Bloom Where You’re Planted
The ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’ programme is a development education initiative geared towards schools and the youth sector. The programme uses art and design workshops to explore issues surrounding Global Poverty with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The end result will be an exhibition of students’ and young people’s artwork that hopes to raise awareness of international development issues.
This initiative is inspired by a similar project that was run by SERVE at the Young Africa campus in Beira, Mozambique in 2010. Girls staying in the hostel on campus were invited to explore and record development issues that they face in everyday life through the medium of art. Further such work has been completed in Beira and in Mazabuka, Zambia in 2011. This will hopefully lead to a conversation of sorts emerging, in their artwork, between young people in Ireland and in SERVE’s partner communities.
This programme is particularly useful for schools and their art departments. The programme links into cross curricular and continuous learning school objectives. This is very much the case with Global Citizenship in L.L.W., C.S.P.E. and Geography. It further offers art departments the opportunity to have a community artist engage with their students.
The ‘Bloom Where You’re Planted’ programme begins with a launch workshop that allows SERVE to meet with participating schools, go through the resource pack with teachers and ensure the programme will be run effectively. This resource pack refers specifically to SERVE’s development projects and partner organisations throughout its case studies and examples. It also refers to awarding bodies that help fund the initiative.
The first workshop is run with a visiting artist, provided by SERVE. This provides teachers with the opportunity to gain advice on how to facilitate the unit based on the scheme provided in the resource pack. A recommended service includes another drop-in service where SERVE’s community artist would be available for a school visit half way through the project to check progress and lend advice on any aspect of the unit.
The visiting artist workshop is multifaceted, involving information surrounding global poverty with a particular focus on sub–Saharan Africa and Art & Design. The session then progresses into an art lesson, introducing students to the work of the girls from the Young Africa Campus in Beira, Mozambique, traditional African painting techniques and contextual references. This workshop serves as an introductory session to the programme run by the school’s Art Department. As the department then undertakes the rest of the programme they will provide the required materials. A materials list is included in the resource pack and includes only everyday items every working department has in stock.
Integral to the success of the programme is the exhaustive visual documentation of the programme as it is being carried out. Recording the artistic process is important to schools and crucial to charting its progress. High quality photographic images will be included in the final collaborative exhibition, showing schools and groups working on the project and during the artist led workshops and also showing the Young Africa girls’ workshops which forms the basis for the artistic inspiration. Ideally a camera which captures motion video would be used as filmed documentation could also be shown at the final exhibition.
SERVE is a development and volunteering organisation committed to tackling poverty in the majority world. We strive to do this by working in solidarity, service and partnership with marginalised and oppressed communities, empowering them to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice.