Please support these 3 projects that enable Sri Lankan artists and community facilitators to network, build skills, share practice, work together and make change
Over the past 18 months we've been talking with Sri Lankan arts, cultural and community facilitators about creative ways of supporting communities. Following years of civil war, the 2004 tsunami and facing a myriad of complex social, cultural, economic and environmental issues, Sri Lankans want (and need) to be actively involved in the country's transition from conflict and disaster.
Conversations reveal a desire by local people to be meaningfully involved in how this happens. Artists want to use their practice to help individuals and communities recognise their strengths, share their histories and nurture visions for a better future. Community development facilitators want to use more creative approaches to their work and to connect with local artists and culture workers who are often under resourced and under valued. Government seeks partnerships with grass roots agencies and to support local measures that create local resiliency.
The Venesa Program, by Ferment Collaborate, aims to support these desires and to showcase new ways of working together. Our work supports local people to collaborate, learn and share skills, build networks, access resources and develop their practice.
This fundraising campaign seeks your support to do just that.
PROJECT 1 - Art and Social Change Symposium
The Symposium is a gathering being held in August this year to bring together artists, cultural workers and community development facilitators to talk, train, showcase and plan for how practitioners can develop and support creative approaches to social change and community building in Sri Lanka. Supported by Sri Lankan community and arts organisations Shoba Life To Hands Foundation, Nirmanee Development Foundation, Inter Act Art, Centre for Social Concern and Shyamala School of Arts and Australian agency Contact Inc.
PROJECT 2 - The Local Food Project
Declining food security, rising costs of food production and transport as well as the loss of plant diversity jeopardises peoples ability to access healthy, nutritional and fresh produce, particularly in poorer regions outside of established cities and towns. The Local Food Project seeks to build upon traditional knowledge in Sri Lanka by researching literature and leading practice approaches to localising, organic agriculture, permaculture and local livelihood development and then showcasing the outcomes of research through pilot projects. This project is supported by a group of researchers located in Australia, USA, UK and Asia who are from related fields and who are volunteering their time to support this work.
PROJECT 3 - Bundala Youth Arts
We've been working with the Bundala School, located on Sri Lanka's south coast, since 2011, initially delivering photography and zine (DIY magazine) workshops with students aged between 8 and 15 years. Bundala is a small community of around 250 families and is located adjacent to the Bundala Wetlands and National Park. The goal in working with the school is to use participatory arts practice to help students connect with each other and their community, develop confidence and to express themselves through do-it-yourself media. We have the support of the school's Principal and our work is guided by a management committee of local adults appointed through the school.
For more on the Venesa Program - www.venesa.org
For more on Ferment Collaborate - www.fermentcollaborate.org
We are asking you to support these 3 projects by making a donation. Donations will be applied according to project priority, with the Symposium being held in August 2012 as our present main focus.
First $3,000 raised - Symposium 100% ($3,000)
$3,000 to $6,000 raised - 50% Symposium ($1,500) + 40% Local Food Project ($1,200) + 10% Bundala ($300)
$6,000 to $9,000 raised - 50% Symposium ($1,500)+ 40% Local Food Project ($1200) + 10% Bundala ($300)
$9,000 to $12,000 raised - 53% Local Food Project ($1600) + 47% Bundala ($1,400)
1. Art & Social Change Symposium - GOAL $6,000
To be held in August this year in Hatton, a town located in the hill country and tea estate region of Sri Lanka, the event intends to bring people together to investigate the theme ‘Exploring connections between culture, arts and community.’ This is the first event of its type that we know of in Sri Lanka, is being designed based on support and active participation by local arts and cultural organisations will be delivered using a participatory Open Space process.
For more information - HERE
Your donations will contribute toward venue hire, catering, transport reimbursements, translators, printing and other workshop materials, with left over funds distributed for pilot projects emerging from discussions. The Symposium budget includes: Venue $750; Catering $250; Transport $3,000; Translators $500; Equipment $500; Materials $500; Micro project pool - remaining funds.
Ferment Collaborate will receive 5% of funds raised to cover our role in the event's production.
2. The Local Food Project - GOAL $4,000
We are working closely with Nirmanee Development Foundation in Kegalle and a group of 6 volunteer researchers from around the world to design a research and pilot project exploring opportunities for local food production systems.
For more information and a detailed budget - HERE
While the budget for this project is larger than the $4000 being sought here, your donations will support initial project design management, research activities, community workshops and initial pilot projects around the Kegalla region.
Ferment Collaborate will receive 10% of funds raised as payment for our role in supporting Nirmanee to design, deliver and evaluate this great project.
3. Bundala Youth Arts Project - GOAL $2,000
The school is small at around 80 students, with very low levels of English speaking and poor standards of equipment and infrastructure. The school’s aim in working with us is to increase student confidence and to strengthen their communication skills and connection to community. We are working together to design participatory arts programs delivered by local artists that can achieve these objectives. So far we've created a zine (diy magazine), donated the school's main entry sign and worked with students to take hundreds of photographs of their community.
To see photos taken by students during our first workshops please go to HERE.
Your donations will assist in sourcing materials and resources for future programs. While we will leave final decisions about how the funds are allocated to the school and local arts agencies, some ideas include: (a) Contributing toward the next program to be delivered, either using theatre or visual arts (b) Supporting students to attend arts events in other areas of the island (c) contributing toward celebratory events for the whole community and (d) establishing a fund to cover the costs required to fundraise, such as printing or filming
Ferment Collaborate will receive 10% of funds raised for our role in managing this project in collaboration with Bundala School.