Carving Community : An Introduction

 

‘A community is who turns up’
Michael Meade

 

‘If you lose community you have conflict and if one wishes to recreate community you have to go back through conflict’
Michael Meade

 

‘The most radical thing one can do today is create community’
Martine Prechtel

 

‘Peace is not the absence of war; it is not a passive state of being.
We must wage peace, as vigilantly as we wage war’

The XIV Dalai Lama

 

Community has to be worked for, actively persuaded, carved out, hewn from a mass.

 

It requires action and courage to take the risk to ‘turn up’ and can involve struggles, strife, confusion and conflict.

 

It requires individuals to be responsive and responsible for their intentions and actions.

 

The rewards are bountiful and abundant - people share in a sense of individual and collective belonging.

 

The older members of society find their fear abates, meaning/purpose and nourishment comes into their lives from handing back down the generational line their experiences, skills, stories and wisdoms.

 

The young benefit from being seen and blessed by an adult which wakes up in them dormant memories that there is a possibility they have a vision of their own, which activates the will to carve out a future for themselves.

 

As an organisation we hold the idea of community as an ideal, but accept the fact that we cannot expect to create sustainable community by ourselves. We acknowledge community is a complex organism and evolves over time from the inter-generational generosity and courage.

 

What Can We Do?

What we can do is initiate contact and conversation, creating interactions through practical creative projects within social settings, breaking down barriers and prejudice.

Starting With The Youth

 

We work practically with young people in their own settings, within a public park, a small triangle of grassed area next to a road or a neglected concreted area or the classic abandoned garage environments.

 

Initially we will liaise with established work being done by youth workers, out reach workers, residence committee members and local Police beat officers.

 

If there are no relationships established with young people we just turn up, find a neglected place set out our tools, materials and a pot of tea, get the deck chairs out and rely on curiosity.

 

The scenario goes something like this: young person arrives and asks ‘what are you doing?’ reply from us ‘waiting for you, would you like some tea?’

 

And so the work begins.

 

Over period of weeks the young people are viewed in a different light by the adult population, witnessing them turn up regularly and be actively involved in some creative endeavour whereby they are seen to be creatively make some thing for the collective use.

 

The gathering becomes intriguing and entices people over to the work being done and ask the question; ‘What are you doing?’ and the group reply is, ’Waiting for you’, and so the work begins again.

 

Our aim is to generate long term and sustainable connections, matching cross-generational interests, skills and abilities, bridging the generation gaps.

About The Team

 

We are made up of a diverse group of experienced and qualified practitioners who have worked with young people and adults for over twenty years each.

 

Our backgrounds range from practicing as artists, youth workers, creative arts therapists and outdoor education specialists who have worked locally, nationally and internationally around the themes of community, conflict and change.

 

We pride ourselves in creating a safe wild space in which to work, carrying out regular risk assessments, providing appropriate health and safety equipment and full public liability insurance for our practice.

 

To see examples of our projects please view the clips from the 'Carving Communities – Living Spaces' DVD below or e-mail James Bond at spitonhands@hotmail.com

Videos




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