Category: barefoot college

soft borders exhibition, sao paulo, brazil

Soft Borders was the main theme of the 4th Upgrade! International Conference & Festival on New Media Art, that took place in São Paulo, Brazil, October 18-21, 2010. Soft Borders embraced a wide variety of topics, cross-disciplinary approaches and presentations of cutting edge technologies. This exhibition has developed as the outcome of the 4th Upgrade! International gathering.
Artists: Not an Alternative, Mushon Zer-Aviv and Laila El-Haddad, Burak Arikan, Michelle Teran, Annemie Maes, Sara Schnadt, and Yael Kanarek.

place: Galeria de Arte da UNESP – Campus São Paulo – Rua Dr Bento Teobaldo Ferraz, 271 – Brazil
time: 3-6 november 2011
curated by: Silvia Laurentiz, Basak Senova, Elena Veljanovska
info: http://www.softborders.art.br/festival
softborders production, UNESP

happy new festival : klinkende stad 2010


http://www.happynewfestival.be/Klinkende_Stad.html

MAHILA is a multi media project that engages with women empowerment in small communities, here especially focused on Indian countrywomen affected by climate change. The project is presented in a twofold installation. One room unveils a multiple speaker ante-chamber that guides to the second room where a film is shown. The first room gives a taste of the material and atmosphere that the artists captured during their research in India. By the use of polyphonic principles and theatrical setups Billy Bultheel creates a simple yet elegant sound installation approaching the contemplative Indian landscape.
The second room shows a film made by Annemie Maes, which is a reflective documentary on women empowerment, going from west to east and vice versa.

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girl power

tilonia map


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Barefoot College, Tilonia, Rajasthan, India.

thoughts – Sarju Bhanwar Gopal Panwar

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interview with Sarju Bhanwar Gopal Panwar, handicraft designer at Barefoot College, Rajasthan, India.
streaming movie — 04:30

My name is Sarju, I’m 50 years old and I work at Barefoot College since 1981. I lead the handicraft department. I never got a proper training as a designer. I learned everything myself, and now I teach other women. I get my inspiration for the designs out of our daily life. I’ve never seen any books, I work with my imagination.

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interview with Vasu, facilitator at Barefoot College

Barefoot College has changed a lot compared to 36 years ago when we started. What is applicable in Tilonia – its overall vision – can be replicated anywhere else. In this country and abroad, but it needs a change of mindsets.
We are organized in a disorganized way. We have small committees for different topics. We have the housing committee, the water committee, the salary committee. Salaries can go up and down, depending on your performance. You have also the possibility to evaluate yourself. Poverty, teamwork, gender are all issues coming into play for evaluation. Points are added up, but nobody can get more than 100 U$.
The options are open. The organization is set up as a community so obviously there will always be somebody to run it.

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Mangi Devi :: Educator.

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Mangi Devi. Educator.
streaming video — 03:20

My Name is Mangi Devi, I am a resident of Tilonia village. The Tillonia organisation ‘Barefoot College’ is about 30 years old now . I have worked in four different departments. I started in the handicraft section and now I am in the education department.
My fathers village is about 35 kms away from here, it’s called Bhiwanwadi. I was illiterate when I arrived here and the organization provided me with education and now I am literate. I belong to the Barwasamaj caste, people from this caste usually are into fieldwork and farming.
I don’t remember when I got married, it was a child-marriage. It was not common to give a dowry in our caste. My family gave a few small items but my in-laws were not asking for money.They wanted the girl and it was good so. My in laws are good and till this date me and my husband don’t fight. We work independently.
My husbands’ name is Tejaram. He works in Kishangar and he has no issues with the organisation here. He is very supportive and we don’t interfere in each others professional life. It has been said that a car has 4 wheels and if one wheel doesn’t work then car doesn’t move and my life with him has been like that.
I have 2 sons and they also have kids who are 28 and 25 years of age. And I have an older daughter too. I am a great-grandmother. I am about 55 years old.

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Nazma Nigam :: Solar Lighting Engineer

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Nazma Nigam. Solar Lighting Engineer.
streaming video — 01:20

From the villagers I heard about a project providing work to illiterate women. When I came here I was scared because I never went to school. But people were I had to leave home early to come to work and traveling was difficult. My in-laws were not liking it as I gave not enough time to my children. After a while they agreed with the fact that I could stay on the campus with my children.
I started at Barefoot as a gardener but I needed more money to raise my kids. In the solar section they were looking for more people to help them with the village solar lighting systems I applied for that department and I started the training.
I followed the complete solar training. They explained me the colors of the circuit and after a while I understood the concept.

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Magan Kawar :: Solar Lighting Engineer.

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Magan Kawar. Solar Lighting Engineer.
streaming video — 01:40

I belong to the Rajput-caste. The Rajput kings and queens were very rich, but there are also poor Rajputs.
My husband got to know about Barefoot College through a village politician and he came here to have a look. He really liked the College approach and he decided to stay. I followed my husband to Barefoot.
I got a lot of reactions from my village people that I wanted to get out of the purdah-system. Rajput woman are supposed to stay their whole life behind the purdah-curtain and are not allowed to see or meet other people. But I decided to go for the training anyway.
My family and my in-laws were afraid I wouldn’t be able to combine work, taking care of the kids and the household. But I convinced them that I would do everything to handle work and family and to manage all my work. And with the support of my husband I started my job at the college.

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Sarju Bhanwar Gopal Panwar :: Handicrafts Designer.

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Sarju Bhanwar Gopal Panwar. Handicrafts Designer.
streaming video — 03:40

My name is Sarju, I’m 50 years old and I work at Barefoot College since 1981. I lead the handicraft department. I never got a proper training as a designer. I learned everything myself, and now I teach other women. I get my inspiration for the designs out of our daily life. I’ve never seen any books, I work with my imagination.
I’m born and brought up in Tilonia. When I got married I moved to a village 25 km from here. My native language is Marwari, but I speak also our national language Hindi and some English words as well. I belong to the Darji-caste, as well as my husband. I studied till the 5th grade, afterwards I went working.
I’m married for many years now. I was 13 when my parents arranged my marriage. Now (some) girls can choose themselves whom to marry. My parents didn’t have to give a dowry. My in-laws accepted me as their daughter and both families spent an equal amount on the wedding.

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