Art-surance is a community project that uses art (the most admired imagination and reality of man on a board that speaks more than life to its viewer) to bring about change in the lives of slum dwellers.
It has been observed that a major percentage of children from the slum are less-educated, have low self-esteem and a distorted mindset. Growing up in such an environment, there has been a negative impact on the child which in turn has a major effect in the economy system, future of the child and the generation to come.
Our aim has always been to reach out to the slum child using art as a tool for social improvement and empowerment. Slum art has always aimed to find middle ground by ensuring that while seeking the benefits that art offers to community development, development of art itself is not neglected.
Our objective is reaching out to and developing art in the grassroots.
Our typical participant demographic is the slum dwelling kids. In view of our evolving philosophy, we now aim to make these participants employable. In addition to enabling them to function in a conventional society, we also hope to impart certain life skills using art.
Our intention here is to bring order into our rapidly growing setup by getting youngsters and professionals involved in Social Responsibility. Our vision is to have a set of volunteers who come in during the weekend sessions to encourage and participate in the drawings as well as support in the purchase of the artworks.
Psychomotor art therapy
Psychomotor – this is a mind-body therapy which helps people identify and symbolically meet emotional needs from childhood.
The human psyche responds powerfully and immediately to the effect of the therapeutic session or structure, in which each individual creates a healing symbolic memory with the assistance of the therapist and group. This approach is effective in individual sessions.
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Art therapy is the creative use of art to express one’s self which helps to resolve issues as well as develop and manage behaviors and feelings, reduce stress and improve self-esteem and awareness from childhood. This therapy is employed for the children in order to achieve the aim of the project.
For conveniences and to avoid interference of the training with other personal daily activities, the training occurs once during the weekend at a convenient time for the participants.
The workshop includes art training, psychomotor art therapy, life-impacting sessions and mentoring sessions.
Transformation art grants
The purpose of this grant is to help children who are not selected for the training benefit from the project by giving them a token to get art materials for personal practices.
The trained children undergo ‘Trainee Support System’ where they give back to the community by training the untrained children in art.
Since the aim of this project is to build future artists, it is necessary to provide them with experienced and good tutors that are capable of training and impacting lasting knowledge. The artists are subjected to an orientation that gives them a proper understanding of their job which is majorly to impact.
In addition to this, each artist is expected to possess distinct leadership skills. They would be able to handle a group of children, training them on creative arts, organize life-impacting sessions, evaluate children behavior, enhance communication with the children, identify areas of improvement, manage the resources and also motivate and inspire the children.
Some of the paintings are made charitably by volunteer proffessional artists who are willing to support the project. This was going to enable the exhibition showcase a mix of professional pieces with the amature paintings, for some added value.
Slum art exists to foster sustainable development within otherwise marginalised populations in Nigeria. We aim to provide long term solutions to problems common among slum dwellers and improve the mental, intellectual and emotional imbalances of children in the slum. Our approaches are centred on building future artists. Creative art is our means to that end, connecting mentors, child psychologist and care minders with slum dwellers, teaching life skills, improving the community standards and working towards giving hope to the hopeless slum child.
Slum communities host a variety of complex issues on a daily basis. Prominence of sexual and domestic abuse, unemployment, alcoholism, drug usage, malnutrition and mental health issues and a cycle of disengagement from the education sector almost condemn these communities to a continuing struggle, preventing them from being successfully involved in an already disparate society.
All they need to do is to draw. That simple act is therapeutic in itself. As a first step, we attempt to give our participants hope and purpose. Our centres act as safe places free of discrimination; providing positive role models and a place to develop and enjoy one self.
We believe that art inherently offer a transferrable set of skills for social development; through mentorship, acceptance and discipline. We at Slum art choose specific issues that the Nigerian slums face and shape our sessions around building some specific and necessary life skills. Art serves as the messenger.
All said and done, the biggest factor that enables us to use art as a tool to connect and bring about social development is quite stunningly simple. Art is life! We believe we are able to bring about increased learning and engagement through utilising this.