After a very fun and colourful active workshop making prints, last week we held a very enjoyable session presenting all of our new work, playing Grandma’s footsteps and discussing as a class what, why and who is a community.
Presentation is a fundamental part of Making Art, Making Me, we present at the end of every workshop, even if it is just a few words. This is a great opportunity for the children to build key life skills and build their classroom confidence, it’s also a chance to reflect on their achievements, learn together and explore complex and sometimes sensitive topics.
We spent a couple of weeks developing these new works, and their starting point was to think about key moments or experiences in their life which has influenced or impacted who they are. In last week’s presentations it was noticeable that the context of their work had improved considerably. The analogies had become more in depth and intelligent than the previous self portrait presentations. In these, although not all (see Zulpha’s story) there was a tendency to stick to a this is Charles, he likes playing football, he likes learning maths at school, and so on and so forth.
In this exercise I stressed for the groups to think beyond this patterned description, and about the reasons and inspirations behind their interests and subsequent printed stories. For example, was there a particular time you can remember playing football which sparked this interest? What do you like about playing; the competition, working as part of a team, winning!?
Last week at Singachini the presentations were excellent, coherent and engaging. We heard accounts of a young brave boy rescuing his friend from an angry dog and a girl visiting her Grandmother in hospital before she passed away. We also discovered how a school netball club was started on a Saturday, after all of the chores and cleaning was complete a group of them decided to have a match and have played ever since. In this posts featured image you can see Gilbert presenting his work, in which he is sitting with his Uncle watching the news, a lasting impression on him.
Another important theme at Singachini was visiting the town, Festo remembered being sent into Moshi to do some shopping and Sarah had seen and admired a very large Church. This exposure to urban life featured in many of the prints and has been a key influence to many of the children in the rural communities. I would hope that our exhibition in Moshi at the end of the project will be another inspirational memory for them.
This week we will build on our previous discussions and start making sculptures which connect our identity with our communities. A community is a complex network of social and economic support, MME believes that in order to productively grow and develop within them we must be aware and understand exactly why, what and who OUR community is.
We will be exploring these ideas creatively with clay over the next couple of weeks.