Arts Lab Report: The Caravan & Folcloristica

August started with an unbearably hot weather - and less restrictions with the pandemic. We had already adapted to the situation, and were going on our project somehow. Everything was fine.

We entered the month with the online Mid-Term Training. For 5 days, from 10.00 to 14.00 we were in front of the computer again, this time with less people in the Zoom room. The interesting fact was that our whole house was in the same training group, which let us share a computer from time to time. It was fun, but we were a bit disappointed, because all of us would like to meet as more different people as we can. Well, it was a nice meeting anyway. The topics were interesting and the group atmosphere was fine. Also, it was great to see the other volunteers again, even in the small screens.

The second week started busy, after the whole week of training, we got back to the youth center and kept preparing our laboratories - 4 different workshops for children with the help of our amazing local volunteers. Under the virus restrictions, we were still doing our best. And it was so beautiful to see people's interest in our professions.

On 6th August, we went on our first Arts Lab Caravan, to Butea. We had our workshops for 27 children in the school yard, and it was literally amazing! I was the facilitator of the ceramic workshop as usual. None of the children touched ceramic clay before, their only experience was with the fimo clay and well, they are totally different from each other. But still, I can’t describe how I felt when I saw their interest in the ceramic process, and their creations were so beautiful. Of course, I was excited to see that many kids and it was my first time in the Caravan, so I had some parts in the workshop that needed to be developed. Still, it was a success in the sense of gaining the attraction of kids to my passion.

After the workshops, we went to a home-museum in the village for the Folcloristica event. We made interviews with the local artists, recorded videos and took photos. My interest was on the embroidery patterns and symbols, wherever I can find them, because what I will do within this event is get inspired by the patterns, create my own designs and apply them on ceramic vessels. This way each town will have their ceramic objects presenting their culture.

The day after the beautiful trip to Butea, I finished working on my very first vessel. I loved the result, because the design includes something from the tradition, as well as it includes a unique touch from the maker. 

After a busy start to the month, we decided to have a holiday to freshen up. We took some days off to enjoy the last days of this hot summer. Slightly coming to the end of the project, we know that we still have so many things to do in our minds, yet we enjoyed and learned a lot from this experience. I can only say, personally, that I am looking forward to what the next month will bring to me!

Written by Deniz Ataman

Deniz is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project,  funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.


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