Sawubona Lab 46208 – A Summer of Learning in Community Part II

[Continued from Part I]

2. Community Art and Limited Resources. Our artist, Jamahl Crouch, instructed the youth to draw an image on a sheet of paper which they would then pass to the left. The next person was to add to the image and pass it until the art piece returned to its originator. They were allowed to choose chalk pieces for their drawings and had two minutes before they had to pass the paper.

The twist was that between each round, their resources changed. They started with an abundant selection of chalk colors. The box of chalk was removed from the center of the table (to illustrate that sometimes resources get removed from the community). During one round, one of the youth was “tapped out” for a round (to illustrate that sometimes you might be down a person, but the work still had to be done). In another round, individual pieces of chalk were taken from some folks and given to one of the other facilitators, Januarie York, who sat at the table (to illustrate that sometimes the resources can be found within the neighborhood and community).

At first they didn’t realize that the supply of resources had been cut off. The youth quickly learned how to communicate and share resources. Some pooled their resources. Some broke their pieces of chalk to pass to others (and the time between rounds was lengthened when such sharing occurred, though they didn’t realize it). It was pointed out to them that though some of the resources in the community had moved, none of them thought to ask the facilitator at the table to share their resources though she was a part of the community.

The art practices served to demonstrate part of the reality of organizing work. Ultimately, it didn’t matter what project they embarked on, the important thing was that they worked together.

[to be continued…]

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