2017 COLOMBOSCOPE Colombo, Sri Lanka
The artists talked about their practice engaging a school community in the pursuit of an ecologically aware education, looking at how art, growing, and maker practices can be used with students in a school setting.
This refers to work Yasir and Zahra did in Karachi in schools, from well-resourced ones to slum schools, as Green Schools Pakistan or GreenSchools.pk. This also takes a look at creative teaching strategies that break the traditional model that many schools are stuck with, in pursuit of the same aim.
Related to working in Katchi Abadis or slums, but applicable anywhere, Yasir Husain published a booklet Teaching Environmental Art, with a focus on how to work in high quality, focused, low-resource, school setting.
If the artists are able to convince students to become practitioners, then it means they have taken a few steps ahead in creative sustainability. Should this vision and outlook stay with students as they grow up, and engage in the society of the future, it is indeed re-making the future.
In a framework of environmental knowledge and active citizenship, students observe creativity in nature, and flora and fauna, in the learning garden, which is a mini organic farm in the school.
Students learn to grow vegetables and learn environmental concepts like biodiversity. By starting with science toys and solar powered robots to learn the electronics, they experiment and learn to make devices and come up with creative solutions, which help improve the environment.
During the discussion Yasir also touched on land and water crises that pose everyday problems for Karachi dwellers.
Venue: Former Colombo Terminus Railway Station, Maradana, Colombo, Sri Lanka