Yesterday we celebrated life and the discovery of creativity and art in the Art and Creativity closing ceremony. We have been working long and hard exploring our own creativity and experimenting with new artistic techniques. I am happy to have observed significant and powerful transformations occur during this process, as my co-workers discover hidden talents and find new meaning in art.
We are sharing our experience with Art for Social Action in different ways. Ana Luz, Karla and I spoke a few weeks ago on the “Verdad del Aire” (Truth on Air) radio show, about art as a transformative and liberating methodology. We were smiling at each other the whole time and almost forgot about the studio microphones and our host controlling sound on the other side of the glass. We had discovered something amazing together, and although we shared that excitement through words over radio waves, we all agreed that this transformation, like many experiences and theories, needs to be experienced for one’s self.
For this reason, with different participants we continue to use the tools that have helped us awaken our own creativity to help others in their learning process. With Mercedes, we have made trips to Morazan to work with the community on murals of memory. Miguel continues to explore theater and creative facilitation with the youth. With Ana Luz and the women of Sacacoyo, we have started up again a process of self-exploration and team-building.
We are teaching the women to paint and they are discovering talents they never knew they possessed. Thursday of last week they came to the city and painted for almost eight hours straight. They went from giddy and nervous to being focused and not wanting to stop painting. They were fascinated by the possibilities of colors they could mix and how with a few simple techniques, they were able to paint their own faces on canvas.
I too was fascinated. I remember sitting off to the side at one point and watching them, watching Ana Luz giving them tips and supporting them. (During the painting technique workshops I’ve given to staff and community members in the past few weeks she herself has been discovering new talents). I sat there smiling from ear-to-ear, knowing that these incredible women are just beginning to understand how much is really possible through art and to use newly discovered talents to inspire others and create positive change!
I spiral inwards as I spiral outwards in my work. I have spent three years of my life so far dedicated to this work and this country, and although I will go home in December, it certainly does not end here for me.
I will include a few poems here from the last Art and Creativity workshop that was supported and co-facilitated by an amazing artist and friend, Jenny Gilbert.
A poem written by one participant about what these workshops have meant to him
Broto la Inspiración
Nació la alegría
Con gran determinación
De mostrar lo que quería
La gente no lo esperaba
Y quizás no lo creían
Para nada se imaginaban
lo que sus ojos veían
Ahora estaba transformando
Conjugando el arte
Y el público admirado también ponía su parte
Inspiración, alegría, confianza, creatividad,