Words: Marios Touvanas | Photos: Marios Touvanas and Marios Liogris
As part of an Erasmus Plus youth exchange programme in April 2017, we joined a group of around 40 young people from nine European countries, gathering together to discuss the topic: “Few + More = Inclusion”. The venue was dominated by the idyllic Balkan landscapes on the shores of Lake Ohrid in Struga, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. During the week, we had the chance to experience the four seasons, both in reality and metaphorically. Everyone had a story to share with the group. A story that made them feel excluded from society for different reasons.
During the workshops, we discussed ways to promote social inclusion for all. At the end of the week, we raised awareness with social action in the town centre. Marios and I were inspired by the scenery that was changing dramatically every day, in coherence with our emotions. On our arrival, there was a storm. The next few days were cold; snow was visible on the mountains, then the sky became clearer. On the very last day, the temperature was high enough to feel like summer. The same thing happened with our emotions, our mood. The warm colours of autumn represented the first day when everyone was willing to meet each other and enjoy the week; the cold colours represented the moment we revealed some unpleasant experiences from the past. The smooth and solid colours of spring represented the relief of feelings, while the cheerful colours of summer represented the bright side of life: that everyone is equal, setting aside our differences, and that there should be inclusion for all societies in the world.
Marios Touvanas is a lawyer and aspiring photographer from Cyprus. You can check out his incredible work on Instagram. Marios Liogris is a vet and aspiring photographer from Cyprus. You can view his amazing images on Instagram.