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KELOWNA ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 2021
on SYILX LAND

The Jam:  Using Ubuntu to explore community centered approach to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna 

 

Tell me a story and I will paint you a picture, Show me your best picture and I will make the best movie and so on we flow. It is through the philosophy of Ubuntu practised in Kinfolk Nation's artistic explorations that I would like to use the model of the ‘Jam’ to engage Kelowna conversation.

 

"The “Jam” in my view, is an arrangement in which one's truth of expression is allowed to play within the larger song of the ‘public'. "

This project - through the philosophy of Ubuntu - will use the art of ‘the Jam’ to engage Kelowna in imagining and realizing a more inclusive city, by creating more space for greater diversity of stories and cultural expression in public art spaces. Centering art, Lady Dia will create programming for children (ages 5 -12) and youth (ages 13 - 20) to explore lessons from the ‘Jam’ and its application in listening to voices of others and understanding the role of one's voice in the greater community. The general public is invited to conference together with administrators, leaders and multiple stakeholders in the cultural sector to listen and discuss ways in which we can create a new culture of collaboration that includes the imagination of Indigenous, Black, People of Color (I-BPOC) voices in the process of planning and shaping the future of Kelowna’s art and Culture scene. We hope to bridge the disconnect between public art spaces, administrators and I-BPOC artists and community members. 

"I would like to create a space that uses ‘the Jam’ to encourage the practice of listening to unfamiliar sounds. Therein understanding how one's own voice is necessary in the harmony of the public's collective song."

It is with this concept that through the African philosophy of Ubuntu “I am because you are” that I would like to create a space that uses ‘the Jam’ to encourage the practice of listening first before engaging. Understanding one's own voice and how it can make the song better. The focus is learning to listen as a way of collaboration. In these workshops, I will tell a story through song and let the children create a story to reflect their understanding of the art presented.

Children

The program uses the art of ‘the Jam’ to demonstrate to the youth how they can tell their stories in collaborative spaces. The idea around the workshop is to help youth become confident in their expression and be conscious of the world around them. The ‘Jam’ is an arrangement in which one’s truth of expression is allowed to play within the larger song of the public. It is learning how to be in the moment together, practicing listening before engaging. Understanding one’s own voice and how it can make the song better. The objective of this program is to create community by fostering genuine relationships between Indigenous, Black, African and African-Canadian youth and youth of Colour who often find themselves living in two worlds with very little holistic support, i.e cultural, physical, emotional, mental and psychological support. With community building, the other aim was to connect the youth with people in the community that would support them in their area of interest and their dreams.

Youth 

Negmawon has been created to make space for the stories, expressions and imaginations of free spirits on Syilx territory and their connections across the universe. As we begin the discussion on how public art spaces in Kelowna can be more inclusive by accommodating stories and expressions of I-BPOC people, we invite the general public, art administrators, community leaders and story-lovers to engage with the                  October season.

This will comprise of  an online platform hosting expressions of Art,  as well as a quasi-festival series of events that will comprise of a public conference  discussing how the imagination of I-BPOC voices in the process of planning and shaping the future of Kelowna’s art and culture scene and a special "Night with the Lady Dia"