ART SESSIONS AT DILSHAD GARDEN, NOVEMBER 2017 - MARCH 2018
The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) in collaboration with the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) started conducting weekly art sessions at Dilshad Garden, New Delhi from October 2017 onward.
Aimed at engaging the children (hailing from different settlements across the area including Saboli Khadda, Trilokpuri and Dilshad Garden) in ground learning, the sessions were designed to help the children learn about themselves and their immediate environment intimately through the basics of art. The children fall in the age bracket of 7-16 and the sessions were held from 10:30 am to 1.30 pm every Sunday. The sessions began as part of a workshop for art educators on October 8, 2017 and then turned into weekly Sunday sessions from November 2017 facilitated by Nilanjana Nandy.
The collaboration began in October with an art educators’ workshop conducted by FICA and CFAR and facilitated by Samina Mishra and Nilanjana Nandy. A group of 12 art educators, which included art school teachers, young artists aspiring to teach and independent educators who work children, participated in this workshop that explored the need for discovering and listening to children’s voices, as well as collaboratively discovering creative practices to build connections in community spaces.
With interactive sessions held by Samina Mishra and Nilanjana Nandy, and presentations by RTE activist Ambarish Rai and CFAR team members, the workshop participants were given a space to think about the role of art education in overcoming barriers and encouraging creative and divergent thinking among children. It also provided a space for art educators to discuss and design art education modules to further the space and potential of young community voices using artistic means. It gave them the opportunity to contextualise and explore the potential of the work we do as art educators in relation larger political question children’s Right to Education, while building a chain of support between different organizations and individuals on the ground. It culminated in a durational engagement with the children from Sunlight Colony and Kalyanpuri where the educators conducted simultaneous workshops with the children in small groups.
Following from this workshop we returned a month later to Dilshad Garden to begin our weekly Sunday classes with the children. The core educator who shaped the entire programme was Nilanjana Nandy, with the support of the CFAR team who took full care and responsibility of the children. The CFAR team comprising Pratibha, Jyoti, Shabnam, Vimla ji, Nirmala, Tabbasum ji, among others, made these sessions possible with the care and attention they gave to all the children that attended the sessions.
The weekly classes at the different venues – which included the Basti Vikas Kendra and MPM office at Dilshad Garden - began with the aim of holding art classes for young learners in their own familiar surroundings. It was planned that every week the learners would engage with line, colour, form etc., the idea having been to enable them to visually express different topics/themes through playful methods in a stress-free environment that could potentially develop into stronger receptive skills on the part of the learners.
FICA is excited to present a report on the project! Take a look at the PDF above.