Words Are the Glue that Bonds Us Together
The series of online creative writing workshops, under “The Quarantine Monologues” action, was conceived to encourage and support creative expression through writing in teenage refugees during the April – May 2020 lockdown in Greece.
The resulting writings, collected and presented in this book, respond directly to questions such as “How did teenagers feel during the lockdown?”, “What were the values and strengths they leveraged to endure their already difficult living conditions?” and “What did they learn from the lockdown?”.
Still, their work also addresses issues that were never explicitly raised, thus constituting a unique testimony of the thoughts and experiences of a particular age group, consisting of people about to make their uncertain transition to adulthood.
One might need to read between the lines to uncover their anxiety, frustration, and disappointment, but also their strong will to live and their desire to make a new beginning. For these young people, their school and teachers as well as mastery of Greek language prove to be a true passport to a better life. They, therefore, worked hard to maintain their relationships with both their schoolwork and teachers throughout the lockdown, in addition to engaging in other educational and creative activities.
Upon the completion of this workshop series, we remain very grateful to these young people for all they have taught us and all we have shared. They have all now gone their separate ways; perhaps some have left the accommodation facilities to move to another country and others to return to their birthplace. Nevertheless, this shared experience will continue to connect us, with words being the glue that bonds us all together.
Dimitra Didangelou, Nikos Kalaitzidis, Eleni Svoronou
Online Creative Writing Workshop Facilitators