• Sem Balança Documentary

    April 6, 2010 // No Comments »

    Since coming home from the Sem Balança project we have been finishing off the project rapport (will post soon) and organizing the material. David´s final project in the graphic design course in ENAV is about Sem Balança and he has been working on the first draft of a documentary about it. Here is the result: Sem Balança documentary


    Posted in Sem Balanca; Dance, design and global warming, SOLEY BLOG

    Sem Balança (Out of balance); Dance and visual communication about global warming and the environment

    March 17, 2010 // No Comments »

    The last two weeks I have been in the north of Mozambique, first Pemba and then Quelimane along with Kristine my colleague here teaching in the dance school, Vintani dancer in the National Dance Company and David, a graduate student in ENAV. We have been running two one week workshops in dance, design and scenography (promotion, photography, video) ending in a dance and film show. It has been a great time and very successful. Lots of challenges to face and huge experience for us.

    In the FK program me and Kristine are working within there is a budget which the participants can apply for to do a project they develop and want to realize. We applied with a common project and got as well a support from MONO; a new ‘Mozambique-Norway’coopearation project that the Norwegian embassy here in Maputo supports.

    We had all kinds of ideas when developing the project and one of the things we decided on early in the process was to do a project outside Maputo. Maputo is a lively city with all kinds of workshops, shows and possibilities but outside the capital theactivity is limited.

    The project we decided on and developed we call Sem Balança; dance and visual communication about global warming and the environment.

    The idea is to use the artforms to address this topic. We contacted the House of Culture in Pemba and Quelimane to have the workshops there. Both have active dance groups and they were exited about our visit.

    Pemba. Topic: Garbage. Dancing in the garbage and interviewing people about the problem

    It was 5 days workshops ending in a show the last day. The first day of the workshops we showed films and lectured about global warming and the environmental challenges in the world and had discussions. The participants then defined a local problem to focus on in the workshop. In Pemba they decided to address the huge garbage problem in the city and in Quelimane in Zambezia the focus was on deforestation and the silence of the people. The participants were divided in groups of dance and design. The dance choreographies and the scenography and visuals were about the topic they chose.

    The name of the project Sem Balança is taken from a sculpture David made in a workshop in relation to the World Wide Views on Global Warming meeting in Maputo. (The Picture on the poster above is of that sculpture)

    As I have written about here I have been doing projects with my students about the environment. After the exhibition I got a support to take two of my students, David Aguacheiro and Rejão de Carvalho, along to Iceland and Norway over christmas for a study trip focusing on global warming and environmental affairs. Their task was to do a documentary and animation work about this. We did not manage to finish that work before leaving for this project but they will present their work soon after we are back.

    In the end of january and begining of february we put plans for the Sem Balanca on full speed because the project had to happen in march. Both of us were hoping to be able to take at least 2 students along. I planned to take finalists that could do their final project in relation to this project. But the budget was only enough for four persons total. Vintani Nafassi, a really talented dancer from the National Dance Company and a great teacher, came along for the dance part and David Aguacheiro came with me for the design and scenography part. For him this is a continuation of the study trip. He has been working on this subject for the last 2 months and had a loto f useful material. This project is the basis for his final project. He has as well participated in several projects doing video-art combined with contemporary dance and had therefore enough experience to teach with me.

    Here is the Project description

    I will soon post more about the workshops in Pemba and Quelimane. In the meanwhile here are links to the photo albums on Facebook, Pemba, Quelimane.


    Posted in Sem Balanca; Dance, design and global warming, SOLEY BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

    Is this because of global warming?

    February 12, 2010 // No Comments »

    David and Rejao have been working everyday in my home on editing and finishing the final work of the Study trip. In Iceland and Norway we did not want to spend to much time in front of the computer editing, but use time to collect material and experience. Here in Maputo we have also been collecting interesting material to join with the material from the north.

    Here above are some photos from the beach on the way to Costa do Sol. The sea is destroying the trees and the road in one place. Is this because of global warming? We hope to interview professor John Hatton, a specialist in environmental affairs, and we will ask him about this situation by the coast.


    Posted in Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    A visit to Sorpa, recyciling station

    January 19, 2010 // No Comments »

    We went three times to visit one of Sorpa’s recycling stations in Reykjavik. The first time it was so cold that it was difficult to be outside and we did not film. We just photographed and one of the staff members introduced the station and the procedures to us. He had a really cheerful introduction which stuck in David’s mind. And later he insisted on going back to get an interview with this man. We returned later hoping to meet him but he was not there. We managed to describe him well enough to find out when he would be working again.

    So next time we visited Sorpa we met Sigurður Jónsson. He accepted to be interviewed and filmed while showing us around “no problem”. He answered our questions well, told us his thoughts about the environment and recycling and walked us around the area. Afterwards Sigurdur gave David a russian style leather and fur hat to keep him warm. A useful thing in the Icelandic cold but here in Mozambique it can serve as a decoration for good memories!

    It is interesting from the perspective of Maputo to look at how things are in Reykjavik. Iceland is around 20 years behind the other Nordic countries in infrastructural systems to protect the environment. Sorpa is just 20 years old and before that there was just a big garbage dump where everything was trown into one pile. People threw garbage on the streets like such an act was no problem. With a political policy and campaigns to change the mentality of the people things have improved fast, even though like Sigurður told us there still are way to many that do not care about their environmental impact. If such a policy would be taken in Maputo, system developed and awareness raised I am sure things could change very fast. I hope so!


    Posted in SOLEY BLOG, Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    Work begins

    January 3, 2010 // No Comments »

    Our work location is in the Iceland Academy of the Arts. We got the keys to the media lab in the design department and access to the equipment there.

    On Monday the 28th, the first work day after Xmas, we went there in the morning and began to plan our work and program while here in the North. Over the holidays it is difficult to go for visits or have meetings/workshops with designers. So we concentrated on collecting material and generally do what is possible while people are on holiday and most places closed. The day after we went to Sorpa, the Reykjavik recycling company. We took all our cans, plastics and bottles there and received 700 kronur in return. We filmed and talked to the people working there and got explanations about how things work. There is one container there where people put stuff that is still functioning and valuable. That is sent to a shop named Góði hirðirinn (The Good Shepheard). So, after the recycling visit we went directly to the shop and David and Rejao liked it a lot. It is a second hand shop with all possible things for a cheap price. On the 30th we went to the Reykjavik Rubbish Dump in Álfsnes where all the garbage from Reykjavik is buried underground and we shot some videos and photos to keep as record of the activities there.

    Then we were in holidays again, the end of the year celebrations. We enjoyed good food, fireworks and parties. Although on a mozambican scale things were very calm. Sitting for hours at the table eating and drinking without dancing until very much later. To David and Rejao, this was a very strange way to celebrate.

    On the 2nd of January in the new year we travelled to Búðardalur, West of Iceland, for one night. It is beautiful there and calm… which means hardly anyone else was in the vicinity. We visited a farm close by the house we were staying in (a kind of a second house owned by friends). The only people living there are the farmers, Guðmundur and Halla, and their son and his friend (Raggi, Doris cousin) were visiting. For Mozambicans this is not possible. To live without a crowd of people and lots and lots of kids all around!


    Posted in Study trip to Iceland and Norway

    A study trip to Iceland and Norway

    December 19, 2009 // No Comments »


    Two of my students Rejão and David will come with us tomorrow to Iceland for five weeks over the christmas. They will go for a study trip and the task is to make documentary work; film and animation about environmental issues. Rejão is a talented illustrator and a growing animator and Davids talents lie within film, collage and conceptual work. We are hoping that they will make a good team with these different talents and the collaboration will bring out something interesting. They have already started to collect material here in Maputo and have made a short video art-work that they like to present there north. They have been focusing on garbage and pollution. These students are talented and work hard.

    The project is supported by the FK program I am in on behalf of Kulturskolen i Fredrikstad and ENAV, the school I work in. The Iceland Academy of the Arts supports the project by offering facilities and teachers.

    Here is the description of the project and below is a pdf documents with the project description in english and portuguese to download:

    Today it has become an undisputed fact that the whole world has to deal with a large environmental problem. Global warming is on the increase and an endless production of things can not be sustained. To turn to a more sustainable lifestyle it is necessary to be creative in communicating the problem and designing new ways of living. Designers and artist have the skills to motivate and open peoples eyes in a creative and effective way. Their work is to design our daily things and select materials and sources. An essential part of the environmental impact that products generate, is decided on the design stage.
    This project is inspired by the work the students of ENAV did in relation to the World Wide Views on Global Warming meeting that took place in Maputo. The Students worked for one week creating an exhibition about global warming in front of the hall where the meeting took place. The weeks before the students were given lectures about global warming and shown films to gain a better understanding about the subject matter.
    The students became very inspired and interested in continuing to work with environmental issues. A group of students called Bantuart is now finishing a project description of a street performance they want to make about global warming. Other students have also presented some ideas.
    Hopefully it is possible to establish an interdisciplinary environmental group in the school where students in design, art, ceramics and textiles will work through the year on different projects addressing environmental issues. There are many things to address and opportunities to participate in national and international events dedicated to the environment.

    The project
    The studytrip is meant to be an inspiration to the students in ENAV. Two students will travel to Iceland and Norway for one month. These students have a growing and promising competence in film, illustration and animation and therefore the ability to communicate their experiences in a creative way.
    The students will visit places that are related to environmental issues, for example recycling and waste management. They will meet designers that work in a sustainable way and have workshops with professional people within design, film and art to train and improve their competence.
    During the month before the trip the students will work on research in Maputo. They will record and collect visual material to take along and work with while on the trip in the medialabs provided.

    Objectives and goals
    Increasing the competence of the students that will travel.

    Produce material that can be valuable for the Mozambican society.
    To inspire the students of ENAV to address environmental issues in a creative way.
    Transfer of knowledge and know-how in tackling environmental challenges.

    A film/animation from the material collected in the trip.

    A presentation of the trip and their experiences.
    Other material will depend on the ideas that will come up during the process.

    MONOZI (An FK supported program):

    Kulturskolen i Fredrikstad
    Escola Nacional de Artes Visuais

    Teachers, DogS:
    Soley Stefansdottir. Working as an FK participant in Maputo
    Halldor Gislason. Developing a cooperation between ISAC; the new Art and Design Academy in Mozambique and KHiO; Oslo National Academy of the Arts
    Iceland Academy of the Arts (Provides facilities and teachers)

    David Pinto Calvo Aguacheiro, graphic design student in ENAV
    Rejao David de Carvalho, graphic design student in ENAV

    Project description
    descrição do projecto


    Posted in Soley work in ENAV, Study trip to Iceland and Norway

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