Twinning: growing girl power

Our original idea with the ChangeMakers was to have young adults 18-25 years old. What we quickly discovered though was that would mean girls and boys could not work together. So instead we decided to work with 13-16 year olds.  Some of the people we talked to were still sceptical about whether that could work but we decided to give it a go anyway.

Peace ROCKS 1a

In the first session I ran, we had about twice as many boys as girls. They were bigger, more physically noticeable and more demanding of attention. The girls would have been easily overlooked. So although letting each one of the 25 of them have their say and explain what JOY means to them, and let the interpreter explain it to me took a lot of time, it was an important shift. It meant the girls did speak. And they expressed themselves capably and beautifully which gave them more confidence. By the end of our 2 hour session they were sitting a little taller and more assuredly.

The next day as I arrived I started to see people I recognised from that session. And they recognised me. Already things felt a little different to the day before. I had asked the staff to gather 2 smaller groups, still with a 50/50 gender balance of young people, to get started on the baseline research. I explained the idea to them, they practiced on each other and then we set out to interview residents and gather data.

At first my young researchers were very hesitant. It is not easy to knock on doors in any context and this was no exception. The boys were more prepared to just get on with it but I could see how the girls really wanted to run away, how they were wishing they hadn’t signed up for this. I also know from my own experience that this awkwardness is part of the process that has to be gone through to get to the other side. I couldn’t speak directly to them because of the language barrier but could be there for them in the background and loved seeing them grow in stature and confidence as they progressed. By the time they came back the next day to do more they all looked a foot taller and three years older. They were proud of their new skill and I was proud of them.

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Interesting to how despite all the terrible reasons why they are there, these girls and other women in the camp may have experiences and develop skills and confidence there that they would never have been able to do in the villages. I’m no expert on the local culture, but that was the sense I got from the experience. Maybe in the long run some good also comes out of the situation in terms of the isolation of the women in their homes.

(for security reasons and for their safety, we can’t post pictures of them here, hence more generic shots)

You can contribute here and help train a researcher or get involved.

Twinning project launched May 16

Transforming Public Space TOGETHER on a Syrian Refugee Camp from Artmongers on Vimeo.

We had a fantastic evening of musical splendour and a chance to talk about the new Bold Vision / Artmongers Twinning Project. Many thanks to our brilliant musicians

Smashfest Asteroid Alert!

An asteroid is heading for Lewisham… what will you do?!

SMASHfestUK, is a brand new science and arts festival for young people, piloting in Deptford, South East London during the February half term holidays (14th February – 22nd February 2015)

 

Part sci­fi, part horror and part post-apocalyptic-nightmare, the festival is themed around a gripping story in which an asteroid is on a collision course with Planet Earth and a zombie invasion ensues. You can follow the story online HERE or by navigating via the links at the bottom of each page. Join in by sending us your own Asteroid Survival Kit list, or sending photos with the #smashfestuk hashtag to @SMASHfestUK on Twitter or Instagram.

Real life visitors will have the chance to plan for Armageddon, whether it’s preparing to go underground at our Survival Supermarket Sweep, singing for your lives at Armageddon Open Mic, simply enjoying your last night on Earth with the End of the World Cabaret, creating a #FRIDGIE for our time capsule; The Peoples’ Ark or taking a trip to the Intergalactic Travel Bureau. For details of all these events, and more, navigate using the EVENTS tab at the bottom of the page or click HERE.

A terrific year at New X Learning!

I recently attended the New Cross Learning AGM and have to say those people go from strength to strength. The diversity, inclusion and sheer stamina of the team is remarkable.

Over the Christmas holidays they will be taking a well earned break, but work won’t stop at the library. Thanks to a maintenance grant from Lewisham Council the ceiling will be replaced, doors repalightbox 2 2014ired and the whole place will get a fresh new look by the time the decorators are done. All the perfect compliment to the second Lightbox Art that was completed by Jess and co this week. The picture gives you some idea but pop in to see it for yourself. And if you’re not already a registered user signing up is a great way to support them too.

NXL Highlights 2013/14

Oct 13        Black History Month Black Panther magazines draw 2 ex-Panthers from the States for an ad-hock discussion and meeting

Nov 13       Big Book Sale plus The Auction proves to be a quick way to make money, attract more users with an increase in issue numbers

Dec 13        2nd AGM and Xmas Fayre. Kathy and Gill remain Co-Chairs as agreed at the AGM.

Jan 14        Workshops commence for the Chinese New Year, the year of the Horse. More Chinese participate this year.

Feb 14        LGBT month is celebrated with a showing of Broke Back Mountain, the first of our Pop-Up Cinema shows

Mar 14      Basic Skills IT Training course starts that is aimed the Silver Surfers. A most moving evening hosting 13 Palestinian women who told us about life in their country and what faces them every day. John Kirk’s performance of Private Peaceful brought tears to our eyes.

Apr 14        Ewan McColl remembered from a 50 year old recording with Travelling People brought to us by Mark Brown of Goldsmiths’. Another successful partnership with New Cross Free Film Festival brings famous director, Ken Loach to NXL.

May 14      Joined with Dig to help with Tomato Fest seeding Managed to sell some new books. 25 kids sat still in a cartoon graphics workshop.

June 14      Patchwork workshops and Gypsy recognition as the Roma Festival is held here at NXL.

July 14        The Lease is signed and big thanks go out to the Bold Vision Backers, especially Catherine and John who never gave up on us.

Aug 14       Mystery walks and picnics were even more popular this year. A brilliant trip down river to see the Poppies at the Tower brought a diverse group of people together.

Sept 14      Party in the Park was a promotional success with over 5000 people grooving to Punk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Reggae Blues and Folk music all day long. NXL hosted all the meetings, allowed the bank account to be used and did the printing i.e. put New Cross on the map.

Art Celebration Mar 8

DOB poster‘Drawing On Babel’ by Ion Teale. Curated by Patricio Forrester for Bold Vision.

Something unusual has been happening at the Hill Station. Every night, the artist Ion Teale spends the dark hours drawing and painting myriad images, all loosely related to the theme of Babel, directly onto the walls of the deserted building. In previous work Ion claimed space in derelict buildings by painting murals overnight. The works were left in ‘no-man’s land’ , inspired others to intervene, initiating an unexpected conversation. Drawing on Babel is Ion’s intuitive exploration of a visual language of mythical perspectives, distortion and disorientation, on a scale which is unusual for cafe art. The move from painting derelict buildings to painting on the walls of the community cafe could not be more dramatic, from art seen by few but other artists, motivated by the requirement of absolute freedom, to painting within a family friendly, community environment. Ion Teale is facing a new challenge. More audience. Less freedom. It’s a new angle on what is possible, not simply decorative or easily understood and accommodated. Drawing on Babel is an attempt to subvert the context of this community cafe and challenge local expectations. The public can contribute ideas by writing comments on a table during the day for Ion to consider and perhaps incorporate overnight. The opening evening will be the Saturday 8th March, from 7pm – 10pm. for more information and pictures contact Georgia Freeman on Georgiarfreeman@hotmail.co.uk

Edmund Waller Winter Fair 30 Nov

A message from the organizers
My name is Laura Doehler. I have a son in Edmund Waller Primary school and I co-organsie the winter fair coming up 30.11. which is next Saturday. I would like to let you know that you can book a table with Ema Felix (emafelix@hotmail.com) if you would like be present on the fair with craft activities or selling. You can also have a free table on the school ground outside (unless it is raining, then inside) because we would like to give local charities the chance to inform people about what they do. If you would like to use this opportunity just get back to me and I will organise a place and a table.
All the best and I am looking forward to hear from you, Laura
Otherwise of course, feel free to come along. It is from 12 – 4pm. There will be mulled wine, stalls, performances, music and so on.