AMAL - the kids from Ciocanesti - 2018 - 2021

AMAL - the kids of Ciocanesti - 2018 - 2021

In 2017 I was invited the first time to give some workshops to youth and teachers in Coicanesti, a little village 31 km far from Bucharest city. In 2018 I could return for 3 workshops to this summer school of APEAL (a NGO of my friend Serban from Bucharest). One workshop was about literature and especially poems. The strong reason to offer this workshop was something I discovered in the first year in the summer school.

All my life I was working with people and I have a clear eye for violenced and abused kids. I saw many of them and local professionals told me about a rate of 60% of abused little woman in this "roman" society. I will not judge about any society and even because I know that most of violence against people is driven by sad histories of the aggressors.

It is a mass that every generation of victims are creating a lot of aggressors for the next. From the point of their views to be a real aggressor gives them a feeling of not being victim any more. To cut this sad chain I was thinking how I can empower young girls to develop new skills and to protect them better or even to offer them a communication channel to express their feelings and needs. I ended up with a project about poems. My assistant and social entrepreneur Sorina and me invited 9 young girls between 10 and 15 and one mother to an art camp in the mountains near Braschow, far away form the homes of their families. We spend 8 days in a line in a house near a big forest, separated from a river from the next village.

We created a clear set or rules for daily life, each of us adults was sometimes responsible for food, shopping, cleaning... For a romanian girl of 10 years it is normal, to work hard in the household of the parents, even to support and service the brothers and younger sisters. For them it was a challenge to see me cleaning dishes or preparing the food. They enjoyed it and where giggling a lot.
Some of these girls where never out of the village of their homes, and most of them where never deciding about food, shopping, products and cooking for a group of twelve people.

Every day we had three sessions for the workshop, one after breakfast, one after lunch and one after dinner. Later some people, including Sorina, where telling me that they where frightened about the aim of this workshop. They where thinking, the kids get bored after a short time, latest after 1 day. But nothing of this happened.

The kids where highly interested in every detail of every lesson. They produced more than 100 beautiful poems, beginning with little verses and ending up with english sonnets. Each session was designed in the same way, first a short introduction, some words to the technique, than a large time for creating the lyrics and finally time to recite and to listen the others. In the first day they began shy and they felt not sure about their output, but more and more over the days they developed skills for a brave performance. Everybody was to much curious about her poems and wanted the reaction of the audience. Amazing and highly emotional moments took place. No camera or video was able to grab these moments in a complete way. Finally every girl created a treasure, a little book with all the stories and poems and drawings. After 8 days nobody wanted to leave the house andend the workshop.

But there is also a story behind. My friend Serban is organizing this summer school since many years. Year by year he put his personal money in this project and pay the summer school with nearly no public support and sponsors. A lot of times we listen people applying for public money, but they dont take there own, if they are not supported by the society. The year of that workshop started for him with bad moments: illness of one son, his house was destroyed by fire. Finally he told me, that it is not clear, how we could realize this workshop with the girls because there was no money at all. I told him: "Lets do it. I will find a way!"

Every session of the workshop was starting with the introduction. Technically we call it in psychology "framing" and it is very important to help the receiver to decode and implement the message. In case of youth I like a lot to use drawings to frame them. If they are first stimulated to draw the aim of the session, they started to think about it and they began to adapt to the issue. Therefor the 9 kids produced more than 120 drawings in little format. Each work is signed by the author and donated to the NGO of my friend Serban. I took all this drawings and I am now - as You see - distributing them through another social art project, called ARTSURPRISE.

In a final show the girls presented their poems in front of an big audience in Ciocanesti on stage. They performed very well and where happy about their new skills. Later some parents asked me: "What you did with my kid? Its different, it gets adult. It talks and acts different!"

My friend Serban donated the hospitality of the mansion near the forest far from home. But the most powerful result of this workshop beside the fact that everybody – including Sorina and me – learned a lot, is, that the girls where able to cover the costs of the workshop. They payed themselves by donating this drawings to the NGO. These children of Ciocanesti, started to finance their own education by creating art! I took the economical risk of covering the budget, because i was sure i would find a way to a person like YOU!

Andy Warhol was telling us: "Good business is best art." Beuys said: "To be teacher is my best work of art." And Elon Musk wrote: "I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world."

You can help me to collect some money to continue the summer school of my friend Serban. You can talk about ARTSURPRISE, about this wonderful drawings of the youth of Romania. You could join and donate workshops for them if they come next time to the CASAdelDRAGON.

My reply to Warhol is: "Good art is the best business!" My reply to Beuys is: "To be artist is my greatest work of teaching!" The thing is, to empower poor girls from a fast growing country to cut of the chain of violence. My reply to Musk is: "I wanted to be involved in worlds that would change the thing!"

Therefore I created a world of respect and love. Help me to create more of these worlds... and as you did with buying this little piece of social art, you can do more: Check out my offer on saatchi about the kids of ciocanesti and order one of the big artworks i did in 2019-2020 related to my amazing experience with this little heros in Romania. All the money - exept material, logistics, fees and taxes - we will earn throughout of this will go straight to the social project of my friend Serban. This will enable him to expand his summer school in Romania and to invite more kids for such workshops.

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