The annual educational camp organised by the British Alevi Youth Federation took place from 23rd-27th December in Peak District, England. Across the four days, young people from different cities in Britain participated in seminars and workshops on identity, Alevi poems and Alevi history.
Following a two-year break from face to face camps due to the pandemic, the main purpose of this year’s camp was the unity and solidarity of youth. With this purpose in mind, the camp committee organized various games and activities throughout the camp to bring the youth together. The introductory games and muhabbet with the baglama on the first evening enabled the youth to get together and socialize which ensured the workshops held during the other days were more productive.
The importance of the culture of producing and consuming together was emphasized to the youth during the camp, where everything was done collectively, from cooking to cleaning.
Conducting all seminars and workshops in English was a first in this year’s camp. It was an important step for the young people and enabled those not fluent in Turkish, to easily understand the topics of discussion, engage in conversation and ask questions.
In the first workshop of the camp, the subject of “Identity” was discussed. After the activity about identity formation and multiple identities, the young people discussed the formation of their consciousness about their Alevi identity over their own identity timelines. In the workshop, which continued with the basic elements of Alevi identity, the young people then discussed the issue of assimilation and integration in multiculturalism.
The workshop on “Alevi Poems”, outlined the different types of deyis’ and common themes in Alevi poetry. After the young people discussed the context, theme and analysis of a deyis together, they conducted a deyis analysis in small groups. In the “History of Alevism” seminar, the youth discussed the historical dimensions of Alevism.
A commemoration was held for the Maras massacre as the camp coincided with its anniversary. As part of the presentation made at the commemoration, the Maraş Massacre video shared on the “School of Alevism” Youtube channel was watched and discussed.
In the last workshop held with the working groups, the young people discussed methods of carrying the Alevi identity to the future, organizing and solutions to the problems of the youth.
The committee members from the British Alevi Federation, Enfield Alevi Cultural Centre and the Wood Green Alevi Cultural Centre and Cemevi made a visit to the camp, offering their support to the youth.
The camp ended after an evaluation and thanks. The camp committee, which received positive feedback from the young people who participated, is about to start preparations for the next camp.
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Facebook: British Alevi Youth Federation