Inclusion and integration of various social groups is a commonly discussed topic in our society. Multiple tools and means are used to reduce the gap between healthy and disabled, young and old, to strengthen tolerance, encourage empathy, develop social awareness, and reduce discrimination. One of those means is cultural education. By participating together in various cultural and creative activities, people gain not only new experiences and knowledge, but also develop the feeling of togetherness and fellowship. Involvement in such activities raise social awareness, help to understand oneself and the environment better.
Utena A. ir M. Miskiniai public library recognizes the impact cultural activities can have for developing the sense of inclusion. Cinema has been utilized in the library as a part of activities towards reaching this goal and a continuous project “Meet Lithuanian cinema at the library” is already counting its 6th year. Cinematographic art plays an important role in our cultures; however, dissemination of this art in the periphery was not sufficient in our environment. During the project a great deal of educational cinema evenings, movie viewings, meetings and discussions with film directors have been held. Movie presentations, retrospectives and lectures became a unique library service playing an important role for socially disadvantaged groups of the society. Due to this reason, an educational project also turned to have a strong social aspect.
Cinema, especially documentary, can satisfy the sense of curiosity and the need for knowledge in adults’ education. It also teaches to think and evaluate facts, events, and opinions critically. In this way, competences of cultural and social understanding are developed – people of all backgrounds are involved in a common fellowship, tolerance and acceptance of various cultures, views and opinions are nourished.
The library signed a collaboration agreement with the Association of Cinematographs of Lithuania, successfully works together with the Alliance of Cinema Auteurs, organizes meetings with famous movie producers, directors and actors. Library visitors are encouraged to watch Lithuanian documentary movies and to analyze them. This helps to develop creativity and to build an intellectual and critical audience of cinema enthusiasts.
The community also often gets involved into creative activities and hands-on experience. A cinematographic workshop “Movie creator’s ABC” was held during which short video clips were produced and edited with an assistance of professionals. The participants experienced many positive emotions and gained mental satisfaction from such event.
Prepared by Regina Mikalauskiene
More information about the project and all the events can be found in Utena A. and M. Miskiniai public library’s website: www.uvb.lt