‘It was like a celebration of the project’

Play and Drama – a Route for Resilience

ARTPAD Conference – 25th June 2018

The final ARTPAD international conference (official title: Play and Drama – a Route for Resilience) was held in Budapest on 25/06/2018. It was the biggest event organised by Rogers Foundation this year (with more than 60 participants from all around Europe), and the first of us ever organised with English as official language. It took place at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education. During the preparation period we cooperated with Nedda Kolosai, senior lecturer of the Department of Pedagogics, who not only supported us in logistics and invitation issues, but also was thinking about organising a play related academic conference next year with our assistance. Hard copies of ARTPAD principles as well as the Best Practice Guide were available in hard copies at the registration desk and also in the conference hall.

On the conference the first speech was given by Virág Suhajda who warmly welcomed everybody and delineated the programme of the day. Then Leonie Burton from the University of Gloucestershire, made an interesting presentation about the aims and achievements of the ARTPAD project. The day continued with Wendy Russel from University of Gloucestershire,  who had an interactive lecture about the importance of play and drama, and their connection with resilience.

After a short break there were 3 parallel workshops: Working with tales by paper theatre and drama techniques (Virag Suhajda), Art of resilience in challenging situations – how to endure, change and thrive (Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski and Maria Kaźmierczak) and Playing with stories – a taste of playback theatre (Beáta Oborny).

After this workshop session we had a short time for rest during the lunchtime. Participants used this time for networking and to visit the poster session on play presented by University Students.

In the afternoon there was a second workshop session with three workshops: Understanding freely chosen play and the importance of the environment (Leonie Burton), Drama games, techniques – a route for stronger resilience (Karen Benjamin and Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski) and Playing without words (Veronika Karsai).

The day was closed with a plenary reflection session, where participants had a chance to formulate their learning outcomes, to reflect on the lectures and workshops and give some feedback to organisers.

The whole event had a great, cozy and real international atmosphere, with enthusiastic participants, and with many opportunities for experiential learning. It was like a celebration of the project.

The University recommended creating an abstract book, as part of future cooperation, so we collected abstracts of all the lecturers and workshop leaders and forwarded them to the contact person. The publication is going to be ready by the end of September.

Report and images by Rogers Foundation


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