In Spain, the word “colleague” —colega— is the same for both a fellow worker but also for a friend. Indeed, the act of symposium-ing was sort of swinging but we could say this time that it also involved friendshiping
Some of the travelers did not know exactly where they were going. “It was like getting lost but by getting lost you generally get further, so I trusted the way”. Johan Oberg was joining the EACWP for the first time in representation of University of Gotenberg. However, there were some others who were keen to meeting up again. The last time they had seen each other was in November, 2012, during the cold rainy winter in Paris in the last International Pedagogical Conference. Reijo Virtanen was the official organiser of the symposium by the Orivesi College but we could also said that he was as though he would be hosting a full day party at home. It was summer and Orivesi did have no more nights.In order to arrive to Orivesi College of Arts most of the EACWP members coming from all different parts of Europe were traveling around twelve hours after switching from planes to trains and from train to buses. On the way to the school, all around Finland, some others reached their destiny biking on the edge of the road, bordering the forests, or rowing a boat on the lake. It was as though all people in Finland were going there coming from everywhere. In the afternoon of the 29th of May, all seemed around as a secret migration of foreign birds or almost a spiritual pilgrimage. Going to Orivesi is not at all as going to Paris or Madrid. Going to Orivesi is going through a journey.
The morning of the 30th of May, when all finally met together in the opening session, Javier Sagarna observed: “I want to notice that most of us don’t know each other”, regarding the growth and the diversity of the group of members attending the symposium. In 2010 the EACWP was founded by eight members from six countries. This time, three years later, there were twenty members representing fifteen countries. “These are good news and the good news are that we are growing fast. This is what we have done together.”
Indeed, four new members introduced their institutions to the association: Astrid de Laage and Aude Lafait (Le Coin Blue, Belgium), Johan Oberg (University of Gotenberg, Sweden), Georgia Maklouf (Kitabat, Lebanon) and Karin Knudsen (University of Southern Denmark). Additionally, Lucian Georgescu joined the association as an individual member while representing Universitatea Națională de Artă Teatrală și Cinematografică “Ion Luca Caragiale” din București (Romania).
The friendshiping involved, indeed, almost 20 hours of full working activities during the three days, which were also enhanced by walks to the lake, poetry evenings and a full trip to visit the Petajavesi church and cemetery, the University and the Residence of Writers in Jyvaskyla and a dinner in a farm house in Jamsa.
“The most important thing we have developed is friendship”, reinforced Javier Sagarna throughout the symposium. “This is our real growth. The thing I am happier about is that we are building up a project we all believe in. Now we are closer to our idea of creating an association representing all parts of Europe.”
Louise Muller from Aleph-Écriture, during the poetry session in the “Light summer evening” of the 31th of May, was singing loud Cuando un amigo se va (When a friend leaves), an Argentinian song from the 60’s that had been turned into a sevillana, which some of the EACWP members accompanied with clapping.