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STILLNESS IN ACTION: ART&CREATIVE COMMUNITY CREATION

This section of the website is created as a collaborative platform towards sustainable change at community level.

It is a long-term vision: as human beings we all hold a level of wounding and trauma ( both personal and hystorical). Giving space to process these layers and freeing up the life lying underneath them, is fundamental to restore dignity, a sense of possibility and the ensuing capacity to move on from both our personal and collective history.

I believe our inherent potential to bring forth new life from the ashes of destruction is our most sacred gift and our most compelling responsibility.

I am looking for opportunities to work and engage with groups or communities who wish to start, or are already developing, new templates of healing and human connection leading to the dismantling of personal or historical traumas using art and creativity as a vehicle of transformation. 

My community work is specifically directed towards women.

 
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RADICAL INNER CHANGE
FOR
RADICAL OUTER ACTION

Creativity born of personal transformation can break down structures of oppression, both individual and collective.


JUST TO PUT THINGS IN CONTEXT

A few words on my spiritual beginnings

I grew up in Italy within an  environment which deeply married faith with action: for  faith to be true, action had to be present.

My family spiritual history on my father's side, was one of socially-engaged spirituality. I have always carried within me an innocent yet profound spiritual thirst which, over the years, has intensely shaped me into the woman and human I am today.


Growing into my own spiritual voice

Along the way, my innate inquisitiveness led me to either question what I was taught as true, discard it, refine it or redefine it. I was challenged  by this process, excavated and expanded. The message that faith with no action is a very private and self-glorifying exercise rang true in my soul, throughout my formative years, but it also felt incomplete. I carried for a long time a deep sense of guilt and inadequacy about being drawn so deeply into my inner world, without ever being able to produce an outer proof of my potent spiritual life. Yet my inner journey has been the most comprehensive experience of inner liberation, one which is ongoing and unfolding.


I now know for sure

What I had always intuited as being an unbalanced message - and now I know it to be unequivocally so - is that social consciousness and action which are not birthed and rooted in the deep inner work of dismantling what doesn't serve and uphold life and in the knowledge and surrender to the Divine in us,  are not sustainable. Such actions generate change but they DO NOT and CAN NOT create the kind of change needed in the world today. 

Now I know that, as Andrew Harvey, Founder and Director of the Institute for Sacred Activism, says:

"A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal onslaught of history.

On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.

When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born.

This force I define as Sacred Activism.”

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I am available to either collaborate with existing projects involving emotional healing and transformation for women at a grass root level using creativity as a vehicle OR help develop a creative space to foster trauma healing and personal empowerment for women within a group or community.

  

 

    PAST PROJECTS

 

MEETING A RURAL REALITY

- IN LOVING MEMORY OF MOLEFI RALEBENYA -

Bee-keeper and keeper of the light

                                                                       


Find the story of this project at the end of gallery (applicable only to desktop view)

Molefi - Beekeeper and Keeper of Light -
Baking bread
More kneading
Having fun with paper and colouring pencils
So here is our bread.
Diteboho
Quiet, strong, independet Mamaka
Mamaka in action
Sibongile
Sassy Manaledi
Crocheting away
Upfront Nnono, loving Maki and shy Makabelo and their art.
Makabelo (right) and her mother Manaledi
Mpho and friend whipping up a quick cake
Mamaka - Waiting for her turn at a massage
Maki - Eager to try a massage treatment
Mampolokeng - After her massage -
Mme Matsepho and friend
Mural  for sewing studio in progress - 1
Mural for stewing studio in progress - 2
Wall sewing studio
Art studio - work in progress - walls
Art Studio - work in progress -
Art Studio - Corner details
Art Studio - work in progress -
Art studio - ceiling
Art Studio - seascape mural - walls
Art studio - 'Wanita The Turtle'in progress
Art studio -  'Wanita' is complete
Art Studio Seascape
Art Studio - Room details
Art Centre - Kitchen space
Art centre - Kitchen - in progress
Art Centre - Kitchen completed
Art centre - Kitchen completed
Anita, caretaker and works coordinator, and her workhorse.
Pitso, caretaker and artist, painting away.
Sumedha, artist and educator from India
Wanita by the fire
Gogo Soozi, traditional sangoma and plant expert and


WHAT AND WHEN

Between April 2018 and July 2019 I worked as a volunteer on a social development project in a rural community in South Africa. I was involved both in connecting with the women of the community and developing an art centre facility to be used for a variety of activities.

Unfortunately, despite the great vision and intentions of the top key players, things didn’t turn out as successfully as anticipated.


WHAT I LEARNED

What I took from this experience is how heart connection breaks through the boundaries of language, culture, history and social status. What was achieved, at surface level, wasn't much perhaps, but I was profoundly touched, moved and changed by the experience, as were many involved in the project.

I learned  about the challenging intricacies of working within a culturally and historically different background from mine and the unexpected personal transformation the activators of such projects are often called to embrace; I learned how to keep my heart open despite inner anxieties  and external resistance. I also learned to stand back, let go of any frame of reference and just listen. I had no hidden agenda other than wanting to make space for simple, authentic connection in heartfelt respect for anyone I could engage with.


LOOKING FOR A FEMININE LENS

Naively perhaps, I also wanted to test a very feminine approach to healing and change: a knowing that unless we engage with each other with a stubborn commitment to be open and vulnerable with each other; unless we offer who we are, and not what we do, with no hidden agenda; unless we take care of our shadow instead of trying to fix the dark spots in who, or what stands in front of us; unless we take time to listen, to hold, to hear, to nurture and to support life in ourselves and in others, no movements forward will result in the empowerment of all.  

To this day I share a very simple but authentic bond with the women I interacted with. I learned that  verbal communication is not the only way to connect and that true community can only be built on the foundation of self-awareness, love, respect and openness to honour each other's history and boundaries. 

The images above (on desktop screen) or below (mobile screen) are a loving record of the time I shared with the women. Click on images for more info.

 

'I - WOMAN'

Women meeting women

In February 2016 I started a small project  called ‘I, Woman.’ My intention was to welcome women from all walks of life into a space I had set up at home inspired by the Red Tent initiative by DeAnna L'Am, with the focus of connecting with each other by connecting to oneself. I was new to this type of group interaction and facilitation. I ran monthly meetings for three years and in December 2018 I brought the initiative to a close due to lack of numbers.

Upon reflection, I realized this experience was just an incubation period for a more collaborative approach to healing of the feminine within women. It was also a time where I leaned more deeply into my strengths and vulnerabilities as a personal growth facilitator.

Below are a few images of the space  I offered and one of the meetings. 

Red Tent Space
Red Tent Space
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Red Tent Space
Red Tent Space
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Red Tent Space
Red Tent Space
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Sharing a meal after a meeting
Sharing a meal after a meeting
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Newspaper article on 'I, Woman'
Newspaper article on 'I, Woman'
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WOMEN'S RETREAT - 
FEB 2019

BEFRIENDING YOUR BODY - BEFRIENDING YOUR SOUL

In a gentle, relaxing environment,  women from different background had the opportunity  to meet, listen to themselves and and interact with each other through art, creativity, walking, prayer, experimenting with indigenous healing modalities, and opening to a gentle layer of inner work with breath work.

Below are images from the weekend.