “It is something you need to do, something you need to try for yourself. Books can give you the information, but you can only get the real experience by being in different communities, communicating with different people and applying a hands-on approach”.