Monday, December 19, 2011

December 10, Human Rights Day at NOMAD LAB!

Last week, our closing session for this trimester brimming with art at NOMAD LAB, we were blessed with workshops and presentations by a remarkable group of artists and change makers.  I want to thank longtime NOMAD LAB supporter and collaborator Lydia Brean and her son Sam Breen for helping us organize such a great session for our participants. You can read Lydia Breen's writing about their visit to NOMAD in their website.

We celebrated Human Rights Day that Saturday and were lucky to receive Tom McCarthy and Anna-Lena Svensson McCarthy, two international human rights lawyers based in Geneva, Switzerland. Their visit provided an opportunity to have a conversation with the youth about the topic of shelter as a human right recognized in many nations.

International human rights lawyers Anna-Lena Svensson McCarthy and Tom McCarthy speaking with NOMAD LAB participants

The youth also got an update from Sam Breen about his Trailer Trash art project.  Over the last year NOMAD participants have had several opportunities to collaborate with Sam and his mom in dreaming, designing and proposing ideas for his trailer/gallery/nomadic performance space. It is great to see how far this projects has gone: now with new walls, sun-powered circuits, and many many art events under its belt, the trailer is well on its way to becoming a model for exploring the intersection between home and art making.

We also had the pleasure to see a presentation by tenor saxophonist Kevin Robinson. Here is a brief description of that presentation, in Lydia Breen's words:
"Kevin is a firm believer in the power of music to heal, demonstrated how the sound that comes out of his instrument is influenced by his stance, breath, emotions – even the rate of his beating heart.  He showed how musical instruments can be fashioned from found objects such as hat stands, lamp stands and shades. Even the voice, hands and feet can be effective instruments, he said. A lesson in learning about how the music becomes one with your body came with Kevin encouraging the kids to clap their hands to a set beat, while he riffed and a NOMAD kid repeated sounds to a tune."

NOMAD LAB's young artists also had an opportunity to be part of a visual arts workshop with artist Kenyatta Hinkle. As Lydia describes "Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle recounted tales from her Kentifrica homeland, providing maps and drawing of the people who live there and the instruments they play.  She encouraged the NOMADS to draw maps of their own home country (real or imagined) and then asked them to describe what life was like there.

Kenyatta holds up a drawing of Kentifrican instrument

Artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle's shows her portrait of a fellow citizen of Kentifrica to kids with the NOMAD Lab Art Project

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