My artistic journey began in 2016 when I got inspired by the beauty and art that existed around the community I lived in. The beauty was in the people and their activities, so I decided to start documenting their stories to share with the rest of the world these photo stories.
I have been an artist for five years now, I started working professionally in 2016 todate.
I applied for this grant to enable me document the plight of the children in my community during the COVID 19 pandemic to raise awareness about their rights. The grant will facilitate my movement around the community and pay for filming accessories that might be required in the filming and photo documenting process.
My artistic objective after the residency is to establish dialogue about children’s rights with the community leadership and create more opportunities for creating informative photo stories in future.
The Creativity is Life grant was used in various activities that enabled me to create and put together the final short film and documentary entitled ‘LEFT BEHIND BUT NOT FORGOTTEN’. It focuses on the plight of the children in my community during the COVID 19 Pandemic outbreak. The creation process of the short film inevitably enabled me to engage with the community leaders at a deeper level, I was able to listen to them shed more light on the challenges that children have been facing during the COVID 19 Pandemic and also devise practical and sustainable solutions to these challenges, an achievement that this residency has made possible.
The creation process of the short film enabled me to engage health workers at the community health center on the poor child health in the community that is a direct result of the COVID 19 Pandemic outbreak. This engagement led to community members and leaders to organise a small medical camp at the health facility where over forty children received free treatment for flu. Cough, malaria and deworming, a sign that steps to change the dire situation were being taken.
I also engaged parents in the community, especially mothers who shared their stories and also suggested steps that could be taken to improve the livelihood of children in my community.
The dialogue, advocacy and lobbying for children’s rights through photo and video documentation which were the major elements of my residency project highlight the possibility that art can be used as a tool to engage political and community leaders on issues that have affected communities during this COVID 19 Pandemic. And through such engagements, real practical and sustainable solutions can be developed during the dialogue process to positively impact people’s lives in African communities during the surging COVID 19 Pandemic outbreak.
These activities also indicate the fact that art and community are inseparable. Art can be used to portray community’s challenges and advocate for better, but also communities too are a rich source for artists to create stunning works that could become a form of livelihood for the artists, a cordial and mutual relationship that would positively shape the future of communities around the world during the COVID 19 Pandemic.
The residency made me feel compassion especially towards the children that I was documenting. It made me realize that a lot more has to be done in the areas of child health and education and it has to begin with us the artists by telling stories that can create impact on the lives of these children.