Creative Upcycling with GAIA Kosovo

image 2019 04 17

Imaginatorium is a non-formal educational centre based in Roma neighbourhood in Gracanica.The aim is to provide  opportunities for Roma kids and teenagers. In the centre children develop skills in music, theater, math, literacy, and languages.

Music has always had an important place in Imaginatorium, and during the first two weeks of April, kids and teenagers had the opportunity to build the music instruments they were going to play. Romain and Quentin from the Recif Collective came as volunteers to Gracanica for a workshop, upcycling secondary raw materials into new music devices. From the jerrican-bass to the timpani mallets, all of the instruments and tools were tailor-made with what was available: wooden sticks, cans, plastic bottles, tyres, pipes and much more… Instruction sheets were drawn and written for everyone to follow, and the construction could begin.


 This workshop, made possible by the Swiss Embassy as part of the project, has been an incredible opportunity for creativity to express itself in many different ways. First, it was it was a great way for everyone to see how much is possible even when there is little to start with. With a low budget and basic materials, they were able to make over ten different types of tools and instruments. Everyone could make their own flutes and drum brushes, but they also worked together on some larger and more complicated structures. At the end of the building workshop, the kids also participated in a playing session, where they could perform with some of the instruments in front of everyone. By groups of two or three, amongst themselves or with the volunteers, they improvised together on their creations for a whole afternoon. You can have a look at part of the final music session . One could wonder how two volunteers from France could communicate with Roma kids from a mahalla in Kosovo, but this workshop also showed that with a bit of help, a few words, drawing and examples, everyone could work well together and achieve some really nice results.


Moments like these remind us that it’s always possible to share ideas, knowledge, and your passion with people you don’t share a common language or reality with. The kids are always happy to learn something new and willing to get involved, so if you recognise yourself in these kinds of projects and you feel like you could bring your own ideas to the Roma community and the kids in Gracanica, we are always welcoming volunteers and new workshops.


Don’t hesitate to contact us! Let’s be creative together.


Written by GAIA Kosovo



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