Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Small steps for constant expression

Hello again to all! Our story continues... Empathy (and friends) have some new good moments to talk about now (and when we see each other in the future!). Even little and easy things sometimes matters much, so they say. Well most of the time it's good to think about those things rather than your failures and frustrations. First, there were many things happened in a short period of time. I mean in just a couple of months, i can't believe how many times I got inspired and motivated by every small things around me and also the things we did or accomplished in connection to the projects. One is, our good friends, our former collective, successfully launched another infoshop/community center and they are starting to have wonderful things happening there right now, in a period of 3 months after transfering! They had workshops, discussions and film screenings for their Free School project. Here we also changed the name of the place, it is now called "Organic Minds Community Center" and we also distributed newsletter and schedules for the neighbors to know. There they will see what are the values, goals and visions of the people living in OMCC and what are the plans we have in the next couple of months - the topics we want to discuss, workshops we want to organize, gatherings, music and art nights and other programs we want to provide within this year. 

Aside from that, we have new books and documentary videos for our multi-media library. We met many people who donated books, zines, movies and other important stuff for the library. So those are some examples of the things we had during those months. Of course, including this, I also can't believe there were also many crap, pathetic, worst, and undesirable things happened here locally or around the world and it also affected me or us all sometimes, I think. But those good things I mentioned are not really that big deal, I just want to include those on my mind to remind me of my own phase, growth or whatever things happening around me or us. I hope at least it will help us all see and analyze matters in our surroundings. To be honest, I also think so much about having a long day of rest, sleep, vacation, contemplation, etc., on a beach or forest or somewhere away from the city or the people or things that brings negativity to my life. But of course in a practical sense, it's not easy to do because of my commitments here.

Last February 23, Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs came to Davao for a conference about global food politics and war, GMO, and also, creative activism. During the conference different participants enthusiastically listened to him talk and got inspired by the story he told and as well as by the others. NGOs, students, and other participants shared different visions and ideas in relation to the discussions we had at the gathering. We also talked about our projects, the Sharing Garden, KU Free School Project and other simple activism we do. After the conference, we all went out to the city to do the FNB feeding. We shared vegan food to the homeless and beggars in Osmenia Park while talking to people about FNB and related issues, preparing for the benefit gig we organized to raise amount to buy a tent that will be used for activities or any disaster. Keith Mchenry also talked and promoted his book at the gig and we successfully raised money that night. The next day, Keith Mchenry bade farewell and went to Indonesia to attend another conference. 

Last April 19 we organized a street gathering and art exhibit called eARTh. It is in connection to the global Earth Day celebration but of course, with different perspectives and issues to address. Many artist from all over Davao participated and enjoyed the gathering. We exchanged stickers and artworks and also distributed leaflets having different important social and environmental issues. In addition, many street artist also created artworks that strongly criticized the bullshit of coming election.

During the exhibit, happened in a very short time, there was an informal talk about the local street art and the potent message and impact it might gonna bring to the people, how it's going to communicate to the passers and how it might gonna invite danger. We also played music together, including few people from other towns, enjoyed the food and separated with smiles on our faces. 

Last May 11 we helped organize a screening of Flow: For the love of water, a documentary movie about the global water crisis. Together with Steven Starr, the executive producer of the film, we exchanged ideas and information with other participants in a very short but meaningful time. Steven also answered questions during those event. The activity went well, many people came and asked to have a copy for them to share. 

Here is a picture after the event, with CAVITY crew, street artist from Cavite, and Steven Starr in the Middle. 

And finally, we also held a summer art class for the children here in OMCC with the help of our friend, Arvin from Manila. We had around 30 kids from different parts of Bread Homes and we gave them 3 exercises a day. It was not really successfully done everyday because of other things or works but we managed to gave them good activities and time for this program. Many of them were lazy to come back but many also were happy for the class and hope to be part of it next time. 

During this summer class, we did many things aside from art. We discussed about how to help keep the environment and themselves healthy, how to participate and contribute to the community, we also taught them different simple things, from cooking, planting and making a zine. Here are more pictures of the children and their works. 



So these are the things happened during those few months. Politically, it's not that much but we were happy we did those things. As for now, aside from everyday little works at the garden, we are trying to keep things running for our Food Freedom project together with our friends. We just participated in the Global March against Monsanto last May 25 and also gathered for Really Really Free Market that night.