Reflections on Agents of Change Webinar – Ayesha Mohanty

Reflections on Agents of Change Webinar – Ayesha Mohanty

Author: Ayesha Mohanty

Edition: Camilo Soler Caicedo

Caption: Kyrgyzstan’s Team Presentation, part of the Agents of Change Webinar

 

 

If you wish to envision the future of world peace, young people from the MAP project shall be your reflective lens. From Nepal to Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia to Rwanda, the young peacebuilders from these regions, equipped with the tools of arts-based research, documented critical issues that they believed impacted their society. Traditionally while these approaches are utilized for peacebuilding endeavors in reconciliation processes, today, there is a need for incorporating the same into preventive efforts and driving more targeted interventions.

In the context of the Agents of Change event on the 24th May 2022 Each project developed by the teams communicated challenges that often went unnoticed in transitional societies and used the skills learned through the Small Grants Project to bridge meaningful participation and partnership for their communities. While navigating through the stigmas and prejudices that marginalized people in their communities face, the teams brought a multitude of creative outcomes. Documented through films, posters, photographs, stories, and comic strips, the young people ensured adequate safeguards by working with skilled professionals such as lawyers, trainers, community leaders, and psychologists to drive their interventions. For example, in a project involving violence against the children of migrants, the members were working with high-risk and vulnerable children prone to anxiety and trauma. Using mitigation measures like involving a psychologist and legal professionals, the team parallelly encouraged legal advice and therapy for those who sought the same. Aside from the mitigation measures, the teams took cognizance of the broader historical context of the region. For example, the project in Nepal identified the ethnic and socio-cultural conflicts that impacted their societies. Integrating a bottom-up approach toward policy intervention, the team used multiple channels for continued advocacy on the issues.

Based on the foundation of the “Theory of Change” analysis, each of the projects reflected a sincere effort to dig deeper into the immediate problems that their communities faced and the existing gaps within the institutional structures – both formal and informal. Through inter-generational dialogues with key decision-makers, they furthered the historical roots of their culture and carried it with a fresh perspective towards the future with the use of social media as a critical channel for communicating their assessments. The event also fostered intercultural learning amongst the team members of different countries and as a member of the audience, one could also identify the common concerns for the protection of the vulnerable and the prevention of the atrocities against those marginalized despite the geographical barriers.

A key highlight for me was the keen awareness and recognition of the diverse socio-cultural factors by young people and their usage in the planning, designing, and implementation of the project based on the arts-based tools. For example, the team in Rwanda took cognizance of the long history of war and conflict that has fractured the society. Involving elements of transitional justice as a part of solutions and recommendations while simultaneously working with the members of the civil society to transform the situation for children was critical. As the teams realize the projects alongside the communities they serve, it is a hope that the documentation of these lived experiences that is often unnoticed realizes into concrete policy efforts by local, state, and national governance.

About Ayesha:

Ayesha is an incoming LLM student at Georgetown University for the academic year 2022-23 on the prestigious Georgetown Merit Scholarship. In the recent past, Ayesha co-lead the Youth Wellbeing team under the UNESCO Youth as Researcher program for the Asia-Pacific Region . Here, she represented both in the Knowledge-sharing Meeting and High-Level Political Conference advocating for the access to mental healthcare within the region for university students with various stakeholders. Her priority interest areas are in security issues, human rights laws and peacebuilding that impact lives of young people through the intersection of mental health, gender and technology.

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You can also access the whole Webinar recording here

Drawing Masterclass Osh

Drawing Masterclass Osh

On November 17, the master class was held in Osh. A total of 40 schoolchildren aged 13 to 17 years, of which girls – 25, boys – 15. Teachers – 4.  

Drawing theme: The world through my eyes. 

Coach: Samikulova Ayturgan

The Danna group was more challenging to work with than with the others.  The group quickly did not catch the instructions, it was difficult for the participants to understand, they had to explain the topic several times and in detail, it was necessary to approach everyone and clarify.  

 It was hard for them to start, they couldn’t put on paper what  they had planned for a long time. And, of course, not everyone was able to write a description of their drawings. In their drawings, one thing was drawn, and in the descriptions another, there was no connection between them.  

 This means that such activities are new for them, they are not used to such methods of work. Many could not correctly perceive the event, there was something else in their head that distracted them. 

Most of the group were insecure when they went out and talked about their drawings, worried a lot and could not fully speak. 

 Feature and characteristics of this group:  

– There are advanced children, but there is a group of children who are reserved, who do not know how to communicate; 

– Many do not have their own opinion, but they mirror that of others, they want to learn. 

 The group included children from Uzbek communities.  You could see that the kids were very introverted, they weren’t in community, they didn’t participate much in social events, they didn’t know how to talk about themselves, so these guys tried more to imitate others and drew what others were drawing. 

 


Gallery: Navigate using the arrow on each side and click on each image for an enlarged view

 

Features of the drawings:  

– Most of the drawings without description, drew what first came to their mind. This means that they have rarely been in this type of activity and that they are not so used to working creatively, and could benefit from some further training on how to express/display their thoughts. 

 I divided the figures into 4 themes: 

  • The future of our planet (what it will look like if you don’t take care of it). 
  • Discrimination  
  • Landscapes 
  • Ecology 

 Many blue colour: there are associations with the sky and water, this cold tone calms the human psyche. 

Yellow colour: people associate with the sun and warmth, yellow awakens a positive mood in people. Those who prefer yellow are full of hope. 

Of the negative colours were black and grey. 

Drawing Masterclass Jalal-Abad

Drawing Masterclass Jalal-Abad

On November 18, a master class was held in Jalal-Abad. A total of 40 schoolchildren aged 14 to 17 years, girls – 24, small – 16. Teachers – 4. 

Drawing theme: The world through my eyes. 

Coach: Samikulova Ayturgan

A very interesting group, with a rich imagination. Easily found a common language and tried to show their best sides. 

This group was positive, interested, behaved naturally, were frank. 

Most of them drew the difference between past and present life. Risunks were about their future.  There were drawings about the Coronavirus as the most important current problem. 

Features of this group: positive, open, sincere guys. 

 


Gallery: Navigate using the arrow on each side and click on each image for an enlarged view

 

 The drawings were divided into 4 themes: 

  • Life Comparison 
  • Your future  
  • Coronavirus 
  • Ecology 

Drawings where they depicted a comparison of life, they even if they did not see how people used to live, they think and are sure that everything was beautiful and perfect before. Maybe this can be explained by the influence of the reflections of their parents. Now they are not satisfied with many things in this life: fashion, the Internet and dependence on money. 

Many bright colours were used in the drawings.  Positive people, people with a pure heart and soul, they prefer bright all colours. 

There were also dull dark colours in the drawings, where they drew about ecology.  

Psychological characteristics according to their drawings: 

there are drawings where they have drawn themselves and their future, these guys know what they want in this life and in the future who to become. Such drawings were rare in other areas.  

I am glad that there were no similar drawings, everyone tried to express themselves. 

Drawing Masterclass Bishkek

Drawing Masterclass Bishkek

On November 12th 2021, a master class was held in Bishkek.  

In total, there are 39 schoolchildren aged 13 to 17 years: 35 people, including girls – 24, boys – 11. Teachers – 4. 

Drawing theme: The world through my eyes. 

Coach: Samikulova Ayturgan

This group quickly picked up the instructions.  From the first time they understood the topic and began to act, although, many of them  painted with paints for the first time, they  were not afraid to use paints. The guys were not shy, not afraid that they would not succeed, in the end they showed a good result, bright, clear drawings and were able to describe their pictures in words. 

Most of the guys can speak freely and are active, do not lag behind modern life, try to be in trend. 

 The particular approach of the group: critical, express their criticisms.  

 Among the group there are several guys: quiet, withdrawn, who are lost within this group. 

 


Gallery: Navigate using the arrow on each side and click on each image for an enlarged view

 

 

Features of the drawings:  

– Most of the guys raised the global problems of modern life: gender, corruption, low living conditions, etc.  

– In describing their paintings for the problems, they were more critical and blamed others (for example: the government); 

There were no drawings where they would show themselves,  and how they could help this world to improve, and what benefits they could bring. 

 

The drawings can be divided into 4 themes: 

  • Nature 
  • Ecology 
  • Corruption 
  • Gender 

 

Using ink colours: 

Green colour: green means the  colour of nature and harmony, this colour soothes a person. 

 

Blue is a cold colour, the colour of energy and desire, it is often used by people who are closed and insecure. 

 Black is considered the most negative, the colour of failure and depression. People who consider themselves unhappy and strangers among their own, they prefer this colour when they are lonely. 

 

Gray is the colour of boredom and depression, people who want peace and stability are closer to this colour. 

 

If we give the drawings a psychological characteristic of the group:  

– Group with a critical approach  

– it is clear from their drawings  that they  are not satisfied with a series of issues that worry them, and that they want to determine who is to blame for this.

Drawing Masterclass Batken

Drawing Masterclass Batken

On November 20th – 2021, a drawing master class was held in Batken. A total of 44 schoolchildren aged 13 to 17, of which girls – 28, boys – 16. Teachers – 4. 

Drawing theme: The world through my eyes. 
Coach: Samikulova Ayturgan


This group was active, diligent, emotional. Even if they didn’t succeed, they tried very hard to try everything and do everything.   Hearing the topic, they immediately got down to business, the topic for them is close and understandable.
 

 Most of the young people turned out to be patriots, and that’s how they differed from other groups. And, of course, there were a lot of drawings on the theme of patriotism. They tried to show in their drawings our beautiful homeland, the importance of friendship between peoples, and also raised the topic of border conflicts. 

 It is clear that this is not the first time they have participated in such training, and they have more information about conflicts, causes and consequences.  In the descriptions of the paintings, they wrote clearly and understandably, they were able to orally tell about their drawings. 

 The peculiarity of this group: they were distinguished by their patriotism, good manners and ability to listen. 

 
Gallery: Navigate using the arrow on each side and click on each image for an enlarged view

 

 

Features of the drawings:  

– Most painted on the theme of friendship between peoples, about border conflicts. They showed how important they are to a peaceful life and a clear sky above their heads. 

They drew a lot on the theme of the Motherland: beautiful mountains and landscapes, were able to convey the beauty of the nature of Kyrgyzstan, and showed their love for the Motherland. 

 I divided the figures into 4 themes: 

  • Friendship between nations 
  • Patriotism 
  • Ecology 
  • Nature of Kyrgyzstan 

 Drawings about border conflicts and their consequences show that children know and understand what conflict is and understand the meaning of peace on the border.  

 And they seem to have relished moments of border conflict when they painted.  The guys didn’t paint the conflict itself: the shooting, the empty houses, etc. They drew their love for the motherland, the need for friendship on the border. It shows that they want and believe in future change. 

 

I noticed how they paid attention to every detail, tried to convey everything that they felt through their drawings.  They approached, asked if it was clear what they wanted to say with their drawing.  

 

There were a lot of rainbow colors that lifted the spirits. People who want peace, a quiet life prefer such bright rainbow colors. They are not indifferent to what kind of world they live in, they want a better life for themselves and for loved ones, to wake up every day with a calm soul. 

Drawings about the landscapes of Kyrgyzstan demonstrate patriotism, show love for their homeland and pride. 

We were able to tell interestingly about our drawings, at first they were shy, but then there were a lot of people who wanted to. 

 

Psychological characteristic according to their drawings: depicted friendship between peoples, using bright colors.  They talked about the great hope that there would be peace above their heads.  

Policy Brief – Nasiliye and The Children of Migrant Workers

Policy Brief – Nasiliye and The Children of Migrant Workers

Within the MAP framework, school-aged researchers from Sharipova, Uzgenconducted a study among their peers to find out more about the problems that affect young people, prioritizing the issue of violence against children of labor migrants. Together with the youth committee at mayor’s office of Uzgen, they have identified a set of recommendations to take action against this violence.

See also: University of Lincoln’s Policy Hub blog post by Ananda Breed.

Nasiliye and The Children of Migrant Workers

Drawing Workshops

Drawing Workshops

Mobile Arts for Peace was implemented from April 2021 – March 2022 in Nepal with 7 school of Palpa, Kanchanur and Makwanpur districts. During the project, child club members of working school identified different issues young people face. Major issues were child marriage, cast discrimination, human trafficking, drug abuse, gender based violence, and menstruation. They have also identified different art forms as communication tools to communicate with stakeholders. Drawing/Painting is one art forms they have used during the project period. Below are the drawings made by child club members on different issues.

Deuda Song on Human Trafficking – Janajyoti Secondary School

Deuda Song on Human Trafficking – Janajyoti Secondary School

Human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Nepal is growing due to extreme poverty (partly resulting from the earthquake in 2015), illiteracy, unemployment, poor law enforcement. Trafficking mainly affects girls and young women who are forced to ‘work’. Here is a video produced by Janjyoti Secondary School to raise awareness about this issue through the use of the local art Deuda.

 

Short Film on Menstruation – Janajyoti Secondary School

Short Film on Menstruation – Janajyoti Secondary School

Menstruation is treated as something impure and dirty in Nepal. Girls and women are alienated during this time and face harmful social restrictions. The video seeks to create awareness about the current situation and the need to stop harmful traditional practices. The video was developed by members of the Child Club from Janapriya Secondary Schools (Makwanpur district) in Nepal after their attendance of a mobile film-making training provided by MAP partner HRFC.

 

Rumah Tak Ramah (Unfriendly Home) ‘Behind the Scenes’ – Briefing Note

Rumah Tak Ramah (Unfriendly Home) ‘Behind the Scenes’ – Briefing Note

A participatory research using short film to start conversations about sexual violence among adolescents in order to reduce stigma towards the victims.” 

A film was chosen to raise the problem of stigma toward adolescent victims of sexual violence. The storyline was based on the experiences of adolescents in an urban community in Jakarta and the community’s perception of the problem. The short film was used as a research instrument because it is an art form that the young researchers’ assessed as the best medium to deliver their message. During the closed screening, the film was successful in raising the issue of exploitation, and in creating a discussion on the complexity of solutions for sexual violence. The short film was also used as a discussion starter for women community members (Ibu-Ibu PKK) and female adolescents, to express their opinions and ideas, which were then formulated for stakeholders’ recommendations. 

The purpose of the research was to provide direction/education to communities on how to respond to cases of sexual violence; to provide recommendations on how communities can create a safe space for everyone so that there is no more sexual violence. 

 

Jangan

Briefing note: Rumah Tak Ramah (Unfriendly Home) ‘Behind the Scenes’

Brawling in the name of solidarity?! – Briefing Note

Brawling in the name of solidarity?! – Briefing Note

A participatory research using a comic book to identify the impact of brawls in order to find workable solutions.” 

A comic book was chosen to raise the problem of brawls that often happen between communities and young people. The storyline was based on incidents that took place in many neighbourhoods in Jakarta, including those of young researchers’. The comic book was used as a research instrument because it is an art form that is popular among young people, and very well-liked for its eye-catching visuals. It was used as a discussion starter for women community members (Ibu-Ibu PKK) and male adolescents former perpetrators of brawls, to express their opinions and ideas, which were then formulated for stakeholders’ recommendations. 

The purpose of the research was to educate adolescents to change their mindset about brawls; to educate adolescents to control their emotions (such as doing positive activities or trying to strengthen their faith); and to provide recommendations on positive activities for adolescents (such as exploring interests/hobbies, playing guitar, playing soccer, etc.) 

You can also find the whole comic in Indonesia’s Artistic Outputs page.

 

Jangan
Kolase Bercerita

Kolase Bercerita

The “Lingkungan Sekitarku” (My Neighbourhood) virtual exhibition showcases works of art from young people participants of Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP). The art works voice opinions, reflections and hopes the young people expressed through collage-making. The exhibition is expected to open dialogues about young people, environment, and hope for better conditions.

 

Jangan
Jangan (Don’t): A Youth Comic About Choices and Consequences

Jangan (Don’t): A Youth Comic About Choices and Consequences

The story in this comic is inspired by the problem of Tawuran (street brawls) found in a sub-district in DKI Jakarta as identified by young participants.

The JANGAN (Don’t) comic booklet was created by MAP young researchers, based on the social problem analysis conducted by Children’s Forum of Cipinang Besar Utara in Jakarta. The young researchers represent five CSOs as MAP Indonesia partners: Children’s Forum of Cipinang Besar Utara, Children’s Forum of Cipinang Besar Selatan, Children’s Forum of Pademangan Barat, Red Nose Foundation, and Bina Matahari Bangsa Foundation. Illustrations for this comic booklet was co-created with Vina Puspita (MAP doctoral researcher). 

 

Jangan

English Version

Jangan

Indonesian Version

Rumah Tak Ramah – Unfriendly Home

Rumah Tak Ramah – Unfriendly Home

MAP young researchers in Indonesia created a short film to address the problem of stigma towards victims of sexual violence . The film is a research tool to create dialogue with community members about stigma and the causes of sexual violence.

You can find more information about the making of the film in Harla Octarra‘s (Indonesia Co-I) MAP blog How Does It All End here.