Monas 2. postcard from South Africa – Drawn to help to drawPosted on: 30. April 2019
Time is flying and we have already completed week 3 on our journey. And what a week!
We have had some practices with the whole crew in the Pre Primary School in Athlone, doing a lot of body work and getting into the practice for our show. A lot of fun and stretching out of the comfort zone :o)
On Wednesday I did a teaching/workshop with the team of Kaospilots who are now working in Cape Town for 3 months. They are creating partnerships with local projects and my session was about how to do that, especially considering colonialism, privilege and rank. I’m very inspired by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichies work on narratives and stereotypes, and her amazing Ted Talk “The Danger of the Single Story” is always on the curriculum for that session. And instead of going into conversations about cultural differences based on nationality, ethnicity or skin colour, we went into this space by looking at different continuums of prefered communication styles. This is a model, inspired by both Andrew Price and Brandy Agerbeck, that I have further developed with my own observations of how we can vary in ways we prefer to work/communicate (e.g. direct vs. indirect. We tend to say that Germans are very direct people, but truth is that there are also German people who prefer indirect communication, so it makes more sense to tune into the specific person in front of you and sense what communication style is needed in this specific conversation. The sole information that a German person is standing in front of you does not provide much information about how that person prefer to be communicated with).
Over the last couple of weeks I have restarted my work with Activate!, a big South African NGO, who has been running leadership and entrepreneurship programmes with more than 2500 young South Africans over the last 9 years. I will soon run a elaborate visual thinking training with some of the activitators as they would like to have graphic facilitation and recordings in house. This is one of my absolute favourite clients, as they really engage with (my) visuals in a deep and meaningful way. AND they encourage me to experiment with new ways of using visuals, which brings a lot of fun into my work. Last week they called me and asked if we should collaborate on making an online training programme that makes the Activate training accessible online, also meaning that the training can reach more rural parts of South Africa and even go abroad. We are playing with the format now and I’m excited to share more, and really excited to make a visual thinking training available online on their platform. A journey that will last the next two years have just started! 🙂
On Friday we went up super early to do 3 performances in 3 different schools in Athlone. It was really nice to finally use the V3 XL wall in public, and continue the experimentation of how the circus methods work together with the visual thinking. I’m really practicing to let go of control of the process of creation on the wall.
Which is not always so easy :o) It helps to have a 3 year old grabbing a marker and start expressing herself on the wall.
I have tons to share, but let’s save some for next week!
Sending you love!
The last school we visited for the show on Friday had a sign on the wall saying “this is a gun-free zone”. Even though I have personally only experienced gang-related gun violence outside my home in Copenhagen and not in Cape Town, I think it is a pretty strong image of the reality we are working in that a school needs this kind of signage.