Activities

The Comfort Zone- an experiment of art in a public space (a chapati stand) with Mo Siira

 

As part of KLA Art Labs I was involved with 2 workshops. 1 dealing with deepening our observation skills and a collaboration with performance artist Mo Seira about engaging with performance art in public spaces.

Sometimes we resisted being directed, but it seems humans seek to be told what to do. We are comfortable with that.  Making our own artistic discoveries is hard it seems.  People have lost their agency and wait to be given permission by someone to do something, anything.

We entered the local chapati restaurant (The Comfort Zone) located in Kansanga. Alongside customers, chapati makers, waitresses, and various small children is a welder working with machinery. The tent has open sides and a blue roof, is very noisy and congested. Eventually the sound reduces but i don’t know if anyone noticed. People come and go and change positions. As part of the lab we are exploring how the general public engages with Art in public spaces.

We were the guests but somehow we became the hosts. We occupy the space. Like refugees crossing borders we overwhelm our surroundings.

‘Lets invite her (one of the waitresses) to sit with us’. Members of the group ask the boss first before speaking directly to the woman.  She sits against a ply board partition. squeezed.  Shes been watching us as she passes. Someone must have made eye contact which gives us permission to impose our ways on others and call it inclusion.  How can this be art? We can’t just be in the space observing the happenings. How can we be present and just allow things to happen around us?

Im wondering to myself, how can I be heard but not speak?

I stand up and make a gesture. I point to myself.

I cover my mouth with my hand.

I pull my ears. All this is meant to communicate the statement

‘I will not speak, i will listen and observe’. I don’t know if anyone got it.

I sit back down and observe the participants. All men, one woman who sits behind me so I can’t even catch her in my peripheral vision. In front are the men. One in particular talks non stop. Making suggestions of possible actions to ‘engage’ with the people in the space. Not with the space itself, which is confined and noisy. I grow weary and try not to lean my neck too far back because when I do it gets knocked by passing occupants. Its irritating. All I can do is remain small, still and observant of the dynamics in the group. One guy is on his phone constantly. Others are seeking permission to do something by asking the question ‘what are we supposed to be doing? They seem uncomfortable, direction less.

This is a social experiment. In a meeting the previous day we sit with the performance artist Mo Seira to determine the ‘format’ of the event. He doesn’t work like that so all is redundant, not applicable to the work in which he works.

I’ve been asked to manage and direct the conversation today because it all seems so chaotic. I prefer to wait and see what happens especially as I’ve made gestures to say i will not speak.

I listen to as the conversation moves to the subject of gentrification. How if a place is nice, the locals won’t enter. They anticipate higher prices. Its more comfortable for them to stay beneath a tent with no walls, on uneven ground by the side of the road.  If we took the time to look we would see the view of the valley below.  We eat tasty Rolex (chapati with fried eggs and vegetables). This loosens the tongues of the group even more, progressing to a slowing down of speech……………for some.

I stand up, book in hand,  I’m not paid any mind. I sit down. I stand up. One man looks at me and says ‘yes, you have something to say?’. I sit down, ignored by the majority. I stand up and sit down, 9 times I’m told until the Black Russian declares

‘I think Ife has something to say’

The men turn their attention to me, i recite a poem. Written about my observations of the space and the people within it. No plan, no script just what i saw.

I quote the words of Mo Siira –

‘Public space requires improvisation, preparedness, feelings, energy and observation.

Questions of ‘does it work’ don’t apply, was it a mistake don’t matter when everything is essential. I sit down and from my chair say. This is your takeaway, answer these questions for yourself.

What is my comfort zone?

How do I deal with the unexpected?

What makes a space artistic?

What is art and what is not?

I stand up, circling on the spot. I smile and blow a kiss to our lunch guest. She responds and sends a kiss back.  I leave, departing to enter the light. Destination – the other side of the road.

 

 

Activities

The Feminine Fight Club

 

 

The feminine fight club was born on the 6 th July 2016. In a kitchen two women grappled each other to

the ground where one sustained a twisted ankle. It had come as a shock, the burst of energy that

erupted from the younger woman. It was the first day of her period and she was feeling aggressive and

impatient with those around her. So when the older woman grabbed her in a playful headlock the

younger women fought her way out, twisting until both landed hard on the concrete floor. Immediately

the older woman knew she had been injured, as she tried to bend her ankle she heard it click and then

the swelling began.

It wasn’t that they were angry at each other, but both had a rage simmering in their unconscious. No

one likes to feel powerless so they wanted to create a space where that rage could be expressed

productively. Intuitively the older woman had expressed that she wouldn’t fight knowing she wasn’t

ready to test her physical prowess against the younger woman. She had known something might

happen but she didn’t listen. The week before a friend of a friend had died because she was too busy

taking care of others to take care of herself. She didn’t seek medical attention until it was too late. The

day she was admitted to hospital she died. She left two children behind.

No one likes to be ill, have their mobility restricted or not be self-determined. It feels like a prison but

many women and girls live this way. 1 in every 3 girls is married before reaching the age of 18. In

developing countries this means that 47,000 girls don’t get to realize their true potential, most of them

also experience sexual violence. They are bound by patriarchal models which define how they should

behave as females.

So what is the message of these incidents? Don’t overextend yourself? Listen to your inner voice? Take

better care of your body? That day I realized how much I depend on my body. For the next week I was

forced to cancel appointments. It was very difficult, because even though I am female in gender I have

masculine energy in abundance – I’m active, giving, I make things happen.

How many of us give ourselves the time and space to express or experience our feminine energy, which

is passive, stillness, silent and receptive? These energies are important for balanced health. My feminine

and masculine energies were not balanced so I got injured.

maat

What I’m advocating is ‘Self Care’. Within our lives we need to make time for physical activities which

increase our heart rate and tone our muscles. The byproduct of which is a focused and peaceful mind, a

robust body with a strong immune system because our nerves and spine are flexible and energized. We

also need ‘time out’, to be still, to be quiet and receptive to our thoughts and feelings. To take a pause

doesn’t make us lazy or selfish but Self Full.

As leaders of the now and the future is we need to find our personal balance or what was known as

MAAT is pre historic Africa. If we don’t find it there is no way we can change our society, which is

suffering with all manner of diseases. Bodies and minds not at ease. We owe this to ourselves because

being empowered is not given by others. It’s something we have to give ourselves.

I will conclude with a quote from Anna Julia Cooper who was a black feminist activist. Born in 1858 in

North Carolina (USA) to her enslaved mother, Hannah Stanley Haywood, and her white slaveholder,

Anna Julia Cooper spent her lifetime of over a century redefining the limitations and opportunities for

women of color in a society set up for their disempowerment and subjugation. A distinguished scholar

and educator, Cooper saw the status and agency of black women as central to the equality and progress

of the nation.

‘All I claim is that there is a feminine as well as masculine side to truth: that these are related not as

inferior and superior, not as better or worse, not as weaker or stronger but as complements-

complements in one necessary and symmetric whole.

Activism, Activities, Articles, Diarie

THE CANDIES THAT DOCTORS HAND OUT By Ife Piankhi


 

I fill my mouth with it. Never mind that I am lactose intolerant and in a few hours my stomach will be gripping and bloated. I will release gases and hope I am not in the company of others. If I am, I will attempt to hold it in or release it without making a sound. Impossible.

Every other person in Kampala has ulcers. It is a national epidemic that is not on the radar of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It’s all HIV, Ebola and now the Zika Virus. We are under attack from new strains of bacteria which are now resistant to treatment because of the antibiotics our doctors prescribe like sweets. One of the unfortunate side effects of antibiotics is that they are not selective in choosing which bacteria to kill. All the good bacterial colonies in the gut die along with the bad. Doctors give you the pills in small envelopes with the name of the tablet (sometimes) and the numbers 1×1 or 3×1 written on them, to determine when and how many of these you should take. There are no instructions other than that. Maybe if the drug is particularly harsh on the stomach they would suggest taking them with food or liquids.

When I go to the clinic in Kampala I am not physically examined or asked about my previous health history. You tell the doctor your symptoms and he or she prescribes you antibiotic pills. We have this tradition of respect for  elders in Africa, so when we go to the clinic, because the person sitting at the desk calls themselves a doctor we are afraid to question or even ask for clarity on what is being prescribed and what the effects could be.

I believe this is what is leading to the problems with our stomachs. Bacteria that are either beneficial or at least not causing diseases are being destroyed, along with the bad bacteria, thus leaving us more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections that are becoming more expensive to treat. (Currently the American government, under the guise of copyright law, is attempting to stop African nations from purchasing generic pharmaceuticals which are often sold at a lower price).

The stomach, the site of intuitive knowing (trust your gut), is under attack.

In our gut there is something called the enteric nervous system. It is a sophisticated network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and support cells like those found in the brain. This network permeates the digestive tract from the esophagus to the colon, and “enables it to act independently, learn, remember, and as the saying goes, produce “gut feelings.” Think butterflies in your stomach or cramps or when you are nervous or upset.

We have two brains, and one of them is in our belly. They are connected like Siamese twins, and when one gets upset the other will too. The gut contains 100 million neurons — more than the spinal cord has. This means it is sensitive. Symptoms of ulcers include abdominal pain, anemia, bad breathe, constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, fatigue or low energy, headaches or migraines, skin problems, premenstrual stress, sinus problems, sleep problems, weight problems (gain or loss).

It’s a debilitating condition which is caused by a bacterial infection (Helicobacter pylori) but also by a diet that is too acidic. While studying with Dr Llaila O Afrika, the well-known naturopath, I was taught that most of the foods ingested by Africans were acidic. We fry most of our food, combine carbohydrates with proteins, drink as we eat, eat a lot of refined flour and sugar, and take insufficient water, preferring instead to take soda or alcohol. No longer is our food our medicine. The belief is that if you are eating raw food, then there is something wrong with you. We are now medicating ourselves in order to numb our bodies. In order to be strong or appear strong we repress our anxiety, our depression and eat. It is common knowledge that women are experts at this one, and along with retail therapy we find creative ways to alleviate our stress.

I’m looking at a Ugandan population which is increasingly unwell. We are not exercising (the ritual of going to the garden to dig is what ‘villagers’ do). We eat large portions of food very late at night so that in the morning we wouldn’t feel so hungry.

As a woman living in Uganda I’ve been told I’m not authentically African and that I should learn to keep silent and observe more. To ‘hold water in my mouth’, to keep my opinions to myself and not share them with others because I will make people feel uncomfortable, even if I disagree or am curious to know more. My role is not to question but to blindly accept what is handed to me, because it’s rude not to. As African women we are meant to make people feel welcome, to give our time to everyone, but not invest in ourselves because that would be selfish. I believe those suffering with ulcers have a problem with anger and the inability to say no. We ingest the demands, protocols, and opinions of others but ignore our personal needs in order to keep the peace. This peace is the stereotypical image and behaviour of what makes ‘a good woman’. Meanwhile on the inside we are holding the tension of resentment because our words and emotions are trapped in our bellies.

The fear of violence, shame or guilt which traditionally would have ‘kept me in my place’ is contributing to the epidemic of ulcers. I don’t believe people suffering with ulcers are any different. Something is being repressed. Our second brain is reacting to eating habits that are resulting from our feelings of powerlessness. We are afraid to speak our truth.

The creative work that I do to empower youth and young women using the arts is essential to sensitizing us to the need for identifying and expressing our emotions in a healthy and productive way. To find the balance between self-care and the care of others is important. Repression of emotions leads to greater feelings of discomfort and disease in our communities. We need to provide spaces where we can express ourselves and stop seeking to control the reactions of others. Something is going on with our stomachs and we need to start listening, because the body has its wisdom.

—>

Ife Piankhi is a poet, singer and creative facilitator currently based in Kampala, Uganda. She is an active participant in the creative industry of East Africa. Her works are available at www.ifepiankhi.com

All photos courtesy: Sunoj D.

Source: the foregarmagazine

Activities

The Queen of Katwe

 

I’m coaching some of the child actors for a film being shot in Kampala called the Queen of Katwe. Its a success story about a Ugandan girl, Phiona Mutesi who learnt how to play chess and  has since gone on to became  the youngest African chess champion. Its a success story that we definately need because most of the people of the world still see Africa as the ‘dark continent’ full of hunger and disease. It is true we have those challenges but there are so many wonderful stories of people who have risen out of adversity to become highly successful people.

In his book David and Goliath, Martin Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) explores when, and why, apparent disadvantages – poverty, personal setbacks, military weakness – turn out to be advantages, and when advantages, like wealth or status, aren’t what they seem. “The fact of being an underdog changes people in ways that we often fail to appreciate,” Gladwell writes. “It opens doors and creates opportunities and enlightens and permits things that might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.

Since relocating to Uganda I’ve realized how resilient Ugandans can be. I remember when I first arrived in the country I was travelling to Mubende and the taxi broke down. Nobody blinked an eye or complained about it. They patiently waited for the taxi to be repaired so we could continue on our way. I on the other hand was agitated by the delay, which took over 5 hours to repair. As I looked around me I wondered why others were not displaying the same irritation as me and how people could put up with it.

Its a catch 22 I think. We have become apathetic to for example, the poor quality of our products Chinese accepting it with the phrase ‘ah China’ but not demanding for improvements. At the same time this patience and acceptance of ‘what is’ allows us to accept things as they are and not spend too much time complaining about things we cannot change.

In relation to being the underdog which I think many Africans are because we don’t have access to the opportunities that many living in the West have, we have become more resourceful and creative. Phiona forced through circumstance went looking for food and in the process learnt how to play chess which has now made her an African champion.

Life on the continent is definately not easy. The global economic system deliberately I belief, hold people back from reaching their full potential. Whether its limited access to health or inadequate nutrition the people of Uganda are finding a way to make what they have work for them and when they do get the opportunity can challenge the more advantaged.

Growing up my mother would always remind us that we had to be 3 times better than the English because she knew we would not be ‘given’ the opportunities an English child would. That we would have to fight for everything we have because we were Black.

Its very easy then to perceive oneself as being inferior to other people. A student of mine who I am teaching as part of a leadership programme at In Movement – Art for Social Change, stated that ‘white people were better because they are more organised’. This week I asked her if this was a positive and healthy opinion to have. Her response was ‘no’. So my work is to inspire and build capacity of young people to acknowledge that even though they may not have the opportunities many other young people have they still have the potential to be successful.

The challenge we have is to harness their raw potential but as Gladwell points out in his book, just because you come from difficult circumstances doesn’t mean you can’t have the life you dream about.

 

 

 

 

Activities, Workshop

The Layer Beneath

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I’ve had a very hectic but inspiring week. I travelled to Lira for a Peace Camp where I facilitated and trained young people from all over Uganda and the US. Then leaving Lira by coach back to Entebbe for the ‘Layer Beneath’ Camp training young people in the Art of Facilitation.

On many occasions I felt I was in the Flow-the optimal experience of conciousness described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book of the same title.

Its been an truly amazing week, one I will never forget. It was made even more memorable because even though I was engaged mentally, physically and spiritually, I still managed to find the time to read Americanah the fantastic book by Chimamanda Adichie. I couldn’t put it down. In my real life I was moved as I witnessed the transformation of the youth I was working with, and then in my imagination I was stimulated by the characters of the book.

americanah

This week I felt truly blessed. Waking up with the sun in Lira to meditate, stretch and teach. During my breaks reading a few pages and then if unable to sleep reading a few pages more until sleep visited me at night. Its been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book so much, it was hard to put it down. I could have easily spent my days just reading Americanah to the detriment of my work. Fortunately for me I love both my work and reading, so I was able to balance the two. I finished the book in 7 days and managed to witness and contribute to the personal transformation of over 50 people.

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The natural environment definately assisted me in finding the energy levels necessary. Its not easy getting on a bus and travelling 6 hours to Komboni College in Northern Uganda and then back again to Kampala where I had to catch a taxi to St Theresa’s in Kisubi. I realise how important it is to have a mission in life because when you do, you manage to find the energy to put in 100% effort into realising your goals. My goal is to be an inspiring educator.

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Upon returning home I caught up with my daughter who was happy to inform me that she has spoken with her father, as a result she felt the start of a healing of their relationship which was very necessary to her personal development. My youngest informed me of an audition she attended and her desire and anxieties about whether she would be successful in attaining her dream to attend music school. My son was sleeping after a very intense experience at camp (he attended the Layer Beneath), his sisters describing him as being very meditative.  10344364_10203857804104409_6908319588939565226_o

It was wonderful giving and recieving feedback to learners, challenging myself to maintain my energy when the emotional demands were so great. But it feels like I am living on purpose. My soul feels feed and I have learnt so much about myself and others. I even met a man who is experiencing a similiar situation to mine after having separated from his wife of 30 years.  I feel I’ve grown this year. I’ve made a commitment not to complain and trust that energetically, karmically the work that I am doing will benefit not only myself but humanity. It starts with me being the change I want to see.

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Its not easy being a mother, provider and creative artist. I struggle sometimes to find the space and time to feel I’m accomplishing anything. Am I doing the right thing by my children? Questioning how I earn more from my very unique skills set.

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I’m facing some opposition to my chosen life path, its unconventional at times and some don’t understand me.  But at the same time I’m receiving so much support and encouragement to keep doing the work I do: spreading the message of Creativity and Self Awareness to a new generation of young people.

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I want to say thank you to all those who participated fully this week, took creative risks, tried new things and pushed themselves to another level of self awareness. I am at peace and in gratitude for your contribution and presence in my life.

‘When we change the way we communicate we change society’ – Clay Shirky

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Activities

Afro Futurism Uganda 2015

hoodie black and whiteThe Laba Art Festival has started planning early. We usually meet in January to begin planning for the event which happens in June but this year we had our first meeting in November 2014. I’m very excited about the concept of Back to Future for next years Laba 2015.

I’ve been involved with Laba for the last 3 years, providing activities for children with In Movement- Art for Social Change.

If not attending a camp I sit on the artists committee. Right now we are recruiting new members in order to keep the festival relevant to Ugandan artists. We welcome artists at the organisational level because we need to claim this festival as our own and make it work for not only us but our communities. East African festivals are on the rise and we need to be on the map here in Kampala. For me Laba is unique, totally different from Bayimba or KLA art because we seek for it to be interactive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I would say In Movement is at the fore front of interactive workshops for children in Uganda and it is always a highlight of our calendar to be represented there. This year I want to connect with the festival as an artist, connector and capacity builder. Last year we had our first artists workshops to help artists visualise how their art could meaningfully address the concept of ‘ the city is our space’. The feedback was good and I look forward to doing it again with the theme for next year.  I feel it was a vital intervention in the stimulation of their creativity and approach to the theme. 10264222_858643860827965_3062645189726469589_o

I’m in Dar es Salaam at the moment waiting to travel to Bagamoyo for the Karibu  Live Music Festival, so I have the time to research the concept. According to Ytasha Womack, Afro futurism is the intersection between black culture, technology, liberation and the imagination, sometimes with mysticism thrown in. I’m interested in stories, imagery, fashion, music. As a poet I’m interested in how we can create a bridge between the future and the past. What will we hold on to? What will we let go of? How will we determine what is obsolete or useful?  RERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

As we move rapidly deeper into the 21st century, how will we define ourselves? what stories will we tell?

I’m also interested in how Afro futurism can explore concepts of femininity and womanhood especially as I find modern African men to be quite patriarchal and the concepts of what makes an African Woman quite restrictive and limiting. Were my fore mothers more liberated? How do we want to relate now as man and woman?

anime embrace

My desire for Laba 2015 is that Ugandan artist explore the theme and allow themselves to get fantastical. Ugandans are very proud of their nation, tribes and culture, but sometimes I feel we are not evolving beyond these categories. Is there anything else to being an African in the 21st century?  As the world becomes smaller and smaller through the use of the internet, our access to other cultures allows us to become a hybrid of influences, creating new identities or maybe that’s the question: Are we becoming something else as Africans? Is there such a thing as an African (according to Makadem, there isn’t) Who are we?

Its exciting that next year will be the 9th year of Laba, according to my cosmology 9 is the supreme number. The combination of all elements which created life in the universe. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding of self was the highest aspiration for my ancestors, I’m hoping we can continue this tradition of self exploration and look forward to some interesting conversations on the theme of AFRO FUTURISM- Back to the Future.

 

 

Activities

New Intentions

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Today is my last day shooting the film: New Intentions by Kihire Kennedy (behind second left).

Kennedy asked me to act for him about 2 years ago. He sent me the script and I read the first 3 pages and then put it down., because you know people can talk about what they want to do creatively but often it doesn’t happen. Between then and now Kihire was nominated and won best student film ‘Hang Out’ and raised funds to shoot his 2nd feature.

I embarked on this project 2 weeks ago,  learning lines and thinking about my character Mrs Magret Siki.

A deeply loving woman who is betrayed by her husband, Benon.

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However the bond of love between her adopted daughter Wellona is something she wasn’t expecting.

I’ve enjoyed acting in this movie and participating in the developing film industry of Uganda. I’m hoping it will be shown

at Gulu Film Festival next year and that it will be exported abroad as a very good example of quality African Film.

Maisha Film Lab is doing great work nurturing film makers in Uganda and I hope that into the future we can create

better scripts which speak on the great legacy of African Stories and experiences. There is more to the continent then

witchcraft!

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Heres an example of a great documentary coming out of Maisha Film Lab

Rastasophical

 

Activities

Gulu is the future

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Being an immigrant means you don’t have to adhere to the stereotypes and prejudices of the natives. When I arrived in Uganda I knew nothing of its history. One of the realities of living in Africa is you realise that there is no ‘African’ Identity, instead there are many tribes who have their cultures and you better learn know how each nation does its thing.

As an African of the Diaspora this has been a rude awakening. As a student of Pan Africanism, Marcus Garvey and Rastafari, we are encouraged to return to the continent and to see Africa as ONE.

After receiving the results from myBeing an immigrant means you don’t have to adhere to the stereotypes and prejudices of the na DNA test in 2006 and seeing a list of at least 10 nations in my maternal bloodline, it helped me to see that even in our differences we are connected, but that is not the case on the ground.

Histories are important as is culture but I question and reflect on the vision for the United Nations of Africa. Will it ever be possible when so many atrocities have been perpetrated? Will we ever get to a time when we will see ourselves as one nation?

This brings me to my work in Gulu, the region of Northern Uganda which was submerged in war for 20 years, terrorised by a man named Kony. This area was brought to public attention again with the film Kony 2012 which highlighted the plight of children who were forced to become child soldiers.  The reality of Gulu today is that the town and the region is no longer at war but is emerging as a vibrant commercial and culture hub.

When I tried to find out about Gulu in tour books, I couldn’t find anything so I decided to take a journey up north for myself. The people of Northern Uganda are diverse but most come under the ethno group known as Luo. They are Nilotics and like most humans have a diversity of appearance.

What struck me the most however is how graceful and welcoming the people are and how ladies ride bicycles with babies strapped on their backs, this would not be seen in Buganda who inhabit the central region of Uganda which centres around the captial Kampala. I had a friend who had relocated back home to Gulu town to help his father, so this was my excuse to travel upcountry and see for myself.

What I found was a very organised town, bubbling with business. Gulu is a university town so the population is young and vibrant. What also excited me was the creativity of the youth.  Hip-hop, storytelling and visual art are pervasive but they needed capacity building to develop their artistry on a more commercial and professional level.  So set about creating a platform called: Word Sound and Power for spoken word, hiphop and music. Since then I continue to travel upcountry to develop networks and projects for the creative development of young people of the North. I’m excited, the clip is from a recent trip where I got invited by Concordia Volunteer Abroad Project who have been working with United Youth Entertainment, a group of talented film makers who are producing films often without any funding. I like this, they are telling their own stories which is so important because as we saw with Kony 2012 other people can tell our stories but it isn’t always the truth.

 

 

Activities 0 comments on Peace Corp Camps

Peace Corp Camps

 

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As a creative facilitator I get the opportunity to work with different organizations. Peace Corp, Pontentium Youth Centre, Memprow, Writing Our World, In Movement, United Youth Entertainment to name but a few.

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For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working with Peace Corp Volunteers, training them and assisting in the delivery of their camps. Camp Lion (Leaders in our Nation} in Mbale focused on leadership. For me it was one of the best camps I have attended because the young people were given the opportunity to go out into the community and share the skills they were developing at Camp. We  planted trees, visited an orphanage and hospital and cleaned the towns streets.

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Camps are very close to my heart as I attended several whilst in my teens as both a participant and councellor and  I believe they are a powerful tool in informal education. It can have a profound effect on the development of a young person in terms of their self esteem, motivation and self awareness. My dream is to have my own camp site where I can invite young people to visit on an annual basis.

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I  now have land donated by a influential Pan Africanist here in Uganda. The next step is to fund raise in order to begin construction. As I tighten my belt whilst living in Kampala, I know my vision will manifest in time.

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I’m learning a lot about the transference of knowledge and skills using the tools of Creativity and Movement. The model of camp is one that can be easily delivered here in UG as many children already attend boarding school and are away from family for at least 9 months during the year.  I would love to receive young people for at least a month every year as a part of their ongoing life and skills development.

I am an advocate of informal education and youth work. I would join my sister who worked at the Avenues, a vibrant youth club on the Harrow Road in London. These were my first experiences of youth work where young people would congregate safely, discover new information, explore healthy relationships with their peers and engage in creative activities. 10612653_697691033657577_1513771551587195287_n

10568906_10152182215631782_1840245829103624388_n As the internet allows us to become a global village, I hope people visit my site and learn about the work I am doing in partnership with so many wonderful people and organizations, and join the movement in creating sustainable youth provision here in Uganda either by donating funds or coming to Africa to volunteer in order to share their knowledge and skills.  I understand the journey is not for the swift but for those who can endure, however we need your support in creating services and youth provision which will equip young people to become the Leaders in their Nation. Will you support us?

Activities 0 comments on Zion Train- Get on Board

Zion Train- Get on Board

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Yesterday was the first Rwandese/Burundi Nite at Zion Train. It was the first time I had seen and heard Rwandese music and dance. I was thoroughly amazed and inspired. What beautiful movements, I was so overwhelmed when I returned to the stage to MC I could hardly speak. Wow.

I hope that on Saturday 2nd August – Ife Unplugged will be just as inspiring for those who either participate or come to listen.

Increasingly I am seeking respite in my creativity and collaborations. Urban living can be so tiring and challenging at times as we all struggle to survive in the concrete jungle.

I’m looking forward to sharing and showcasing my current work which is in collaboration with Kaya Sanaa and Trevor Kibirango. Two very talented and inspiring Rasta Men who are so creative and grounded.

With these two beautiful souls as well as 7 others we are in the process of registering our CBO Kazi Pamoga UG. Our aim to empower women and youth with our skills in an attempt to assist them to live better.

I feel very blessed to be working with people who I can create with, eat with, laugh with, share with. We are all very committed to making our communities work better. We don’t cry for governments to do what we as people can do for ourselves.

This is what Ife Unplugged is about, using what we have. What we have is our voices, our instruments and our creativity.

Looking forward to seeing you and sharing some inspiration and love around the Nyabingi Fire

Ife Unplugged: Zion Train, Plot 843 Off Buziga Road, Bunga Hill Kampala

Time: 7pm

Entry: 5k

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