How can creative workshops involving lots of play and physical contact between young and old be reimagined for COVID times? This is exactly what PER TERRA IL CIELO (the sky on earth), an intergenerational theatre workshop project in the North of Italy, has achieved over the past 6 months. The theatre workshop is the creation of actor Anna Fascendini.
Europe is amid the third wave of the COVID pandemic. Luckily, there are many very committed early years and care professionals working tirelessly to connect generations in creative and imaginative ways during this the third Lockdown. Read Eilish Balfe’s blog about how Happy Days Early Years’ Service in Ireland has been maintaining intergenerational relationships in the village community of Ratoath, in Ireland over the past year.
“My child discovered the pleasure of imagination and curiosity: imagining what was going to be read to her and being curious about who would read it to her” says P., mother of Z (5 years old).
This is the opinion of a mother whose child participated in the pilot of the intergenerational Storytellers Project in Empoli, Italy. Words like mystery, anticipation, curiosity, and even magic often came up in the accounts of the parents when they thought about their children’s emotions during this experience.
“Showing affection and closeness between different generations thanks to a daily radio programme has been one of the most comforting and rewarding experiences of my professional life”. These are the words of Pablo Ortiz, a Language and Literature teacher at the “Padre Manjón” School, who has been an active participant in the “Radio Fuerza” [Force Radio] intergenerational initiative. This is one of many examples of IG actions which are counteracting the negative effects that COVID-19 has had in Spain. Read more in this blog written by Ángel Barragán and Ignacio Chato.
“Intergenerational practice has been massively affected by the pandemic. Most established projects relied heavily on face-to-face contact and were set in a group context and many projects involved vulnerable older people in care settings. The need to halt the spread of the virus and protect lives brought these to an immediate halt. At the same time, the health emergency has shone a light on the importance of more cohesive communities and intergenerational relationships.”