If you combine creative arts practices with communities can you create real and lasting change?
This is a question I have asked myself as I explore methods and means for cultural community development through a Graduate Certificate in Arts & Community Engagement at Victoria College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne University.
The intensive 5-week course is taking us through the theoretical and practical elements of creating community-based arts projects that can have a positive impact on society.
Some interesting community arts projects that I have come across so far include the Before I die… project, which focuses on the creation of a massive blackboard in a local community and asks the question ‘what do you want to do before you die?’.
The artist Candy Chung created the project to help her deal with personal grief and has spread to communities around the world to cover 400 walls in 60 countries in over 25 languages. The beauty of the project is in its simplicity, with a stencil kit now available on the Before I die… website.
On Friday I attended an unconference about the Art of the (Im)possible, linking artists, activists and social entrepreneurs together to create ‘good’ as part of the Changemaker Festival. The day consisted of informal peer-led discussions about relevant topics.
The unconference #openspace format is interesting in trying to democratise the traditional expert led conference into one where people participate across the board. Though I do appreciate the concept, after attending a number of similar events, I feel that a hybrid model would work better. Something that incorporates some of the structure of a ‘regular’ conference with the informality of the open space structure.
Nevertheless, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded arts activist types as well those working in government and NGOs. True change can only come through cross-disciplinary brainstorming and action. Do you know of any inspiring organisations working in this space?
Last week I was lucky enough to shoot a series of photos for Barre Body's Teacher Training Manual. The light was lovely and Barre Body teacher Teresa was a pleasure to work with. Lots of fun too. I also highly recommend taking some classes.
Barre Body combines yoga, pilates and barre ballet to give you quite a workout. They have Melbourne studios and have just recently opened at Sydney’s Bondi Junction. More details on their website: www.barrebody.com.au.
I love, love, LOVE #Melbourne! #spring (at VCA) - HTC phone cam.
Jill Meagher_Peace March-8655 on Flickr.
This photo was taken at a memorial peace rally for Jill Meagher on the anniversary of her senseless murder and in protest of all violence against women.
The following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr quote was read at the start of the rally by Artist Philip Werner, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Full photo set here.
IMG_8456.jpg on Flickr.
Exercising my photojournalism chops at a weekend pro-refugee rally.
Full set is available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pic-chic/sets/72157635212251240/
Model Shoot - Streets of Melbourne on Flickr.
On Saturday, I thought I would get out of my comfort zone and take part in a photography club model shoot through the streets of Melbourne. It was the first time I photographed models as I usually prefer photojournalism-type work. However, it was really great to try something new. Practice across all different genres makes you a better artist, or at least a more well-rounded one I hope!
The full set is available for viewing on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/pic-chic/sets/72157634528829556
I have to make a difference. I have to be better. Smarter. Richer. Prettier.
Each day we are be bombarded by social media messages, inundated with advertising and told by whatever content is displayed on our multiple screens that what we are doing, no matter how hard we try, is simply not good enough.
Why settle for single, when you can be married with 2-kids, a dog and a mortgage? Why be satisfied with simply having a job when you can be the CEO of a multi-national corporation? Why should you contest local council when you could be Prime Minister?
Good morning glory #Melbourne!! (at Hub Melbourne)