South to North: Art for Social Change
Funding towards implementing this project in Durban and Cape Flats was received from the South Africa National Arts Council
Since July 2020 ARROWSA, South Roots International, Touchstones Rochdale (Indra) and Gorsehill Studios Manchester (Indra) have worked on digital art for social change strategic intervention project initiated by ARROWSA and Indra. Below is a summary of what happened in this project between July and October 2020.
arts meetings were started informally between the SA and UK hubs in May in
order to accelerate the process once the NAC funding was received. From July
2020 to the end of October the hubs met every second Friday except for one
Friday break when the youth were on holiday. In between zoom meetings, the hubs met
with their youth, engaged with the social topic through the arts, and prepared
what they would share the next week. The youth prepared art exercises facilitated
by artists for warmups at the start of sessions. These warmup exercises often
included engagement with the topic of Climate Change e.g. the SRI tree movement
exercise served as a springboard for discussion on human’s impact on nature and
how this impacts climate change. The body of the zoom meetings concentrated on the
use of the arts for engaging with the social issue of Climate Change.
Jessie from South Roots International makes use of visual arts to provoke thinking on the role
that big funders play within the food schemes in SA and globally.
South Roots International (ARROWSA alumni) Ntombi, Angela, Rachelle and Noluthando
role-play as Government ministers engaging on
the role that their portfolio can play in Climate Change.
Different approaches to the use of the arts were engaged e.g. role-play
as government ministers in a debate on the topic. The SRI participants decided on characters using the
spheres that they are passionate about and they used it to formulate models for
how to make our communities aware of the climate change problem and create
platforms for them to discover their roles in tackling this matter. They met
together as those characters in the zoom session with the other hubs and shared
the type of work they are doing and how they have been using their areas of
influence to deal with climate change and the health of our people,
environment, creation as a whole. Riana of Gorsehill Studios in Manchester (Indra) incorporated role-play as a quiz master engaging with the
youth in a quiz show on climate change. All the groups agreed that the quiz enforced how little they knew about climate change. Improvised monologues were also used that engaged with
COVID-19 and climate change.
The UK Touchstone group led a session on
storytelling. A South Roots International participant shares: "We had a time of creating scenarios and using the imagination to
tell stories. It was a great way to get to know each other better. We were
placed in different groups that allowed for intercultural connection and were a
creative use of zoom".
Visual arts exploration of the representation of
climate change and the powers that influence the funding of campaigns for
social issues such as climate change. Short music videos made for warmup art
exercises to be shared with those who were not present at the session or on
social media and public platforms.
The creation of documentary type creative PowerPoints
that were presented in sessions and documentary-style short videos on Climate
Change that engaged with the community. Short art videos such as the engaging one that Vincent made within his community that engages with the
social issue of Climate Change.