• Archive for September, 2009

    Computer Hardware Donations

    September 30, 2009 // No Comments »

    bodinjonniSnaps from Halvor’s and Jonni’s websites

    During my short stop in Oslo on my Nordic tour, I met friend Jonni, a graphic designer/photographer, who has always been helpful when it comes to gadgets and geeky stuff. He has been collecting together hardware items for us to take to Africa to improve the media-lab in ENAV. So, I left Oslo with heavy bags of cables, memories, digital boards, wi-fi’s and even one good Nicon digital camera. It was quite complicated to make it through the weapons control in airport, but in the end all went well. This stuff is donated by Jonni and friend Halvor Bodin and we are very thankful for their generosity. Soley was excited when I unpacked my bags on returning and we are putting the stuff to good use. Poor Soley has been fighting a loosing battle to get more hardware support from her school or the Ministry of Education here in Maputo. It is a very slow and democratic process of tendering, contracts, evaluations etc. etc. It is a game that still goes on. We have also been to meetings in our embassies to try to find ways of funding something, even small donations to buy computers for the media-lab, but so far to no success.

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    Posted in DogS ACTIVITIES, DORI BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

    World Wide Views on Global Warming – Exhibition

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    wwv_exhibition_rovuma

    Here are photos from the exhibition. It was a great success and we got compliments from all different parties. After working so hard at it we were of course very happy.

    The exhibition took place on the balconies in front of the meeting room where the World Wide Views meeting was being held. There were about one hundred Mozambicans attending the meeting. I like the fact that it was not in a gallery or a museum, the art came to the people instead of the people to the art.

    We want to to thank Østein from the Norwegian embassy, Carlota from Impacto, Joana from FDC, Victor our rector in ENAV, Umoja and Hotel Rovuma for making this possible. And it is worth mentioning that this is the first time that the MONOZI project that I work in and UMOJA collaborate. I have told my opinion that I think there should also be design students in UMOJA and I hope this work will open up for that possibility and more of prosperous collaboration.

    Here below is the text that we put up as an introduction to the exhibition.

    Fighting global warming and inventing new ways of living is a task for everyone.

    Designers play fundamental role in that task. They can influence how products are developed and what materials are chosen. They can decide not to create seductive material to sell products that are bad for the environment. Graphic designers have the power to use visual language to communicate problems and solutions.

    All around the world, designers and creative people are addressing the environmental challenge and developing sustainable designs that can exist in peace with nature.

    The students in ENAV had a week to produce this exhibition. They were given a lecture about global warming, watched films about the earth and the development of human behaviour and technology and there were many discussions around the topic.

    In the ideation period it was decided not to use materials that are bad for the environment. That led to the use of garbage as a source for creativity. Some of the artwork are beautiful objects and others are structures that use trash to communicate the problem we are facing.

    The students really enjoyed their work that has resulted in many other ideas that they did not have time to develop this time. Hopefully they will have further opportunity to continue to work on their ideas for addressing environmental issues.

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    Todo mundo tem de tomar parte na luta contra o aquecimento global e inventar novas formas de viver.

    Designers têm um papel importante sobre meio ambiente. Eles podem influenciar o que é produzido e quais os materiais que são utilizados. Eles podem decidir não criar material sedutor para vender produtos que são ruins para o ambiente.

    E designers gráficos têm o poder de usar a linguagem visual para comunicar o problema e soluções.

    Os alunos de ENAV teveram uma semana para produzir esta exposicão. Para aprender o conteúdo e ter ideias, tiveram palestra sobre a qual, falo-se do aquecimento global e viram os filmes sobre o globo e desenvolvimento de comportamento dos humanos e a tecnologia.

    No período de ideação foi decidido não usar os materiais que são ruins para o ambiente. Isso levou à utilização do lixo como matéria criativa. Algumas das obras são belas as coisas feitas de lixo e outros são estruturas que usar lixo para comunicar o problema que estamos enfrentando.

    Os alunos realmente gostaram do trabalho e vêem para a frente com muitas outras idéias que não têm tempo para fazer agora. Esperançosamente eles terão a oportunidade de continuar a desenvolver as suas ideias e desenvolver o interesse pelas questões ambientais.

    Todo mundo tem de tomar parte na luta contra o aquecimento global e inventar novas formas de viver.
    Designers têm um papel importante sobre meio ambiente. Eles podem influenciar o que é produzido e quais os materiais que são utilizados. Eles podem decidir não criar material sedutor para vender produtos que são ruins para o ambiente.
    E designers gráficos têm o poder de usar a linguagem visual para comunicar o problema e soluções.
    Os alunos de ENAV teveram uma semana para produzir esta exposicão. Para aprender o conteúdo e ter ideias, tiveram palestra sobre a qual, falo-se do aquecimento global e viram os filmes sobre o globo e desenvolvimento de comportamento dos humanos e a tecnologia.
    No período de ideação foi decidido não usar os materiais que são ruins para o ambiente. Isso levou à utilização do lixo como matéria criativa. Algumas das obras são belas as coisas feitas de lixo e outros são estruturas que usar lixo para comunicar o problema que estamos enfrentando.
    Os alunos realmente gostaram do trabalho e vêem para a frente com muitas outras idéias que não têm tempo para fazer agora. Esperançosamente eles terão a oportunidade de continuar a desenvolver as suas ideias e desenvolver o interesse pelas questões ambientais.
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    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

    Global Warming workshop photos

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    Workshop - Process

    I have been so busy with the workshop and exhibition that I have not posted any blogs recently. I have created a spontaneous photo stream on Facebook so those that are there have been able to follow our activities daily.

    The project-work was very successful. We began on Saturday the 15th and had one week to produce an exhibition. As is normal the work began quite slowly, the students were politely positive but not enthusiastic, but when the ideas began to appear the energy level rose and they worked enthusiastically on their ideas. I had resisted to make a list of materials to buy because I wanted the ideas to develop before and hoped for ideas coming up using recycled material. This became true so we did not need to shop much for materials. Just some metals to build structures, cardboard boxes, glues and some tools. Here, where the budgets are generally not very large it made things easier to concentrate on working with garbage.

    The students had no trouble in going out and returning with all kinds of great garbage/art material. They often remind me of Icelanders, if something really has to be done there are always ways, even if the budget is low. Someone knows someone who can fix this or that and they are experts in getting the cheapest solutions possible.

    Craft based work is not a problem here, the students know how to work with their hands and are by far better than me in that aspect. The computer skills here are still very low and I really suffer because the students are thirsty in learning programs but we have so few computers and very limited access for the students to practice computing. My role in the workshop was to challenge them to develop their ideas, talk about the subject to stick to the focus and look at the aesthetical part. And, what I think is two of the most important things of my job here is to make things possible (access to equipment/material) and give compliments! In my view giving a compliment is one of the best way to get a person to work hard. In my experience, compliments are not an inherent part of the culture here.

    The students came up with far more ideas that they could realize and are really interested in keeping up this project work longer. I do hope that we find ways to do that. And the only problem I have with this work is the lack of girls in the group. I hope that can change. Global warming and environmental issues are part of the most fundamental topics today and recycling is an important part of addressing them. Recycling is still a large part of culture here. The poverty has not provided the people with an opportunity to enter the insane consumption existence that we in the Western  Culture have ended in. But, here as everywhere prosperity increases material consumption and respect for the natural resources and materials takes second place. There fore we need to wake up here as well as in other placed in the world.

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    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

    The Age of Stupid

    September 23, 2009 // No Comments »

    theageofstupid

    Yesterday there was a global premere of the film The Age of Stupid. Here in Maputo the film was on in Teatro Avenida. It was a great timing for us in ENAV that are prepairing an exhibition about Global Warming. Several of the students in the workshop came and saw the film and liked it a lot. I should have been there but Now we have had John Hatton from Impacto to lecture about global warming, watched a great film he gave us about the development of the earth and the environmental problems we are facing today, watched this movie and then worked artistcally with the topic. In the end I hope to have a group of hard core environmentalists!

    This is a topic the whole world has to wake up about and not the least Africa a continent that is among those in the world that will suffer the most, even if they are the least to blame. Here is a little quote from an article on the site Africa, the good news says:

    “Africa needs to become more self-centred, and make sure that she benefits, not exclusively but wholly, from the sustainable energy solutions her lands hold. Much like the ICT boom in the developing world saw many nations bypass fixed line telecoms infrastructure, Africa has the opportunity to bypass fossil fuel dependency, moving straight onto power solutions built on sustainable energy; but not if we give it all away.”

    Unfortunately there was at the same time an opening of a bienal in The Art Museum and some of the students have work there. I should have been there, but instead I am going there now and will post about it later today.

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    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

    Global Warming Workshop

    September 20, 2009 // No Comments »

    Global Warming Workshop

    Top: The space in Hotel Rovuma where the exhibition will be. All the participants in the World Wide Views meeting will walk through this space and we hope it will be interesting to see the artwork before the meeting.
    Middle: Ideation. Students talking and developing ideas.
    Bottom: Rejão de Carvalho is going to make a big painting and is transforming the small sketch to a big paper.

    Today the students in ENAV begun the work that they will exhibit next saturday in context with the World Wide Views meeting here in Maputo next saturday.

    Last week we watched a film about global warming; the development of the earth and the effects of human habituation. Then yesterday we had discussions to develop ideas and organize. This morning we continued the discussions and the groups decided what they wanted to do. The topic we are working with is the environment and how we have to change our ways of living, therefore we do not want to use materials that are bad for the environment. That puts up limits to what is possible to do but gives oppurtunity to make something different. So the main focus has been recycling and using material that exists instead of buying more material that will then higher the garbage piles even more!

    The students went out to the street and collected a lot of “garbage” that soon will be art. I am hoping for a creative and active day tomorrow.

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    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

    Pin-hole photography project

    September 10, 2009 // No Comments »

    Pinhole with Pringles

    Now we have a functioning dark room in ENAV but no cameras. But that does not stop us, we just make cameras!
    Alex, a photograper from England (which I have mentioned here before) has been working with me here in teaching photography and our first course was ‘Pin-hole photography’. The pin-hole cameras can be made of any box that keeps the light out and has a lid to put in and take out the paper. Then there is made a tiny pin-hole on the box that is uncovered when taking the picture. Basic knowledge, light and time, cheap and easy and the results are often really nice and go beyond the capabilities of the technologically perfect pictures of modern cameras.

    pinhole_1

    The project the students got for the course was to make a cd cover. They should select one song they liked, write down the lyrics and understand what it is about. Then sketch ideas of a pin-hole photo that communicates that music and try and get that photo on a paper. I think it is a nice to use music for this kind of project as it can be very abstract and sensational.

    Here is a link to an album of some of the pin-hole photos. After taking the photos they scanned them and have been developing them in the computer and designing the cd cover.

    Hopefully they finish that project next monday and then I will post the final covers.

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    Posted in Soley work in ENAV

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