Wednesday 18 July 2018

Indra Congress 'Pathways' 
Reflection and thanks!
Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu: 
I can't but We can!

                                                                                                      Beach Front parade (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

The Indra Congress "Pathways" surpassed expectations and resulted in an enthusiastic, energetic, enjoyable, thought provoking week that included sharing of cultures, skills, knowledge, friendship, tears and laughter through the arts! International Mandela Day seems a relevant day to reflect on how so many individuals from different cultures from different parts of South Africa, Africa and the world could come together, share and create arts, and become one people for a week.

Our initial budget for holding a congress in Durban for Indra was R750 000.00. We only managed to receive R30 000.00 formal funding. How did we then manage to host an international youth congress for approximately 90 people for a week and still maintain a high standard of arts skills and intercultural exchange? In this post (based on my address to the congress participants on the final day of the congress) as chairperson of ARROWSA and co-ordinator of the pre-, during and post Indra Congress Pathways, I'd like to reflect on who assisted in making the week such a success!  Although names of individuals and organisations will be listed, in truth, the amazing aspect of the congress was that it was a group effort. The reflection and thanks is shared not only to publicly acknowledge all who contributed to the congress but also to encourage other organisations and individuals to go ahead with planning events even if major funding is not available.

Acknowledgment is hereby given to the following people, organisations and institutions for their contributions:

Founder of Indra Congress and assistant coordinator of Indra Congress 'Pathways':
David Oddie (Director Indra Congress)

                               David Oddie as guest speaker at the congress opening (Photo by Alix Harris)

Fund raising:
  - Crowd funding - Luthando Ngema (ARROWSA management and Media and Cultural Studies UKZN)
   - Raising donations - Bhekithemba Dlamini (ARROWSA management and Bechet High School) and Dr Lauren Dyll (ARROWSA management and CCMS, UKZN)
    - Jewellery auction donation of Indra Net necklace - Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers)
    - Sponsoring of Instagram advert for jewellery auction - Luthando Ngema
    - Jewellery raffle donation of 'the giving hand' necklace - Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers)
Support for the above was especially from ARROWSA management and ARROWSA Bechet's family, colleagues and friends.

       Luthando Ngema (Photo Mary Lange)                                  Shanette Martin (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

Social Media build up on Indra Congress Pathways Facebook page- all countries participants and leaders
Press releases - Miliswa Magongo and Luthando Ngema
Congress media and equipment:                                           
  - Filming - Shanette Martin (Director South Roots International)
  - Co-ordination of  media volunteers and social media posting -Luthando Ngema
 - Media volunteers - Samantha Madondo (Media and Cultural Studies, UKZN), Tshimanga Tshiteya (ARROWSA Bechet alumni)

   - Co-ordination of media shown at the congress - Betty Giannouli for Greece, Urvashi Sahni for India;  and Shanette Martin for South Roots.
   - Photographer - Vincent Joseph (ARROWSA Bechet alumni) (Photo by Robyn Michelle)

Build up workshops in the weeks before the congress:
  -Intercultural exchange between Canadian students and ARROWSA Bechet at Bechet High School - Bhekithemba Dlamini
  -Making of bead and African charm necklace gifts for congress visitors - ARROWSA Bechet and materials sponsored by and workshop led by Kathlyn Allan, (Author Jewellers) and assisted by Karla Nixon (Fine Arts Dept, DUT)
  -Media workshop - Shanette Martin
  -Cooling Conflict  - anti-bullying workshop - David Oddie (Director Indra Congress)

Jewellery exhibition:


Jewellery creation: Jewellery and Fine Arts Department, DUT second and third year students
Co-ordination and display - Dr Marlene de Beer and Dr Chris de Beer (Jewellery and Fine Arts Department, DUT)

Arts activities - artists donated their time to prepare for the congress in the weeks before and to facilitate the arts activities everyday of the congress and co-direct and lead the beach front parade activities.

 - Music, singing and dancing - Sue- Livia van Wyk (South Roots International)
        Sue-Livia van Wyk with her fellow South Roots International team participants (Photo by Selby Williams)

 - Drama - Ongezwa Mbele (Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN), assisted by Siyavuya Mfenqa (Dala intern)

                                                                                                           Ongezwa Mbele (Photo by Luthando Ngema)

                          Siyavuya Mfenqa and congress participants (Photo by Siyavuya Mfenqa)

 - Arts and crafts - Dane Knudsen (Stops) (Graphic Design department, DUT) , Kathlyn Allan (Author Jewellers) and Karla Nixon (Fine Arts Department, DUT)

                                                                Posters created by the arts and crafts group (Photo by Luthando Ngema)

  - Arts and crafts materials - Donation of materials and tools  by Kathlyn Allan, Karla Nixon and Dane Knudsen; funding  from jewellery auction

   Kathlyn Allan working with the ARROWSA Bechet participants in the arts and crafts group
                                                                                                                                          (Photo by Kathlyn Allan)

   - Mass movement - Alix Harris (Indra Congress Plymouth, UK)

          Mass movement facilitated by Alix Harris as part of the Beach Front parade (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)                                 
- City walk - Doung (Dala)
  - Hand mapping exercise - Luthando Ngema
  - Warm up drama exercise session - Canadian students

Beach front parade planning -  Dane Knudsen, Dr Mary Lange, Ongezwa Mbele, Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer, Nicola Zreineh (Al Harah Theatre, Palestine), Kathlyn Allan, Sue-Livia van Wyk and Karla Nixon
Beach front parade makeup - Karla Nixon

                                                                                                        (Photo by Nathalie Hodali)

Beach front parade direction - Dane Knudsen, Karla Nixon, Kathlyn Allan, Sue-Livia van Wyk, Ongezwa Mbele, Siyavuya Mfenqa and Dr Mary Lange

                                                             Karla Nixon directs the beach front parade bird (photo Luthando Ngema)

Beach front parade permit payment - from jewellery auction funds

Congress Venue and wifi - UKZN Drama and Performance Studies co-ordinated by Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer (ARROWSA management and Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN) and staff

     - venue technical and general co-ordination and assistance at venue (including supervision of meals at the congress) - Jason Barber (Drama and Performance Studies, UKZN)

Facilitation, rehearsals and direction of presentations performed at the congress - were self funded by each participating group's leader.



                                                                                                                                       (Photo by Ongezwa Mbele)

Congress Symposium:
Co-ordination and co-chair: Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer
Co-chair: David Oddie

  -Congress Lunches - funding from UKZN Research Prof Ramjugermath co-ordinated by  Dr Lauren Dyll (ARROWSA Management and CCMS, UKZN)
   -Suppers for visitors staying at Concord Guesthouse food and time donated - Dr Lauren Dyll, Anne Ross, Prof Ruth Teer-Tomaselli (CCMS, UKZN), Luthando Ngema, Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer

Dr Lauren Dyll and Anne Ross (Photo Lauren Dyll)

 -Congress Tea and snacks - Dr Mary-Ann Lange and Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer
   -Welcome snack packs for visitors from outside of Durban - Dr Mary Lange

   - Namibia, Canada and South Roots - paid for their own
   - UK and Palestine - paid by David Oddie
  - India - paid one night for themselves and balance paid by ARROWSA from funds raised by publication sales and museum programmes

Durban transport co-ordination time donated: Bhekithemba Dlamini

Transport funding:
  - The leaders of participants from outside of Durban raised their own transport funding to attend the congress:  namely Darryl and Lessle Beukes from Namibia; Marina Barham from Al Harah Theatre in Palestine; David Oddie and Alix Harris from Indra Congress in UK; Shanette Martin from South Roots, Western Cape, South Africa, Diane Conrad of University of Alberta, Canada and Urvashi Sahni from Study Hall, Lucknow, India.
  - ARROWSA Bechet and Abasha Bash to UKZN - donations and raffle funds
  - Airport trips for overseas visitors - Dr Mary-Ann Lange, Kathlyn Allan and Dr Mary Lange
  -Visitors staying at Concord guesthouse to UKZN  - Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer

Congress gift packs - UKZN co-ordinated by Luthando Ngema
Congress programme:
Design and layout time donated- Dane Knudsen
Printing co-ordination time donated - Bhekithemba Dlamini

Collage of Indra Congress Pathways participants by Dane Knudsen

I dreamed a week before the Indra Congress 'Pathways' that I saw a pride of young and female lions standing on each others shoulders in a formation reminiscent of cheerleaders.  In the dream I stood back and said "I didn't know that they could do that!"  At the end of the Indra Congress Pathways when I stood in front of the congress participants in the UKZN Square Space Theatre and looked at the young participants and all the leaders I had the same feeling as I did in the dream; awe and gratitude as I thought: 'I didn't know that you could do that!" but we did!

Thank you everyone!

                                                                                                       (Photo by Mary-Ann Lange)

Mary Lange (ARROWSA Chair)

No comments:

Post a Comment