Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Learning Patience thru Recycling Art !
It was a little difficult to bring the kids back to a work mode after a day of fun yesterday, and it was equally important to make them start working as a team.
So, the day started by our volunteer, Laura Drese, teaming them a team exercise, where communication and co-ordination had to be used to cross a bridge. Quite interestingly the girls worked well, whereas the boys were happy to be out. ( this time, the girls have outnumbered the boys, so they are feeling a little left out, this has been my only regret uptill now, and shall be more careful in the future.)
We then got serious!
I presented the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 Cranes, explained the mission of The 1000 Crane Project.
The story did hit a chord somewhere, cause when I asked them if they wanted to learn how to make the cranes, there was a unanimous YES! And also an ambition – That they will also collectively make a 1000 CRANES!
We then met Arun John Lakra and Nitya Amarnath, freelance textile designers who work with recycled fabrics, Pradipta Ray, an animation flim designer and a versatile artist, Anirban Haldara, Fashion Designer and Co-owner of ThreeSixtyDegrees, a design company here in Mumbai and Nisha Jacob, a freelance graphic designer.
They came together, to work with the children on an installation piece related to the story of the 1000 cranes.
At first, the kids did not really quite get what was happening, but, once they explained to them, that they were here to show them how many different ways are there to use old fabrics apart from using it as a stuffing, or to make doormats! They got the objective of the day.
When they were told that we were all collectively going to make a large piece, they were excited!
It was decided that we would make a canopy from which we could hang large cranes to illustrate the flying crane in 3D.
When we opened the boxes of fabrics donated graciously by Mandhana Industries, Mumbai, everyone’s eyes lit up seeing the different colours and trims and fabrics. Special thanks to my friend Jagvir Matharoo, who organized it all from Mandhana Industries.
The fun began, when we had to ask them all to start with the mundane task of tearing the fabric into strips that can be woven or knotted together! I started noticing that each ones patience levels were different, and quite a few gave up after cutting a couple of strips, and for some it just became a mechanical task. The work started turning out more interesting when after creating the basic structure they kids were called in to start filling and weaving the frame.
Again, here, we gauged the patience levels, and the genuine interest in a collective task such as this. I must add that some were really into it, almost like a meditative exercise, and then went on and on, while a few just could not make sense of the task because they could not visualize the end result, and were just not ready to give it time either.
The cranes were made beautifully creating fabric-paper, and then doing origami. This also helped the kids get more practice into making more cranes.
At the end of the day, the piece was given finishing touches by the experts that had come, and then they hung it in a common area of the campus where it shall be visible to everyone on campus.
The kids did lose their patience by early evening, and were distracted by the little play area in front of some residential building in the TISS, campus.
Post dinner, I conducted a feedback session, they loved the final product in the form of a canopy and were proud that it was hanging in a public place, but the negative of the day was that they all got bored with the task, as they could not see the end product, and wanted to make something that will be made quickly, rather instantly.
That’s when the lesson of Patience was taught.
If you want to build a building, can it be built in one day? No!
If you have to pass your school, can you go straight to the tenth grade because you are bored going up one class every years? No!
So, if you dream big, then you should have the patience to endure all the pain and boredom that may come with it.
The day ended leaving them all thinking about the need to be patient, and then we related it to the fact that if they were going to attempt making a 1000 Cranes by the end of the workshop days, then they need tremendous patience for the same.
We all dispersed post dinner, determined to change!
Thank you Arun John, Nitya, Pradipta, Anirban and Nisha, you guys really tested the patience of the children, but, brought out a brilliant product in a day’s time!