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Shylene in South Africa!
CI was going to SA to start a new section of their amazing communication for social change site. Since my husband was part of this team, I got to travel along for fun. Knowing that my husband was to be busy most of the trip with work I decided to do some online research and find some community arts project to participate in while I was there. After many emails and various contacts I came across Micha Birch, the Senior Cultural Officer of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, who is involved with Community Art Development projects. It just so happened that we were there during spring break and that Micha had a few art projects already scheduled to take place in Tembisa (a very large black township on the east rand, approximately 40 minutes from Johannesburg). After a few weeks of emailing back and forth, Micha and myself came up with an interesting workshop that I could teach, recycled paper mosaics.
What a great concept. It introduced the idea of "use what you have" to a group of students who really donít have much. We only used white glue, craft paper and recycled magazines to make these masterpieces. The children embraced this class so such enthusiasm. It was amazing to watch all the ideas and concepts that the students came up with. Now bare in mind that most of these children have little to no previous art experience. For some this was the first time they had an opportunity to have paper and pencil. We spent the afternoon with 150+ black students ranging in age from 4 to 17. The work they produced was simply inspiring. One day was not enough as many of students wanted to continue to work and I wasnít finished teaching. We allowed a few of the very eager students to take home extra magazines and glue so they could continue their work from home. It was among the most motivational experiences I have ever had. I only wish I had more time there, to teach and to learn. What a different world.
A couple of proud artists, want to get photos of them, me and their work.
A big group of proud artists, and Dermot, the lead instructor back right.
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Victoria, British Columbia Canada