echotango lead me to capturing gratitude

You know those moments when you connect with some one who is travelling along a parallel path, going a similar direction, but just a bit further along, and
you go “ahhh yeah!! every thing is going the way it should be”. Moments when you realise the intersection of all your varied skills can work together and
you can look at all the possibilities of applying them in your life. These moments seem to be flying at me recently. Some times a little too quickly, where
I am needing to drop other things to grab them, or chase after some that are hurtling along too fast for me to seize.

One of these moment brought me in contact with Alex Kelly, an artist, producer, film maker, activist, and general all round awesome person, with a passion
that is contagious. Kelly has this great blog echotango, which explores social change, arts, impact producing, activism,
social change film, social justice, story based strategies, and much much much more really exciting and informative musings…

Alex is the National Producer of Big hART.

Any way, she introduced me (through her awesome blog) to Lauren Tober, a clinical psychologist (yay!), mindfulness yoga teacher and photographer. Lauren has this project called capturing gratitude, a global happiness project, exploring gratitude through photography. During the month of February people will be posting daily photos of gratitude, encouraging and facilitating their own gratitude practice. Get involved via her website!

There is some thing so beautiful about how an image and the stories that hold it, envelop it and are activated through its consideration. How an image can hold you captivated and allow gentle (or confronting) questioning. The internal and external narration that travels with an image.

 

Yes, stories, I love you.

Big hART

I have been privileged to do my uni internship with Big hART, an amazing arts and social change organisation, based throughout many towns and cities across Australia.

The company brings together communities and artists on projects that aim to empower positive social and individual change through the arts. The company places the greatest importance on both the process and trajectory with the community, as well as on the quality of the art. Big hART projects tackle a wide range of issues, engaging with the complex challenges of life for many of Australia’s most marginalised and disengaged communities. The company believes that complex problems require multi-layered solutions. Often, they find issues within communities are shown as narratives of despair with no way out. Big hART helps communities change the story.

The Big hART model works using a multi-layered approach and generally work with a number of communities across a number of projects.

The model includes:

1.             A non-welfare arts-based community cultural development project, providing a range of workshops and mentoring for participants, creating the opportunity to reconsider questions of around identity and social trajectory

2.             A high-quality art outcome based on the stories of the participants and the community

3.             Ongoing social policy engagement, through the art, and that relates to stories from the community in focus

4.             Engagement with the ‘national narrative’ on social issues – looking to shift narratives by reaching diverse audiences and high profile media using the power of story

It has been a fantastic experience to watch the Big hART process unfold and see the many layers of the companies process.