As the festive season draws near, The Yuva Ekta Foundation set foot on a new venture. Denave India presented us with an opportunity to display our with Arts at a Diwali Exhibition in their offices. For us, it was more than just a presentation. It was a chance to connect and reach out.
Expressive Arts and Art Therapy is a big part of the rehabilitation process in the spaces we conduct regular interventions. Two of those spaces include the Adharshila Observation Home for Boys (a Juvenile Remand Home in Delhi) and Arushi Girls Home (a Unit of Salaam Balak Trust), a shelter home for street and run-away girls. Techniques of theatre, music, crafts and dance have helped us uncover a latent talent base and many of these young ones are making a name for themselves in the field of art.
As a medium of expression, art is personal and intimate. Stories which remain unperturbed come to the surface, often offering a healing touch. It is in this vein, we decided to conduct art and painting workshops in the above mentioned spaces. These workshops are a part of our longstanding ‘Threads of Humanity’ Program, an umbrella project that ushers art based interventions with ‘Youth At Risk’.
“Bhaiya, hum Kya banaein?” (What do we make?) asked a young juvenile offender Sonu (name changed) as he stared at a piece of blank paper. “Kuch bhi bana le… jo marzi ho” (You can draw whatever you feel like). Just a small trigger and stories start to pour. Circular and rectangular cut-outs intended to be table coasters and bookmarks, became canvases that portrayed intense emotions of loss and hope. Many showed their impeccable skill with colours, drawing beautiful and intricate designs which our audience at Denave associated with.
Apart from coasters and bookmarks, we worked with Origami. The street and run-away girls from Arushi, patiently sat with our guest facilitator Nalini Das, as she carefully moulded simple pieces of origami paper into boxes for lightweight products. With envelopes, greeting cards and up-cycled newspaper pens, we had an inventory of 300 products that were up for grabs.
As the festival of light draws close, Hand Painted Diyas became a sensation. These were painted as part of our newest project called ‘Homecoming’. Our effort in this project is to bring together ‘Youth at Risk’ living under ‘Care and Protection’ to inmates in Old Age Homes. This interaction is facilitated through Expressive Arts.
Each piece was a story that we were proud to narrate. Many purchased items for Diwali, while some contributed to the cause. Each act of giving meant a connection with our intent and it is exactly what we’d hoped for. We further displayed our work at Diwali Exhibitions in Vasant Kunj and Teamwork Arts Pvt. Ltd.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to Denave for giving us this opportunity and a big thank you to those who contributed to the cause. The proceeds collected from these exhibitions will go in facilitating more Expressive Arts Programs at Adharshila and Salaam Balak Trust.