Youth Exchange Programme
May — December 2022

Our journey consisted of two in-person meetings in Berlin and Chisinau, along with several online meetings. Additionally, we engaged in a week of urban interventions and concluded with a final event in Berlin
If we look at urban spaces as a game field, what rules would we change?
During "Time to Act" programme participants and facilitators explored social challenges in cities through performances and participatory theatre practices. The youth exchange programme included on-site explorations, small interventions, performances, embodiment practices, and the development of urban board games as a project outcome. This multiscalar approach fostered a special space within the group based on mutual support and a sense of belonging to a community. The diverse backgrounds and unique skills of the participants enriched the learning process and project results. Together, they challenged their perceptions of urban spaces through creative practices and developed new ideas to create more vibrant, friendly, and inclusive cities for youth.

Our journey
till 15 May
till 15 May
Open Call
18 June
18 June
Online kick-off meeting with selected participants
Getting to know each other, exchange of expectations, setting common goals
8 —17 July
8 —17 July
Exchange in Berlin
Exploring diverse urban layers and implementing small interventions
5 ー 11 September
5 ー 11 September
Week of local interventions
Participants and coordinators developing interventions in their current locations

14 — 23 October

14 — 23 October
Exchange in Chisinau
Drifts and guided walks organised by participants and designing participatory urban games
9 ー 12 December
9 ー 12 December
Final event in Berlin
Test drive of urban-games and concluding the programme
Our approach within the programme:
peer-to-peer learning
The design of activities gave enough space for joint decision making about the content and final result. We found the very process of interaction precious, as well as the willingness of the participants to share their opinions and ideas.
pro-activity and collective responsibility
The results directly depended on the participants' input as applied methods show a broad variety for independent actions and gently guide the participants through this process.
Exchange in Berlin
Together we explored diverse urban layers, starting with experiences from our own backyards and continuing with spaces of a larger scale like parks, squares and districts. We sensed different districts of Berlin through our bodies and tested performative techniques. We tried out performances in Lichtenberg, experimented with embodiment practices at Tempelhofer Feld, learnt about artistic interventions in Prenzlauer Berg, had a dérive journey in Mitte, took part in a "silent dance walk" in Friedrichshain, watched an „invisible city play" at Alexanderplatz while reflecting and exchanging on new gained experiences and impressions.

One of the final results of the exchange were small interventions in the Ernst-Thälmann-Park area, developed and performed by participants: interactive aerobics performance with park visitors, a guerilla seedbed, critical installation „money wall", performative tasks on the bench.
Another intervention was dedicated to the stories of people from Ukraine who became victims of the current war in the country to make them more visible and present to the public.
During our exchange in Berlin, we tried out, among others, four urban performative practices. As a result, we've created four instructional videos for you to explore and try these practices yourself.
If you're interested in implementing the same practices and exploring your city, we've made handy instructions
in PDF format that you can download and carry with you:
Week of local interventions

To continue exploring and performing between offline meetings, participants developed interventions in their current locations: recycled art objects on Antalya's seashore and guerilla seed bombing, recorded stories "I remember that…" from neighbours in Berlin and "Take what you need" notice sheets.
Exchange in Chisinau
Our reunion started in a very non-urban location: we experienced local sustainability practices and permaculture in "Eco-village" in Rîşcova, Moldova. We learnt incredible practices of water conservation, eco-gardening, energy efficiency and the importance of community cohesion from the residents of the village. We dived deeper into each others' experiences of activism and urban citizenship, discussed how to claim the right to the city and develop related skills and competencies. In Chisinau, during drifts and guided walks, organised by participants, we observed the city from a different perspective, exploring hidden spaces and the local atmosphere. As the next step, participants brainstormed on topics and design for participatory urban games as one of the project products.
Within a couple of days, 4 games were developed on sustainable thinking and eco-balance, urban exploration and storytelling, social inclusion and garbage separation. All together we organised a public test-drive of the games with citizens of Chisinau.
Final event in Berlin
During 2 following months, participants, coordinators and experts on game design were developing, designing and wrapping up urban participatory games:

  • Eco-balance is an educational board game which aims to raise awareness towards ecological issues in a playful format. Players are invited to find out what ecological habits they already have and learn about new ones that they could introduce into their routine.
  • Inclusion Mafia represents a new version of the famous mafia game that features more diverse characters with socially vulnerable backgrounds. They have unique super powers that help them to fight bad characters
  • Urban Match is an association game that allows players to share personal views on cities and comprehend local identities. During the game, participants need to come up with associations, guess the associations of others and find common ground. Urban Match is released in two editions: with photos of Chisinau and Berlin collected by participants and their friends.
Sandbox of organisers and experts
  • Natasha Borenko
    Curator of the educational programme
    Fluid theatre maker. Born in Siberia, based in Berlin. Creates theatre- and art projects using methods of Game Design, Theatre of the Oppressed, participatory, documentary and site-specific theatre. Her participatory performances she co-makes with local communities and diverse groups of citizens. She also initiates international peacekeeping art projects made by interdisciplinary horizontally-structured collaborations between artists, educators, peacebuilders and activists.
  • Anastasia Pushkareva
    Project Coordinator, moderator
    Implements non-formal educational and exchange projects for young people and professionals in the field of urban activism, promoting their engagement and participation, e.g. „Act Out Loud", „Design and share your city", „Arts in urban places. (Re)invent and create" and others.
  • Lera Rumiantseva
    Project Coordinator, moderator
    Initiator and curator of urban projects and informal events in cities. Inspired by the power of urban grassroots activism. Has been leading urban gardening community for 4 years and initiative of the river development in St. Petersburg since 2018. Loves observing and touching urban plants around.
  • Elena Stein
    Sociologist and political scientist, has been heading the CISR e.V. since its creation as the CEO of the organization. She is involved in the development and realization of numerous projects. Elena specializes in the organizational structure of NGOs and is a coach and trainer in the area of team development, social startups, analysis, and consultation of internal organizational processes as well as presentation and moderating skills.
  • Vitalie Cîrhană
    Facilitator, partner in Moldova
    Trainer in personal and professional development, quality of youth work and non-formal education. Director of "MilleniuM" Training and Development Institute since 2000 is experienced project manager in developing and operating national and international projects. Member of Pool of Trainers in SALTO EECA, with an ample background in youth field, formal and non-formal education.
  • Pasha Andreev
    Producer of cultural, urban and educational projects. For seven years he led night tours of the abandoned park. Together with the community, he arranged 1 km of the banks of the Volga River. Likes to dance on the streets of new cities. Night Mayor of Ulyanovsk City from 2019 to 2022.
  • CISR e.V. focuses on the support of civil society actors in post-socialist states and Eastern Europe. It implements research, capacity building, educational non-formal projects etc. for young people and experts, from the fields of urban activism, media, gender, migration, social sciences and others.
  • MilleniuM implements programs in the field of personal, organisational and community development. It promotes non-formal education by encouraging civic initiative and youth work at the local level and across Moldova.
The project is funded under the grant program "MEET UP! Youth for Partnership" by the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) Foundation and the Federal Foreign Office.
© 2023 CISR e.V.
СISR e. V. Berlin
Ahlbecker Str. 3
10437, Berlin

+49 176 200 371 32