This morning I visited the The Art for Action exhibition at The Black Box gallery in Cape Town, where the passion, talent and resilience of the Yabonga community was celebrated.
Art for Action is about the power of creative expression.
This project began when disposable cameras were given to twenty Yabonga youth at the Luvuyo center. A photography workshop was conducted by documentary photographer, Nikki Rixon, where the youth learned about composition and various aspects of this art form. The youth, ranging in ages 14-20, were then asked to take photos depicting various aspects of their lives and the perceptions that they hold of their surroundings. Respect to Olivia Rogine and her team for putting everything together and for their boundless faith in the kids.
Yabonga is an organisation for women and children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. That being said, all of the photos displayed in the gallery were taken by youth who are affected by the virus in some manner. By allowing these youth to express themselves through photography a greater understanding of the communities in which they live, the schools that they attend and the quality of their lives will be gained.
The goal behind this exhibition is to create a sense of pride in the children and to foster positive ways of expressing themselves.
On meeting and being among these kids, absorbing their energy, hearing their stories and just sharing in the creativity and what inspired their art I realise that all of us, world over, have struggles, a dream, a set of beliefs, values and talents which both set us apart AND brings us together in the name of art.
I am in awe of what these kids have managed to capture with so little experience (some have said to me that this was the first time they have held a camera) and limited resources. This gives me hope and a clearer understanding of the responsibilities we have as the current generation to honour, nurture and develop the talents of those who will lead our future worlds.
Go see: http://voicesofyabonga.tumblr.com/ for more.