Art: where life and the world started...
adventures in roads- and walkabouts of my early ancestors
(the art installation components were a result of many months of labor, from research, permits, insurance, making the flags to designing the room) Few images to document the process.
the construction of few elements and the transformation of the site were necessary and important to evoke the idea of a pilgrimage and the waiting time between places
media illustration of the project
pilgrimage to freedom
Morocco: Green Olive Arts Artist in Residency
A week gone! I can't believe it, almost recovered from the Jet laaaagg. This was the route to get to destination:
Left Saskatoon (March 18: 10 AM)- Toronto- Montreal - Casablanca ( a big city of 3.3 million non English speakers ) then a Slow Train to main train station to the Fast Train to Tangier, stopped in Rabat and Tangier - Bus to Tetouan, then walked for 30 minutes to get to the Hotel Panorama at 6:30PM - March 20, 2019.
Two days in total to get here. In a different time zone 7 hours ahead of Saskatoon, it was in the afternoon when I finally understood the means of the journey.
A good start to put in context the reason for the residency: research immigration and displacement, which traveling , movement and sources that support the journey are about . Uprooted to a very colonized muslim country (French and Spanish) where I will work in the Soul Purpose Project. Made a few contacts and find video recording the most difficult of them.
So far Salamu Alee- Koum is is the only word I understand and it is a greeting most people do all at the time. I find the country safe and friendly people all around. Displacement t means at times immerse in a foreign language and deal with the issues of being silent for while and under the radar. The silence give you an opportunity to look around, inside and see things with new light and ,listen more to your internal voice.
The light in Tetouan, the patterns, humility, the history , the sounds and smells are all foreign to me. A roach in a land of cats walking around like a nomad. Working along experiencing life in a different context which I hope inform my project.
Thanks to the Saskatchewan Arts Board who support me to get here. So far I keep myself away from technology as much as I can, setting up the blog and updating my website have use more time than what I want to dedicate from my creativity to such tasks.
March 28, 2019
DREAM FLAGS & JOURNEY SANDALS
A TESTIMONIAL OF A HERO'S JOURNEY
Today was a significant day at the residency, as it is one of those times when you have a chance to share your gifts as an artist with community and be humbled by the experience of the outcomes. As a group we all lead a workshop in the community to make intentional marks of their journey in pre made Flags and Sandals to share their stories.
The host was Padre Angel a Mexican priest , and three nuns from Barcelona and Zaragoza that are working in the only Catholic Church in Tetouan. They have a community who supports immigrants in transit to Europe from three different parts of Africa: Algeria, South Sahara and Morocco.
With the Art they disclosed sensitive stories (which I'm not authorized to share publicly ) of living in the jungle, abuse, survival, resilience, families broken apart, , being deported, jumping fences, collaboration, solidarity, support, as one of the in transit participants from Cameroon said "traveler clandestine". We had around 20 participants ranging from babies to 45 years old approximate.
The hours spent with mother, fathers, brothers, sisters, family, and sons of immigration were supported by the creation of flags. Green Olive Studios had arranged translators for English and Moroccan languages, and also for the times of the workshop. A follow up workshop is scheduled fort Saturday.
"Sometimes we forget that home and beautiful things are inside and not outside to look for. My home is in Palma de Mallorca." said a university educated Argelian father of two who was deported from Spain a year ago and waiting transit between Algeria and Morocco for 5 years, sleeping in the streets with all his belongings in a backpack. His Spanish wife comes often with their children to visit him every four times. The children, a boy and a girl can hold their dad for a day or so, and give him strength to keep the hopes to be reunited. His flag showed tears, a path to his children where home is for them.
Our schedule at the studio is very busy, but I wanted to reflect and share this humble experience. They kept their flags and sandals as a memory of courage and hope to look upon in those difficult moments and to share with others.
I will post more photos and a will share a bit more about my thoughts later.
Ironic Reflection: "how Africans were forced/sold to Slavery in past centuries to build the great Europe and America, and now they want to reclaim what their relatives built and they are not welcomed by the privilege europeans/ Americans."