Youth Exchange programs are sub actions of the program Youth in Action.  Although topics, context and duration varies, educational approach derives through informal and non formal  education more often starting the -usually- weekly program, with energizers, ice breaking games and team building activities, deepening throughout the week and upgrading the experience.

So what is artistic up – cycling?

Artistic up – cycling is the process of taking materials or products that are unwanted for their original function and through creativity, transforming them into pieces of art, home decoration, or other useful items. It is converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value through artistic expression.

A few more info on the topic Up – cycling in art  on



First, we introduced the participants to the idea of artistic up-cycling. Our Italian partners have prepared a presentation that explained everything. Italy’s Presentation

Then, we hit the road.



As soon as you start collecting resources/materials from rubbish it is hard to define and separate what pieces are appropriate for your project. Most times you collect more items on the possibilities you see on the material.

Make a list!

  • If it is a specific project note all materials, number and sizes you will need.
  • If it is a free project decide on a small number of items, compose and add to what is missing.
  • In case you are in a constant dry waste creative process, start collecting similar items. You will be amazed on how easy and fast you can collect finished lighters, plastic shampoo and cleansing bottles, cans or paper.

Apart from your house or random recycle bins you can approach stores and businesses that produce specific waste such as paper or Styrofoam or other materials.

During the program and as a way for the participants to get in touch with the take what you need concept, we discussed about cultural groups that survive through collecting waste such as Romani,  and we discussed on safety measures distributing protective aprons and other tools to the participants as to collect the dry waste.

Indicated on a list were known items such as 10 plastic bottles, metal items, other material objects as well as the option of an item outside the list!

Participants confronted the persistency people recycle in Greece and a common sense for other countries, put themselves in other people’s position, and had a very special experience.

1. Scavanger 's Hunt (1) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (2) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (3) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (4) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (5) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (6) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (7) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (8) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (9) 1. Scavanger 's Hunt (10)





Buckets, barrels, sponges and brushes, gloves, vinegar, soap and other materials helped us clean and sterilize in an environmentally friendly way the collected materials.

Working with dry waste helps reduce them and decongest the environment it is not a task you can take lightly, though partisipants had fun splashing around under the sun!

….ok, and a bit tiered also :p

day 3 (15) day 3 (13) day 3 (12)




First task towards knowing the material and viewing them under an artistic light, was for the participants to arrange the found items on the frame of the garbage bag they collected their items in.

Results varied according to groups as some decided to arrange their findings according to size, other by material(plastic, carton..) or color indicating the versatile approach each has on same guidelines.

These are their results:

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Deepening into the exploration of the materials and moving towards “Solo flying” projects, participants were given specific time to complete the next task.

In order to meet the resistance, the weight the perceptions, stability, curves and surfaces, participants were asked to create in teams the highest tower possible with their findings.

This is their outcomes:

2. towers_day 3_(6) 2. towers_day 3_(5) 2. towers_day 3_(4) 2. towers_day 3_(3) 2. towers_day 3_(2)


Chimera Animals


As a vessel from getting to know the materials and actually building and composing a sculpture, participants to take part in yet another educational game where everyone had picked secretly one piece of paper saying  ‘legs’, ‘hands’, ‘body’, ‘head’, ‘wings’. All started with their tasks and a few minutes later, everyone had to find the same color as to compose their special creature.

Sculpts got names and stories while in construction showing the process of bonding with your creation, sharing the origin of your expression and the  need to explain or justify differenciality.

3. chimera animals_Android 3. chimera animals_BeerMariNtkeios 3. chimera animals_Kirki 3. chimera animals_Lady Manson 3. chimera animals_Maricica 3. chimera animals_Maricica_ 3. chimera animals_Pigalina 3. chimera animals_You Drive me crazy x3 different languages



While playing educational games on how we perceive information, built the teams dynamics creative approaches and presentations, simulating situations of special conditions and teaching groups, the main occupation ‘making works of art with dry waste materials’ had already started.

Here some pictures of the preparation and final artworks as well as titles, descriptions and art groups on each project

4. pieces of art_(9) 4. pieces of art_(10) 4. pieces of art_(11) 4. pieces of art_(12) 4. pieces of art_(14) 4. pieces of art_(15) 4. pieces of art_(8) 4. pieces of art_(6) 4. pieces of art_(5) 4. pieces of art_(4) 4. pieces of art_(3) 4. pieces of art_(2) 4. pieces of art_(1)




Playing and learning in a non formal way brings us back childhood memories, the joy learning and nostalgic feelings when going to school was the highlights of the day.

Having grown up though the responsibility of sustaining good practices and knowledge sharing shifts to us.

Approaching a subject, researching and learning about it, puts us responsible to share it and what a better way to  stay playful and inspiring than cooperating, teaching, and co- creating with kids!

That is where the hole magic begins. The program and the activities room hosted children from Ms Patramani’ s English school ages 7 – 13, as to repeat yet having a whole different experience, the Chimera Animals activity the participants had earlier within the week.

The simulation games and the deepening on how we pass on knowledge, helped the participants to give guidelines, share their knowledge, respect and leave room for the kids to develop their thoughts and cope with the new difficulties’ of the materials, help to meet the children ‘s initial ideas or twist the ‘im – possible’ imagination to magical Chimera creatures.




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fbtg_6 (229) fbtg_6 (233) fbtg_6 (240) fbtg_6 (256) fbtg_6 (265) fbtg_6 (273) fbtg_6 (274) fbtg_6 (275) fbtg_6 (283) fbtg_6 (284) fbtg_6 (290) fbtg_6 (293) fbtg_6 (301) fbtg_6 (307) fbtg_6 (309) fbtg_6 (313) fbtg_6 (227) fbtg_6 (220) fbtg_6 (218) fbtg_6 (213) fbtg_6 (212)



 Preparation for the exhibition

Along with the artworks and as artists are often called to present their work with limited help. participants divided into teams as to clean and prepare the available exhibition space, work as display managers, arranging positions of the artwork in the given space, write a speech for the grand opening, advertizing the event etc

fbtg_4 (420) fbtg_4 (440) fbtg_4 (442) fbtg_4 (643) fbtg_5 (187) fbtg_5 (189) fbtg_5 (205)





 Happy Thoughts

Advertizing is the most important factor for a successful project/ event/ exhibition. What happens when you have limited funds? You research, take advantage of the free publicity(internet etc)publish in newspapers friends who want to publish their graphistic skills… get creative using all resources you have. That is what we and the participants did. We made an event on Social media, printed and shared posters, and altogether we shared happy thoughts in the  center of the city.  Happy thoughts is a street action turning into a wave, aiming to remind people the really important stuff in life, inspiring them and spreading happiness introduced by Youthfully Yours organization. the small happy suggestions we are sharing with people passing by have the link of the organization in the back and therefore directed them to view the event we were planning.


fbtg_5 (332) fbtg_5 (399) fbtg_5 (406) fbtg_5 (410) fbtg_5 (415) fbtg_5 (449) fbtg_5 (483) Happy Thoughtsfbtg_5 (773)




Publicity For the exhibition

ί___ί_0001 poster_ek8esi_05-5-2014 flyer yellow Happy Thoughts

Space management on exhibiting artwork

Participants had to prepare for the opening of the exhibition by separating into groups of chores. They had to find an ice breaking game, the space had to be cleaned for the children’s workshop. The cleaners and movers of the workshop s results along with the rest sculptures and chimeras… The exhibition plan had to be clear, the tags of the artwork, the cookie and beverages table, the welcoming material. All parts delivered!! photos of the design of the space



Final Exhibition!!!!

The complete exhibition, the yellow entrance ribbon was realized on the sixth of May at 7 o’clock in the exhibition  room of the hotel Siris in Lefkonas Serres. Beverages and cookies, happy weather and the enthusiasm of all children, parents, teachers educators, facilitators and guests was there. A big part of all the outcomes have travelled along with the participants to their home countries spreading the ‘virus’ of Artistic up – cycling throughout Europe and memories have left the mark on the lives of all the children who participated in their hearts forever!

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