VON-Volunteering Opportunities Network

Erasmus+: Photographer vs. participant

Ciao tutti! Kacio is calling. Last week Vicolocorto was organizing a Partnership building activities in the framework of the Erasmus+ program on the topic “Volunteering Opportunities Network – VON” involving eleven different countries from all over Europe.

01_resize24 youth workers from Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey came to Pesaro to meet, discuss about new EVS projects enlarging their network and opportunities of the local volunteers and youngsters of their home countries. As you probably remember my EVS project is about the pictures of my new community. So this was the time when something special was going to pass in my new community and my task was to take the pictures of nice moments during the project.

Before my EVS starts, I had the chance to experience Erasmus + projects being a participant and representing Armenia. In all of those projects besides of being participant I was making pictures by my own proposal. During this week I was making some comparison of my position as a participant and as a photographer of the project. I will present some positive and negative points of both positions from my point of view.

I would divide the project time into two parts: Session time and free time.

02_resizeBeing photographer means being in the center of everything important that happens during the event. You and your camera have to fix all the bright and memorable moments. That is one of the nice points of being a photographer in general while on the other hand it put a lot of responsibility on you to not miss any important moment. In the session time, I was taking pictures and observing the project from the outside. The main negative point is that you are not participating which means that you are not experiencing the activities, you are not debriefing afterwards and not sharing your own experience with the others. It is frustrating especially if the topic is interesting and you can “look but not touch”.

03_resizeDuring the free time, you are free regardless of being photographer or participant. You can spend your free time with participants discover the significant places of Pesaro(Special thanks to my friends Carlos and Milena for organizing such a joyful and interactive Cultural Tour), drinking in a bar, dancing in a club, partying and enjoying wherever you want. On those moments you don’t feel any difference of your position. We spent almost all the evenings of the week together in Pesaro, had fun, get a lot of nice memories.

Summarizing all these points together it’s still different to say which one is better, photographer or a participant. Each position has its pluses and minuses, but the most important thing that you must have is a good mood and willingness to enjoy all the moments. I personally enjoyed the week being part of VON, I met more than 20 nice people from different countries, get new friends and new connections which I really appreciate. I’m sure that I will meet again the participants in future, maybe in Armenia, maybe in their own countries or maybe somewhere in the world, because more people I met from various parts of the world more I understand that the world is small and if you want you can meet whoever you want and wherever you want…


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