Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Choruses, family stories and more mapping! (Week 5)

Last Saturday we had the pleasure to welcome some of our participants' family members into our Public Art and Creative Writing Lab. Older siblings and parents helped us tell stories about their experiences in our community, which we represented through drawing and writing. Some of the work created will be added to our VDO google map soon!

We continue to work on a 5-layer map of our Valle del Oro community. Using Google maps, drawing, storytelling and writing, we are mapping our experiences in the community using the following sequence:
1st layer: Our community and its physical components (its buildings, streets, trees, pools, playgrounds)
2nd: Our experiences with our families in the VDO neighborhood
3rd: Our challenges and difficulties (personal experiences an those affecting others in our community)
4th: Our dreams, desires and wants for our community
5th: Our beliefs about the community

This sequence was inspired by a Theater of the Oppressed game created by Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal, which we have adapted to create our multi-layered map. Our final map will be exhibited on May 1st -the day of our neighborhood festival) and the virtual Google map is already available online (see our previous post).

Creative Voice Lab continues to provide a fascinating space for playful investigation of our individual voices. We were also able to explore our voices in the context of an improvisational exercise that allowed us to experience Voice as a group. Our instructor Carmina, "directed" our voices like an orchestra director would: using her hands to indicate changes in volume and quality of sound, silence and creative improvisation, we were all able to try on different musical phrases, noises and support each other in the making of a new, completely improvised song. It was wonderful and quite revealing. We talked with our participants about the power of the collective voice, of the choir, of individual voices coming together into a single song... a beautiful metaphor for the work of collaboration and partnership Valle del Oro residents have engaged in for the last 3 years.

We continue to be inspired by the commitment, creativity and willingness to share that all workshops participants show in every session. Everyone, teachers and participants, is growing in the best possible way: together.

Three more weeks before the festival!!!

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