After a year of practical research I have written a thesis about this question. In the hopes of inspiring other professionals in the field to use the method I put forward, or to have a discussion about it. The conclusion of this research has become the starting point of the community art/theatre project I initiated with two siblings who came here from Bolivia, and are looking for their authentic selves amongst all the personalities they feel forced to take on by their environment. Over the past year we have had an amazing process and made a very profound connection, a friendship, that will last a lifetime. As a byproduct of this process, we have created a performance: MÁS (CARAS).
When I think of what makes life worth living, for me, it is the fact we are able to make meaningful connections. Looking for these bonds is an essential part of my work, whether it is with a city, with nature or with people. I don't move within a specific discipline, it is the spaces in between that interest me most. It is important for me in my practice to use art and theater as a means and not just a goal ' an sich'. The process of creating and connecting is where the art happens, the resulting artwork is a by-product of this process. My work is often closely engaged with society and the actualities. This, because I'm most interested in that what is real. There is so much to see, hear and experience around us. There are so many real stories to listen to if we just take enough time and effort to stand still and take it in. I find myself as a result, drawn to community art with a pedagogical inclination. Besides this, I tend use my academic way of thinking to research the role of the artist and the métier in the current movements.
BREAKING THIS BUBBLE I'M IN. The world has too much to offer for me not to experience it outside of the safe and sheltered life I've had the privilege of living in the Netherlands. In five years I will have sought discomfort, pushed myself to grow out of the rose colored glasses I'm wearing. I will have met people I never would have been able to meet if I had stayed in my comfort zone. I will have made connections that I will cherish for a lifetime. I want to have used art and theater in different locations with different communities and grow more curious from each and everyone of these experiences.
Concretely - In five years I will have been a part of or initiator of at least three community art/theater projects all in different countries and at least on two different continents. I will have developed my pedagogical skills further by teaching somewhere, and I will have learned at least one new language in the process of it all.
Geleerd tijdens de studie
Besides figuring out what I want to look for in life and my work, my time at HKU taught me that there is no right and wrong. Cheesy as it may sound, it proved that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, which to me means that it's all relative. To look with an open mind is to be able to see the unique and specific value of each and everyone and thing around us. It's the perspective that matters, from the right angle anything can be fascinating. I learned to follow my gut, am still learning that I can't please the whole world and most of all that literally everyone is just trying, no matter who they are. Every time the pressure builds too high, I remind myself of this, and can breathe again. In the end we are all just human.