Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Embroidering with students at Middle schools outside Oslo, 3rd school

The third school I went to was small, only 20 students at each level. I embroidered with 9th and 10 th graders. One student wrote a poem in response:

In the fabrics of a lost Mexico
Workers come and go
Narrowed eyes, peering out from shadows
Follow their every move
When lost and missed
No one notices, No one takes action
Families left with tears
In our ignorant world
Like lost souls they wander
In forever darkness, searching for the light of

In January I will visit the last school on this "tour".

In February Desconocida Unknown Ukjent is invited to the gallery at University for Creative Arts, Epsom, UK. The exhibition is curated by Lesley Millar, I will get back with more information about this later.

Good bye for now,


Embroidering with students at Middle schools outside Oslo, continues

The next school I went to was in another part of Akershus. Here I only embroidered with tenth grade students. Again very interesting days for me, also the fact that I travel to so many areas of my own city, an hour drive outside to places I have not been before and I meet young people living outside the city. It brings different points of view into the discussion although they all share being young in Norway. In this school, the workshops went also well with engaged students, but I experienced preparing for the exhibition specially good.

The group of students here decided to install the labels in three symbols: the symbol for piece, a reverse triangle as a symbol of women and a circle as a symbol of the earth. They titled their project: Piece for Women on Earth. While we prepared, some were ironing labels, some where cutting fabrics to make the background for the symbols, and others again were writing texts. We talked about abuse of women in general, if Oslo was a safe city to move around in, about how wrong it is to blame the women, and moved into minorities and difficulties arising from this. We shared thoughts from homosexual adopting children to greek mythology and women's position in that society. The last part due to one student's extraordinary knowledge of this topic. She was sitting with big dangling piece symbol earrings speaking of women's right with such clarity and knowledge. Inspiring!!

Embroidering with students at Middle schools outside Oslo

Since October I have been touring to Middle schools in Akershus, around Oslo with Desconocida Unknown Ukjent. The tour is part of a cultural program initiated and run by the Norwegian Government called "Den kulturelle skolesekken" (translated it is something like "the cultural backpack")where art in many different forms are brought out to students at schools in all parts of our country.

So far I have been visiting three schools and it has been really interesting.

The first school I went to I embroidered with all the students at the school, 170 in total, through several 3 hours workshops with 20 students in each workshop. The last day a group of 9 students made an exhibition of their embroidered labels. This will be on display at their school until February 2009. The students had all seen Bordertown, a Hollywood film based on the situation in Juârez. They were active in our discussions, some groups more than others, but every student embroidered name tags and did such beautiful work!

At this school they choose to install all the labels forming three hearts, the middle heart with a cross in the middle. One group of students wrote a short text to present the work.