ReThink Festival slowly goes global in general and in Honduras in particular

Posted by Runa Juhanisdotter

It’s been a very exciting winter for ReFashionReFood and the ReThink movement. After participating with a Challenge during OSCE Days (Open Source Circular Economy), with a brainstorming workshop on how to spread the ReThink Festival globally, we’ve started the work on the open source DIY manual, we’ve held events in Manchester (UK) plus Marcala (HN) and sister festivals in Vejle (DK) and Los Angeles (US) are in the tube.

We’re increasing our presence in Honduras. Besides strengthening ties and deepening our collaboration with COMSA International School in Marcala, we’re teaming up with Catracha Coffee and their community in Santa Elena, 25 kilometers southwest of Marcala towards the El Salvador border.

Photo: Runa Juhanisdotter © All rights reserved

Santa Elena is set in an enchanting, secluded mountain landscape, some 1600 metres above sea level, where coffee and corn fincas fight against the elements and climate change. The small village is like something straight out of a cool spaghetti western with adobe houses painted in bright colors, macho men wearing sombreros on strong horses, cows and chicken walking freely and chuchas (mutts) roaming the dusty streets, sometimes in howling packs.

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Right there in the center of the ‘pueblo’, a vibrant and inspiring project is taking shape. This is where Mayra (native to Santa Elena) and Lowell Powell are building Catracha Coffee, a community and social enterprise dedicated to accessing the specialty coffee market for small, local coffee farmers. A patient, loving project with a mission that goes beyond coffee to promote prosperity for women and the next generation in Santa Elena.

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Catracha Coffee participated in the ReThink Festival Marcal on February 3 and the plan is to arrange a festival in Santa Elena as well next year. Moreover, we’re initiating fruitful collabs within Catracha’s business incubator, through projects like BunnyMission and Bybaba Fiber Circus. And since we’re movin’ n’ grovin’ our way into speciality coffee, of course we’ll collaborate on that cup as well. Catracha Coffee is another brilliant example of excellent coffee for a cause. What else? Well, since Mayra and Lowell run a cool artist-in-residency program, some joint artivism is also on the horizon.

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In times of increasing political turmoil, climate change and social injustice, creative action and skill sharing are key. This winter Ela Roth and I, had the pleasure to hold training workshops on how to make global impact sock bunnies and how to knit at Catracha. We also had the honor to visit the new local high school in Santa Elena to give a really cool upcycling workshop and to give a talk on the pressing need to build international grassroot networks and sustainable, local communities.

Photo: Ela Roth © All rights reserved

Photo: Ela Roth © All rights reserved

Photo: Ela Roth © All rights reserved

Photo: Ela Roth © All rights reservedPhoto: Ela Roth © All rights reservedPhoto: Ela Roth © All rights reserved

Links:
www.refashionrefood.org
www.catrachacoffee.com
www.bunnymission.org
www.bybaba.com
community.oscedays.org

Photo: Runa Juhanisdotter © All rights reserved

Photo: Runa Juhanisdotter © All rights reserved

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ReThink Festival slowly goes global in general and in Honduras in particular

For a Better World Manga

It’s seems like the world is becoming more and more divided, but many good initiatives are finding each other and joining forces. We are happy to have teamed up with ‘For a Better World’ and are looking forward to working together on various projects, activities and actions. If you attended the ReThink Festival on July 1 in Berlin, you probably already met them and learned about their cool manga project, created to inspire positive actions in order to change the world into a better place. Their manga adventure is now published and we invited them to present it here at ReFashionReFood – Be The Change.

Blog contribution by ‘For a Better World’

“Apparently, human race cannot find the solution to the acceleration of environment destruction, wars, corruption and human rights violations.

For a Better World Manga has 111 pages of adventure, fiction and reality in a thrill of actions that gives chills. The background images are unique and the futuristic looking of figures reminds of science fiction movies.

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But there is something really disturbing about the general setting. Whilst the heroes’ looks are fictive, all the chapters are based on real life stories. It is all about the world we live in, the problems and solutions presented in a very original and dramatic way.

In the story three heroes are on a quest to make the world a better place. They fight against a group of powerful evil men in black, who represent all that is wrong in the world and are at the roots of the world’s problems.fbw-powerownersAll background scenery photos, with a few exceptions, are our own unique photos.

We travelled around the world for the last four years to see the state of the planet with our own eyes. At the end of this period we created For a Better World – a worldwide community aimed at bringing peace, social justice and environment protection.

We did extensive research and linked our findings to what we saw during our travel. We made a selection of more then 200 documents collected from media and institutional sources and wrote the text ‘Unveiling the Hidden Reality”. This documents are unveiling the mechanisms by which domination and exploitation takes place on earth. This text became the theoretical background of our Manga.

Before visiting the last country of our trip, Japan, we had the idea of creating a Japanese style Manga. It would be an original vehicle to present our findings in a dramatic and expressive way.

We did not know how to develop this idea and thought its accomplishment would be almost impossible. First of all we are not skillful enough to paint or make Manga drawings. Secondly we did not have any funds to pay an artist to do it. The possibility of having our own manga was compromised. It was during a casual visit to the Manga Museum that we found out about a computer aided Manga graphic design software. Our project was ready to take off.The Manga is now for sale on our website. We hope all will enjoy it and that it may help to make the world a better place.”

– For a Better World

www.forbetterworld.wixsite.com/fairworld

 

 

For a Better World Manga

River of Light – an inclusive art project with focus on children’s rights

Posted by Runa Juhanisdotter
(Text in Swedish below.)

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Image from River of Light 2016. Photo credit: Saria Dalain

Last Sunday in Gothenburg, I participated in a very special workshop facilitated by local artists at Akademin Valand, and met with organizers Behjat Omer Abdulla and Denise Langridge Mellion. Together with a happy mix of people of various ages and origin, I created a paper lantern for “River of Light”, a processsion that will take place in central Gothenburg on UN’s World Day of Social Justice, February 20, 2017.

The project is a social meeting point for unaccompanied minors, young people, families and art enthusiasts in Gothenburg, supported by Akademin Valand, B-Arts Staffordshire, A-venue and Göteborgs Stad. This is the second year it’s organized. The idea is to bring different cultures together and create a carnival feeling.

Gothenburg is a segregated city and Behjat and Denise see a need for informal meeting places in the city center to break isolation and create a spirit of community. Creative spots where people can connect and talk while working.

For Behjat, who came to Europe as a refugee some 16 years ago, art became a way to meet people, to get acquainted with the culture and enter society. ”It’s the small things that make you part of the community, nuances you can only learn from talking to other people”, he says. He hopes that ”River of Light” will bring newcomers and locals together.

During a string of workshop sessions leading up to the event, each participant will learn how to create their own lantern, which they can then carry on February 20. The procession will begin (at 16.30) and end at Akademin Valand (Vasagatan 50) and conclude with music, food and celebration. The workshops will also be hosted at Akademin Valand.

The event is free and open to the public. No previous knowledge is required, everyone can participate. If you want to be part of this wonderful procession, get the workshops dates here:
http://akademinvaland.gu.se/english/news/e/?eventId=70124300130

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/354499364906253/?active_tab=about

Watch the video from last year’s beautiful manifestation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZd8cR7NwJ8

 

River of Light – ett inkluderande konstprojekt med fokus på barns rättigheter


I söndags var jag i Göteborg och deltog i en mycket speciell workshop ledd av en grupp lokala konstnärer på Akademin Valand, där jag också träffade och pratade med de arrangörerna Behjat Omer Abdulla and Denise Langridge Mellion. Tillsammans med ett glatt och brokigt gäng människor i olika åldrar, från olika hörn av världen, gjorde jag en papperslykta för ”River of Light” (Flod av ljus), ett fackeltåg som äger rum på väldsdagen för social rättvisa i Göteborg den 20 februari, 2017.

Projektet är en mötesplats för ensamkommande barn, ungdomar, familjer och konstintresserade i Göteborg, och stöds av Akademin Valand, B-Arts Staffordshire, A-venue and Göteborgs Stad. Projektet arrangeras för andra året i rad och tanken är att föra ihop olika kulturer och skapa en känsla av karneval.

Göteborg är en segregerad stad. För att bryta segregationen och skapa gemenskap och en känsla av sammanhang måste man skapa mötesplatser i centrum, menar Behjat och Denise. Kreativa, informella mötesplatser där människor kan mötas och prata samtidigt som man arbetar.

För Behjat, som kom till Europa för 16 år sedan, blev konsten ett sätt att möta människor och komma in i samhället.”Det är de små sakerna som gör att du blir en del av gemenskapen, att du lär känna kulturen och tar dig vidare i samhället. Sådant kan man inte lära sig på annat sätt än genom att prata med andra människor”, säger han. Han hoppas att ”River of Light” ska fungera på samma sätt för de som är nya i Sverige idag.

Under flera workshoptillfällen, kommer varje deltagare att få möjlighet att skapa en lykta som hen sedan kan bära i fackeltåget. Tåget startar på Akademin Valand (Vasagatan 50) kl. 16.30 och avslutas på samma ställe med mat, musik och firande. Workshopparna kommer även de att äga rum på Akademin Valand.

Evenemanget är kostnadsfritt och öppet för alla. Inga förkunskaper behövs, alla kan delta. Vill vara en del av detta fantastiska fackeltåg?
Info och alla datum här:
http://akademinvaland.gu.se/english/news/e/?eventId=70124300130

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/354499364906253/?active_tab=about

Video från förra årets vackra manifestation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZd8cR7NwJ8

River of Light – an inclusive art project with focus on children’s rights