Last i remember entering school premises, i was 15 years old. The reminiscence of the good old days playing hide and seek, chalk boards, and giggles were slowly coming back to me. A heart full of mixed feeling, the classrooms were occupied with broken tables, small chairs and showed a side i wasn’t aware of. Why? How did i land up here? Why so much of apprehension when i heard about the region the festival ” ART LA LI LA” was being held?
I needed this feeling of “sharing what i experienced in India”. I had a group of friends who held theatre workshops regularly with children who had problems at various levels; physically challenged and family problems. The little i learnt, the more i admired the work “MASRAH” (the theatre group) did with the kids. Some research work with Ngo’s in Mauritius followed by followed with friends from MASRAH, motivated me to pursue my activities with TIPA.
Mauritian Artists are invited to facilitate Arts workshops for the children : During two hours, the children can move from one workshop to another, discover one artist after the other, thus discovering the various aspects of Mauritian Arts.
TIPA( Terrain for Interactive Pedagogy through Arts) is a Mauritian non-governmental and non-profit organization whose mission is to empower vulnerable children to become active citizens in the Mauritian society by favouring their development through the promotion of interactive pedagogy and education to Art and Culture.
Since 2007, TIPA has been working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, teachers and school staff in ZEP primary schools (priority area schools) to develop innovative teaching strategies. In 2012 we intervene in 4 schools, impacting 925 children and 42 teachers
Every year TIPA organizes Arts Festivals in the ZEP schools to bring together the school community, value the kids’ art work and creativity. The arts festivals, Art’lalila, is an opportunity for parents to discover the creative potentiality in their kids, to spend time with them and to recognize their artistic abilities.
In a festive and creative atmosphere, parents, children, school staff, artists and volunteers experience the unifying nature of our Mauritian art and culture. These festivals are intended to enhance the artwork of children and reunite the school community about the art and the Mauritian culture.
This is where my journey begins as a Mauritian artist facilitator. My first experience with TIPA was energising, fun and totally crazy. Kids pouring from nowhere, uncontrollable, happy, jumping, giggling..IT WAS THEIR DAY!!
Meeting people of same interest as me, who are here to spend time with the kids was such an amazing experience.I was both a volunteer and an artist facilitator. Morning i kicked off with some face painting as the kids had their play and we were set to turn them into the ” show star”
After their play, we would start our art workshop.
I animated a Mask workshop for the festivals in various regions. I had two volunteers to help me with the different tasks but basically it was an exercise for the kids to be creative, share their talents and passion with others. At the end of the workshop,we were exhausted but the joy filled in our heart was so intense, we soon were amazed by the amount of masks on the little ones and surprisingly of the parents and teachers too!
TIPA continues with the festival every year, and last year i experimented with recycle materials like capsules, cardboards, collage of newspaper and asked them to make a composition. It was fascinating to see their imagination and ability to create so many things. They were bundles of joy to be with..time flew and i still have fond memories of TIPA.