In using arts and culture to build community, we often forget that the greatest resource isn’t necessarily the program we design, or the object we create, or the idea we generate. It is the people themselves. We somehow forget that art is theirs; that for a very long time now people have intuitively used it to better connect with one another.
Sixty-thousand years ago, our deep ancestors in Africa began a slow-motion journey that populated that continent and the rest of our planet. Responding to nature, they hunted and gathered as they made their way. Along their migration through the land, some took to growing their own food and settled. Others continued on their path until they found a place to call home.
At each stop, they worked communally to build their society. They developed language and customs. They passed these on through rituals and stories. We see this in the artifacts archeology reveals to us today. They developed their culture in the context of their land. Grounded by nature, they built community.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost that sense of place, that connection to each other and the natural world. I use my art to try to help find our way.