“ART CANNOT BE MANUFACTURE BUT IT COMES AS A TRUE GIFT FROM PEOPLE TO PEOPLE” Kailash Kumar Shrestha
This day we had an experience sharing program with community engagement artists from different art organizations. The artists shared different artistic activities they had performed during post-earthquake for healing to the traumatized people due to massive earthquake that hit Nepal in 24th April 2015. The program began with the introduction of all the participants from Jeewan jal project and the artists.
Firstly, there was a presentation by the artists (Hitman Gurung & Sheelasa) from Camp Hub. It was about the work carried out in Basantapur and Bhaktapur, one of the mostly affected area by earthquake. They had conducted children’s art project by involving the local children and adults as well to develop their skills in an artistic way. They did doodling in the building walls. The scary place where the people stopped going there with the belief that the spirits persist there. That place was used as the open space where the artists were able to invite the people to come there and see the art works.
Secondly, the presentation was given by the artists (Saran & Sujan) from Artree Nepal. It was about the community art project entitled Sata phaa: (in Newari) which means community space which was executed in Harisiddhi, Lalitpur. The project cycle was entitled with different names in different stages as: ‘Art Education’, ‘Sunkipaa Show’, ‘Mission Possible’, ‘Nothing to Say No’ and ‘Resham Firiri’. ‘Art Education’ involved community gathering and encouraged children to play with art, music, dance, poetry and share their ideas with seniors as well. The ‘Sunkipaa (motion picture) Show’ showed documentary movies sharing life and culture from across Nepal. ‘Mission Possible’ was an open platform for children and adult to express themselves freely with imaginary drawings, of what they really want to happen and see. ‘Nothing to Say No’ was a project based on recycling and upcycling promoting creative thinking within community playfully. Finally, ‘Resham Firiri’ was about the promotion and commercialisation of local materials and skills. The straw weaving was manifested in an attractive way.
Third to present was artist (Sharareh Bajracharya) from Srijanalaya. The work they performed was with a Tamang community in the Rasuwa district. They collected varieties of local stories and involved the local children as actors in a play incorporating.
Fourth up, was a presentation by the artist Kailash K. Shrestha from the ‘Artudio’. They worked in Dolakha They had engaged community people through visual arts and performative drawings to the children. Also they were using all the locally available materials for their performance.
Finally, Sian described our Jeewan Jal project. The Jeewan jal participants (Bindu, Anu and Deva) talked about progress to date and also share their project journey. At last, there was a discussion between the Jeewan jal participants and the artists. The discussion was for the feedback and the ideas sharing.
It was a great day with all those people together. We were seeking ideas from them. The theme of meeting with the community artists was that if we can get any ideas and link to our project and improve it. We learned how the locally available materials can be a useful materials and how can we create new ideas with the use of those resources. The theme was that we have all the materials around what we need but the thing is that we have to be creative and invent new ideas on how to utilize the resources in a better way. Nothing is impossible if we have a strong zeal to do it.
As we are non-artists group, trying to be as a kind of community artists. We are in this Jeewan Jal project to contribute something for the sake of community though a tiny effort. So, I hope we could be able to bring awareness in the community to some extent. The gap between the scientific community and the public could be linked through this project. They would be able to know what is happening in the present context in their community.