Friday, March 8, 2013

The Plan

Bogota, Columbia

August 1 – August 14, 2012

Arts in Transformation students in the M.A. in Urban Studies fulfilled their annual international service/learning experience to Bogota, Colombia August 10-14, 2012. The trip was led and coordinated through the international programs of Buildabridge International a community partner of Eastern University. Partnering with Comunidad Viva, a small community-based organization, the class: 1) participated in training of local artists, teachers and community workers, 2) conducted a catalytic Arts for Hope Camp based on the theme of social fabric, and 3) studied the urban context of Bogota and the organizations that serve its people. The project was coordinated with Jorge and Virginia Enciso, two missionaries who have worked with the Comunidad Viva for more than four years. A local congregation works with area congregations and associations that serve the children of the community, primarily those who have academic and social deficiencies. View the video at the end of this post for information about Comunidad Viva.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Visual Arts and Community Development

By Hannah Poon

There seem to be popular art forms that you read about/learn about/participate in/facilitate when community development is the goal. For example, theatre is a popular form that is used in community development. We learn of Augusto Boal and the Theatre of the Oppressed, using the style of Forum Theatre as a way to educate and mobilize for social change. “Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) and Pedagogy of the Oppressed (PO) have been about fundamentally changing the world. Continuously changing and changed through dialogue, action and reflection, TO and PO are theory and practice of change” (Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, n.d). Theatre is a form that seems to be easy to adapt to a changing physical environment and supplies needed to do theatre is often times less complicated than a supply list for any visual art project.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Playing in Traffic

by Stevie Neale

It is always an adventure working in cross-cultural contexts. People think and work differently than I am used to and it feels like almost every day is a surprise. I hate surprises. One such surprise in Bogota was the space in which we were to be teaching our various art forms at the art camp. Until the day we began teaching, we had no idea what our space was going to be like. It ended up being one single room without any furniture and with, theoretically, 6 different art classes operating at the same time. Close your eyes, picture it, and then hear the cacophony of dance, drama, music, story telling, and visual arts all going on at once. The first day of camp, our host was able to secure a living room in one of the family’s homes for one class and the second day was able to secure another. Due to spacing issues, my classroom was this:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Checkpoint

By Kayla Knox
Jon and I celebrated our third anniversary with a warm indigenous sweet drink, uplifting broken English conversation with Lucas and Luisa, and engaging live music. The couple drove us to a quaint restaurant which overlooked north Bogota, Colombia. Upon leaving the restaurant with empty pockets, we drive down the mountain but we were soon met by a police checkpoint. Lucas, who is now a good trustworthy friend, was not worried and told us not to worry either because this checkpoint was typical to encourage minors not to drink and drive. He assured us we would be out of there in a few minutes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Exciting Chaos

By Amber Aasman

Today we will spend our last day in Colombia. We will drive along the hilly county back to Bogota, after a weekend of rest, hiking, and shopping at Villa de Leyya – a beautiful, popular vacation spot about four hours north east of Bogota.

Our time in Colombia has been exciting and challenging. We spent the first few days orientating ourselves in the city, seeing sights such as the Museo de Oro, la Candelaria (the arts district), and experiencing the joys of the Transmileneo (the public transit). We visited and witnessed productions of five local non-profits of various media: dance, theatre, circus, pre-school art, and capoeira.