“STRANGERS: the Own Kind and the Other in Art and Theology”




Latvian Christian academy (Latvia) – Beata Soloveja (


Kaunas University College, Faculty of Arts of Justinas Vienozinskis (Lithuania) – prof. Vaidas Matonis ( and Violeta Kamantauskiene.

Malme University, Faculty of Health and Society (Sweden) – Jonas Christensen (


Network STR-ATA aims at collaborative partnerships between mentioned HEIs to create the Baltic – Nordic HE platform for interdisciplinary education in migration / refugee studies from the perspective of policies of the Nordic welfare states and using methodology of integrative theology and arts. The Network will stimulate interdisciplinarity between social and humanitarian disciplines to be updated with current social topicalities for modern Europe and Nordic countries.

In order to achieve the mentioned goals, the Network will organize Intensive Course, Visual Art Workshops on social topics involving Social work and Art students. Empowering Methodology of Integrative Theology includes holistic approach to social, political, humanitarian and axiological perspectives.

Network aims at sustainable partnerships in the future by publishing scientific articles in the form of Proceedings both on paper and online formats.


1. Intensive course “Doorstep training: Interdisciplinary refugee studies”,

2. Network STR-ATA support.

I Intensive course

DOORSTEP TRAINING: Interdisciplinary refugee studies.

We aim to provide Platform for lively exchange between Art and Social work students, teachers of partner’s HEIs study programms, practicioners and media.

Schedule of the Intensive Course:

  1. Introduction: a) theoretical, practical and administrative information on the development of the Intensive Course; b) The complexity of political context issues in the Nordic and Baltic countries – Presentation of the social system in Latvia and Lithuania. Defining and discussing social problems;
  2. Anthropological and Theological discourse for practice with strangers (theoretical aspects presented by teachers’ team of the IC);
  3. Social law and legal framework in Nordic countries / EU: analysis of the problematic of integration in labor market, esp. young people;
  4. Aspects of democracy as platform for solidarity between people – joint Nordic / Baltic strategies;
  5. Comparative social policy in Europe / European social and welfare model;
  6. Anthropological and theological discourse as background for practice with strangers (practical aspects as dilemmas for solving presented by the teachers’ team);
  7. Migration law in Nordic countries / EU;
  8. Field trip to Day center working with refugees and asylum seekers;
  9. Panel discussion – human rights and demand for solidarity (students, teachers, media representatives);
  10. Art workshops as echo to the refugee problem – Workshop “Images of crisis, homelessness and suffering – Communicating humanity”;
  11. Workshop “Strangers…” – acquirement for further studies. Shared dilemmas;
  12. Closing of the IC: presentation of artworks and students’ diaries. Evaluation of the IC: participation reports.

Corporative Teaching Material available online: SURPRISE: Meeting other cultures

Tasks assigned:

LV – Latvian Christian academy – theological and social perspectives on the topic of migration crisis in the Baltic countries, methodology, anthropology, art workshops (Valters Dolacis; main book-keeper of the Project Ingrīda Jespere (;

SE – Malme University, Faculty of Health and Society, Dept. of Social Work – sociological and social work perspectives, welfare state in the Nordic countries as background for analysis of the migrant crisis in the region and in the EU (Jonas Christensen,

LT – Kaunas University College, Faculty of Arts – theoretical and practical base for the art workshop (Vaidas Matonis ( and Violeta Kamantauskiene).

Info for students:

Report and guidance for student diaries & consultations of ethical solving of the refugees / strangers’ dilemmas, as well the reproduction and stories behind your conceptual artworks, regarding the IC topic of workshops, can be consulted with you will find contacting assist. prof. Valters Dolacis (, Guntis Dišlers (; for artists – Ieva Sergejeva ( and Arturas Rimkevičius (

Learning materials for the Intensive Course can be found here: 1) Culture and Welfare State Policies; 2) Social Policy. An introduction

For preparing for Panel discussions on Social issues we recommend to study the following materials:

Ktistakis Y. Protecting Migrants under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Character: A Handbook for legal practicioners. Council of Europe Publ., 2013.

Ravenstein E.G. Laws of Migration (1895).

Carens J. The Ethics of Immigration. NY, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Attitudes towards Migrants.

Dempster H., Hargrave K. Understanding public attitudes towards refugess and migrants. 2017.

Paas T., Halapuu V. Attitudes towards immigrants and the integration of ethnically diverse societies. University of Tartu, 2012.

Hainmueller J., Hopkins D. Public attitudes toward immigration. / Annual Review of Political Science 17, 1. 2014.

Ellis M., Wright R. Assimilation and differences between the settlement patterns of individual immigrants and immigrant households / Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 2005.

Novinger T. Intercultural Communication – A Practical Guide. University of Texas Press, 2001.

Martinez R., Lee M.T. On immigration and crime Florida University Press, 2000.

For closing the IC presentations we recommend short oral information on how your artwork reflects theoretical knowledge obtained during the IC (10 min presentation).

Having any questions, please refer to the project coordinators from respective institutions: see e-mail addresses above.

Description of good practices throughout Europe for making the art image on the topic of a stranger. Workshop: “Images of Crisis, War, Homelessness and Suffering”. Useful links for artists’ reference:

European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – A new strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations

The Role of Culture and the Arts in the Integration of Refugees and Migrants

Speech of the HR/VP Federica Mogherini at the Culture Forum in Brussels, 20/04/2016

How culture and the arts can promote intercultural dialogue in the context of the migratory and refugee crisis – EU Law and Publications

EU calls on the arts to empower and integrate refugees

Ways art and culture relates to the refugee crisis

Shared history – refugee artists provoke new visions of the past

The role of arts in raising ethical awareness and knowledge of the European refugee crisis among social work students

Journeys – Celebrating the talent of exceptional refugee artists | Creative Europe

Examples of arts & culture with asylum seekers & refugees

Art Business as a Means of Integrating Refugees into Society

Refugees and Migrants in Art: Integration processes of refugees and migrants through art practices

Panel discussion.



1st Network Meeting in Latvian Christian Academy (LV)

2nd Network Meeting in Malme University (SE)

3rd Network Meeting in Kaunas University College, Faculty of Arts (LT)

Intensive Course “Doorstep Training: Interdisciplinary Refugee Studies”

Visual Artworks made by Art and Social work students


II Network STR-ATA support

Migration is a multidimensional phenomena behind of which there stands complex of realities of refugees and their stories – of what is most important in human heart, namely, relationships. Social, theological and arts perspective  of migration begins with the notion that justice involves the search for right relationships. Concepts of human dignity, solidarity address four critical obstacles to right relationships, specifically, negativism, narcissism, nationalism and ultimately nihilism. Theology as methodological instrument challenges to move beyond socio-political and psychological level of analysis, and calls for holistic approach to the topic. There have been 1,9 million people in 2017 as asylum seekers in Europe.

Network aims for sustainable, collaborative partnerships for enhancement of education of students. Student will benefit unique interdisciplinary, academic solutions for real Nordic-Baltic issue on welfare state and whole European Union migration problem.

The purpose of the Network is to create the Baltic-Nordic HE platform in humanities, arts and social sciences, involving theology and arts as well.

Network aims to develop Intensive Course and Art Workshops with main focus on refugee studies, including value-approach – compassion  and humanity as forms for sustainability of human life.

Network contextualizes the knowledge not only by educating students, but also well influencing knowledge multipliers who are seeking for understanding of tensions between citizenship and human rights.

Network aims at sustainable partnerships in the future by publishing scientific articles in the form of proceedings both on paper and online formats. As well as mutually work on special module in university social work programs on multidisciplinary analysis of the current refugee crisis in the European countries (starting with the analysis of the Baltic and Nordic countries).

Network will develop in future PhD module in universities. There has been created platform for the summer course.

Social workers and social entrepreneurs can have reference to this project to develop professional skills in their fields. Artists got understanding how welfare state develops.

The activities to establish the Network:

  1. 3 Network meetings (in Latvia, Sweden, and Lithuania) – establishing the Board of the Network, scheduling the Network activities, evaluation of activities, dissemination of the results of the Network activities,
  2. Information activities through: a) project website, b) online teaching material “SURPRISE: Meeting other cultures”, c) social media (responsible each partner).

Specific tasks for the Network STR-ATA development:

  1. Latvian Christian academy (LV) – coordinator of the Network – responsible for theological and anthropological perspectives, organizing the 1st Network meeting; information about the project details,
  2. Malme University (SE) – organizing the 2nd Network meeting, responsible for sociological and social perspective of the welfare state and migration crisis in the Nordic countries and EU,
  3. Kaunas University College (LT) – organizing the 2rd Network meeting, preparing the assessment tools for evaluation of the project, materials for the website, website design,
  4. All partners are responsible for fulfillment of the mutually agreed Dissemination plan and the IC activities.

All partners are responsible for all activities of the Network, assessment of the project results and dissemination. Network is responsible for contacts within local, national and international community of professionals and volunteers working with refugees and the migrant population in respective countries. Contacts will be maintained through all the period of the Network.

Target groups:

University teachers, students, adult educators, social entrepreneurs, researchers in the interdisciplinary field, communication specialists, Church leaders, refugee centers workers, social workers, broader public involved in the immigration policy implementation.