Culture Lab

June, 2020
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The Participatory
Action Research

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Eva Shimaj

Tirana (Albania)

My name is Eva Shimaj, and I am a program coordinator for the newly created cultural-social space Uzina. Uzina involves local people coming together to identify and work on issues that matter most to them. Uzina is the result of a yearlong effort to build a community-based space in Tirana, and was finalized with the founding of NGO TSC, which manages the space. Uzina operates, - namely where its volunteers gather, discuss, take care of the building and try to engage the surrounding community via participatory strategies, - is made of marginalized people. Everything we do or initiate is based upon a community-led approach. We are trying to address mutual concerns in programs of combined action. The activities and events that occur in the center are run by different people for different audiences. The range of events reflects local needs and may be delivered by locals, other organizations, volunteers, etc. We make use of good ideas and resources by utilizing the potential of individuals in this community. We’re continuously fostering an environment of acceptance and compassion. This is a space where individuals, can fully be/explore themselves through discussions, by challenging thoughts, and activities that encourage interdisciplinary learning.

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