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Livingstone, Zambia 2017 A project funded by UNESCO carried out at the Greenpop festival of action in collaboration with Heath Nash (design), Mwamba Chikwemba (muralist), and Owen Chickabeta (welding artist)
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During the ecological festival of action organized by Greenpop SA a group of four artists and designers was asked to upcycle an unused public space in the city of Livingstone. The space had to become attractive to make use of, It had to raise conversations about nature and ecology and lastly we had to find a way to involve the inhabitants of Livingstone in the making process. By these means we tried to make a precious corner which would gain a place in the hearts of the inhabitants of Livingstone The team decide to use the theme of bees to raise the conversations about nature but also as a metaphor of how people live and work together in a city. Besides the beehive is a matriarch we took it as a symbol of emancipation since woman are still regarded as less valuable then men in Zambia. Mwamba was responsible for the art-work on the wall, Owen for a statue out of scrap metal and Heath Nash and me for public furniture, public engagement and up-cycling. check out more about the festival and project
Public engagement Within no time we had a crew of local kids which were insanely motivated to help and to learn and develop their creative skills. Everyday they helped us out up until the day of the opening.
f.l.t.r. John showing his mask made from trash, Heath teaching how to use pliers, the whole kids crew dressed up for the openings ceremony.
Mwamba in action
Access to water How to make people use a public space? Give free andeash access to water. Water will always draw people to a place like bees to flowers.
Public seating
Nshima woman We inspired the public seating on the big bags of nshima that woman carry on their head to feed their family at home. Nshima is the main staple which drives the people of the country. We wanted to pay tribute to these woman that take care of their family and carry these weights and don't complain about their position. We used the bags in which the nshima flour is packed and fill them with concrete to make the seats. We piled them up and so they natually took each others shape. They sat on eachother in perfect shape. Together we made three comfortable seats under a tree which provided shadow.
Management skills During this month my main challenge was to manage three very individualistic artists. Get them to work together in an efficient way and to have them communicate about their work. In the same time I had to think of the program for the volunteers, organize workshops for them and to manage the transport. I was the link between all the different bodies that were involved in this event. This was, even though it went well, a HUGE challenge. I loved it and it was such a great feeling when everything fell into place. This was one hell of a wonderful month. I would do it again instantly.