Association for Creative Moral Education


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Power of Unity

(Strengthening unterethnic relationship among secondary school students through the media)

Project "Power of Unity" (Strengthening interethnic relations among youth by means of theater and cinematography) was implemented by the ACME during 2019-2020.

1. Characteristics of the situation:

The tasks set for the NGOs involved in social-oriented activities in the Republic of Tatarstan today include promotion of family values, abstaining from immoral practices of the consumer society and respect for other cultures among children, junior youth and youth. Upbringing of children, junior youth and youth in the spirit of high morality and respect for the cultures of other peoples is one of the most urgent tasks today in our multinational Republic. The most effective tools for the implementation of the tasks of development and strengthening of interethnic relations among the youth is the art of forum theater, video and cinematography, thanks to their instrumental plasticity, appeal to the emotional component of the personality and wide possibilities of reflecting reality.

         When it comes to the development and strengthening of interethnic relations, the following important factors must be taken into account:

1. Nationality is an invariable attribute of the human personality, and any negative impact, be it verbal or non-verbal, is perceived by the individual as an attack on his/her personality, and may cause a sharp defensive reaction;

2. Modern integration processes taking place in the world also affect our Republic: a large number of migrants, foreign students, specialists and entrepreneurs from other countries live in Tatarstan, which enriches the social environment and at the same time complicates the system of interethnic relations;

3. The widespread dissemination of social networks and digital technologies, on one hand, increases the creative possibilities of young people, but, on the other hand, can also lead to the use of these technologies for bullying and harassment, possibly in the context of interethnic relations;

4. At present, more and more families of mixed ethnic composition are appearing, which can cause the emergence of intra-family tensions, leading to discord and, in the future, to divorce;

5. The complexity of the process of development and strengthening of interethnic relations is associated with the lack of elaboration of this topic and the lack of experience in our society.


One of the acute problems of the modern youth environment is the problem of the stratification of youth into various groups, which contributes to the loss of unity and harmony, an increase in the number of conflict situations, and deterioration in social adaptation. Aggression, violence and cruelty broadcasted today through the media, including TV and cinematography, as well as through computer games and social media, have a negative impact on the young generation and can lead to the emergence of extremism. The problem of extremism has become acute in recent years. First of all, this concerns the youth environment, where its manifestations are unpredictable, lightning fast and especially dangerous. Youth extremism is the views and type of behavior of young people based on the cultivation of the principle of force, aggression towards others, up to the violence and even murder. It presupposes irreconcilability towards dissidents, including representatives of other nationalities, as well as the desire to create a totalitarian community based on submission.

Cases of students' aggression towards their peers, as well as towards other people, often having a negative interethnic or interracial context, force us to take this problem seriously. This happens due to depreciation of family values, the substitution of moral principles by the laws of the jungle, focusing on achieving pleasure and promoting low-quality entertainment, which brings an emotional character to the situation. All of this requires adequate educational actions. A young person needs to be taught to make the correct, ethically based constructive choice of positive actions and appropriate behavior in general. In order for this choice to be more meaningful, balanced, objective information, knowledge, clear examples of the destructive consequences of negative resolution of interethnic situations and, on the contrary, constructive results of their positive resolution, a clearly defined position of society in the development and strengthening of interethnic relations are needed. We see the art of theater and cinematography as the most effective tool for achieving these goals.


2. Content of the project:

During the implementation of the project, we trained 40 volunteers – students of Kazan secondary schools #75 and #119, as well as Kazan Boarding school #7 for children with speech disorders in the basics of theater and cinematography – basics of acting, scriptwriting, theater and film directing and other skills required for the production of the theatrical play or the film. Participants wrote 5 small plays and scenarios on topics related to the development and strengthening of interethnic relations, and took part in the production and filming of 5 short staged video performances based on their plays and scripts; they themselves performed roles in these productions, and acted as the directors, cameramen and sound engineers.


In addition, we have conducted trainings on the development and strengthening of interethnic relations for the teachers of the involved secondary schools, for which a Resource Kit was created including a Manual with project materials and 5 videos. 30 flash drives with a Resource Kit were prepared, 2 trainings were held for 30 teachers and social workers of Kazan, each of the trainees was handed a flash drive with a Resource Kit. Upon completion of the project, additional copies of the Resource Kit were made for distribution to students who took part in the filming, their parents and teachers, as well as to other educational institutions of Kazan and other cities of the Republic of Tatarstan.

For further dissemination of the project materials, 5 materials about the project were published in the mass media, including the websites of our partners.

Materials created during the implementation of the project were presented to the Resource Center of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Protection of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Center for Youth Innovative and Preventive Programs of Tatarstan, as well as to numerous educational organizations of the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan. In addition, the Civic Chamber of Tatarstan and our partners, the Kazan non-commercial Foundation "Azamat" and the International non-commercial Foundation "Paravitta", helped us in disseminating the results of the project.


In our project, we used creative method of the Forum Theater – an interactive discussion which follows the theatric presentation or the video. The first part of our project involves participation of students from a number of Kazan schools in writing plays and scenarios on the development and strengthening of interethnic relations as well as shooting short videos based on these scenarios, followed by the discussion of these videos. The method of positive modeling of difficult life situations in the form of creative social forum-theater and cinematography, which are a platform for acquiring cognitive experience and developing models of positive behavior, has proven itself as an effective means of helping children, junior youth and youth to solve their problems. It is relevant to conduct a series of interactive multimedia lessons, where each lesson includes a video presentation illustrating one of the main goals of the program, and a subsequent discussion aimed at finding a positive constructive approach to solving the problem of developing and strengthening interethnic relations. The second part of the project envisages conducting trainings for teachers and social workers and providing them with materials for conducting classes on the development and strengthening of interethnic relations.


3. Importance of the project:

Modern integration of cultures does not mean the loss of one culture’s originality as a result of interaction with another culture, but, on the contrary, its enrichment, strengthening of its roots through the expansion of opportunities, subject to mutual respect and authentic interest of interacting cultures to each other. All ethnicities living on earth have the right to exist. All peoples, their culture, religion, language and customs are worthy of respect. No people should exalt their nation over another. Peace on earth, peace and well-being of its peoples depend not only on the mutual respect of peoples, but also on each individual person. Each nation has its own difficulties and trials, and its task is to overcome them with dignity. One of the purposes of existence of the nations on Earth is to help each other's development. According to the modern philosopher S. Victory, “within each of us the strings of folk culture are tightened, and it is important to touch them so that not the destructive cacophony of xenophobia and fanaticism sounds, but the true melody of creativity, unity and love”.

We orient our young playwrights and scriptwriters to create scenarios that reflect such life situations that make them think about the ways and means of developing and strengthening interethnic relations in the youth environment, about the depth of interpenetration of cultures, about the consequences of a disrespectful attitude towards the culture of other peoples, and aimed at search for a positive constructive way out of such situations. Viewing the footage and its subsequent analysis, filming new takes, analyzing mistakes, as well as discussing the content of the videos and jointly searching for positive solutions based on the highest moral principles, will allow the students participating in the project to acquire and strengthen the social skills they need to actively participate in the development and strengthening of interethnic relations in the youth environment. The ability to write a script contributes to the development of creativity and logical thinking, the emergence of dramatic skills, that is, the ability to briefly and colorfully describe the situation, see the depth of the relationships between the characters, set them a significant life task and outline ways to solve it. Acting, stage speech, mastering the basics of directing, as well as such useful skills for the future life as video shooting, composition, editing and video production – all this will help students to express their feelings more fully and vividly.



Another important task of the project is preparation of facilitators from among teachers and social workers to conduct lessons on development and strengthening of interethnic relations in the youth environment. Each of the facilitators we’ve trained has received a Resource Kit on a flash drive with a Manual and 5 videos, and conducted at least 5 lessons for 20 students, which ultimately contributed to the development of at least 3000 young men and women of the Republic of Tatarstan, helped them to become active participants in the development and strengthening of interethnic unity and harmony.

The participation of students from Kazan secondary schools #75 and #119 and Boarding school #7 for children with speech disorders in staging and filming videos as scriptwriters, actors, directors and editors contributes to the acquisition of skills useful for their future life, strengthening their self-esteem, their strengths and capabilities, sense of love and respect for family values, for the culture of the peoples of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation, as well as the whole world.