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Using Art to Fight Discrimination Against People with Albinism – Human Rights Watch

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A local organization in Mozambique is using the power of images to fight discrimination. Azemap, a volunteer-run organization that supports people with albinism, has begun painting five murals at schools across the central Mozambican province of Tete, in collaboration with Human Rights Watch. The murals depict two girls, one with albinism. Below the murals, it reads: “People with albinism are the same as you!”

In the past two years, I’ve encountered many people with albinism in Mozambique who are struggling —not because of their physical condition, but because their communities ostracize and discriminate against them, and authorities do little to combat this stigma or support their needs.

“People would come and throw rocks at me and I had to hide,” said Rosa, 34, describing her childhood. Her father abandoned the family because she had albinism. “People would say, ‘You’re not a person, you’re a witch.’ They would call me an ‘animal’ and say my color is not the color of a human being.” 

Rosa is one of dozens of people with albinism whom we interviewed in Tete province. Albinism is a rare condition caused by a lack of melanin or pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. Almost all of those we spoke to suffer widespread stigma, discrimination and rejection at school, in the community, and sometimes from their own families. They face significant obstacles to a quality education because of bullying by their peers and sometimes teachers, and little accommodation in the classroom for their low vision.

For this to change, the government of Mozambique needs to dismantle the systemic barriers that people with albinism face. It also needs to transform societal attitudes to foster acceptance and inclusion of people with albinism within their communities.

Josina, a 9-year-old student with albinism in Tete province who is depicted in the murals, has a hopeful story. Instead of being considered an outcast, she is integrated in her family, school, and community. If these images can touch a few hearts and minds, they may also help provide hopeful futures for Rosa and many others with albinism and begin to end the struggles they endure.   

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Cellist turns locked-down museums into backdrop for – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Lucien Libert

PARIS (Reuters) – It’s an ideal pairing for the COVID-19 era: a musician who cannot play for a live audience and sumptuous museums that cannot welcome visitors. Cellist Camille Thomas has put them together to create what she hopes will be a balm for troubled times.

She is carrying out a series of solo performances of classic works set against a backdrop of deserted museum interiors in and around Paris. They are filmed and posted on the Internet.

During the pandemic, she has performed at the Palace of Versailles, the Institute of the Arab World and is scheduled next week to perform at the Grand Palais, a vast exhibition space next to the Champs Elysees. All the venues are shut because of France’s COVID-19 lockdown.

A YouTube video of her performing at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris in October had been viewed 36,575 times as of Friday.

“I wanted to symbolise with these images the loneliness of musicians without the public, of museums without visitors,” said Thomas.

She was speaking in a room of the Museum of Decorative Arts this week where she played the Kaddish, a piece written by 20th century French composer Maurice Ravel.

“Of course people need medical care in this pandemic time but they also need care for the soul,” said Thomas, 32, who has a recording contract with a classical music label.

“I believe that art and music is healing and it’s essential to … feel that, after this difficult time, all this beauty is waiting, it’s still there and it’s worth fighting for it.”

(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Review: Pathetic Fallacy is a weird weather report, an art history lecture, a green-screen farce – and one of the best livestreams of the year – The Globe and Mail

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Each evening, a different local actor steps into Pathetic Fallacy in the starring role and follows instructions on a monitor while standing in front of a green screen.

Anita Rochon/Handout

  • Title: Pathetic Fallacy
  • Written and directed by: Anita Rochon
  • Actors: TBD
  • Company: The Chop presented by Rumble Theatre
  • Year: Runs online to November 29, 2020

The Chop is one of those brilliant little companies based out of British Columbia that was thinking deeply about future forms of theatre long before the pandemic hit.

Pathetic Fallacy, its co-artistic director Anita Rochon’s clever, unclassifiable 2018 show about weather, God and art, was born out of the idea of creating a touring theatre piece that would not require her to actually physically go on tour.

How useful to have that in your pocket as a performing artist right now.

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This is how Pathetic Fallacy, which is live-streaming nightly from Vancouver’s Rumble Theatre until November 29, works.

Each evening, a different local actor steps into the show in the starring role, puts on a blue-and-white striped Breton shirt and follows instructions on a monitor while standing in front of a green screen.

An in-person audience would get to watch two things unfold at the same time: On one side of the stage, the unrehearsed actor flailing around trying to keep up with the directions; on the other, a projection of the quirky documentary about weather and art that this actor’s image is being sucked into, narrated by and occasionally featuring video of Rochon in tricot rayé herself.

For this live-stream-only version, stage manager Emelia Symington Fedy, who is also co-artistic director of the Chop, calls the shots on what the at-home audiences get to see at any given moment: The farcical frenzy in front of the green screen, the smart if idiosyncratic documentary, or both at once.

If it sounds overcomplicated, it’s not: It’s funny, like watching an unprepared TV meteorologist try to give a forecast.

The substance of Pathetic Fallacy is a short visual exploration of the history of the depiction of weather in art and television.

Samantha Madely/Handout

I tuned in on Wednesday to see Jonathon Young, the charismatic co-creator of the internationally celebrated B.C. dance-theatre hybrid Betroffenheit, take part in this avant-garde experiment. Arggy Jenati, Aryo Khakpour, Omari Newton and Jivesh Parasram are on deck for the next performances.

The substance of Pathetic Fallacy is a short visual exploration of the history of the depiction of weather in art and television. (It’s just 60 minutes, the perfect length for a livestream, or at least my pandemic attention span.)

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There’s a segment in which Rochon, in recorded form, talks about a 1836 painting of the Connecticut River by the English-born, American painter Thomas Cole, finding all sorts of insights in its details into the shift between the idea of weather as a God or an act of God, to weather as a natural phenomenon we can predict and maybe even shape as humans.

A later segment sees Rochon dissect a more recent masterpiece of visual art about passion and precipitation: The 1982 music video for the disco hit It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls.

All the while, keep in mind, there’s the overlaid physical comedy of watching the transposed Young – or whatever actor happens to be in front of the green screen in a given performance – attempt to point to the right place in the painting at the right time or join in the choreography in the music video. The Breton stripes made Young seem like a mime gone mad.

Though the magic of the green-screen technology, Rochon, in filmed form, and her stand-ins, who are live, also share a few scenes – having a conversation on an airplane or in a restaurant about the show’s themes. (Candelario Andrade and Milton Lim are credited with the projection design, which is of high quality.)

Young is a quick enough wit that these were the highlights of the performance of Pathetic Fallacy I watched. He flexed his expert improv comedy skills here, but also was genuinely thoughtful in responses to questions about why the world population is growing so quickly and whether the earth can actually “hurt” (or if that’s ascribing a human emotion to nature, see: the title of the show).

The crisis hanging over Rochon’s show is not COVID-19, but climate change. And yet while Pathetic Fallacy often takes the form of a lecture, the tone is never lecturing.

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Indeed, Rochon sets up the entire experiment as a kind of environmental paradox. She tells us right off the top that she decided to make a touring show that she wouldn’t have to tour in order to reduce her carbon footprint as a jet-setting theatre artist – but also because she wanted to stay put and have a baby, which would increase that footprint many times more than a few flights to international festivals.

How do you create – theatre or life – knowing that creation may make the planet a worse place? The theatrical tricks Rochon deploy to explore this question aren’t necessarily new, but they’ve been combined in a fascinating new way. Pathetic Fallacy is a weird show that is also wise and seems to have found its perfect form in these live-streamed times.

Pathetic Fallacy is streamable through rumble.org nightly at 7:30 p.m. PST; tickets are “pay what you decide.”

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Vicuña Winter Art Show supporting artists with diverse abilities in Maple Ridge – Maple Ridge News

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The annual Vicuña Winter Art Show showcasing artists with diverse abilities will be online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vicuña Art Studio will be live-streaming the exhibit and will include a tour of the show with details about all the art pieces, there will be interviews with the artists and an artist demo.

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel our in-person show this year,” said Dhanha Lee, director of the Vicuña Art Studio.

Art shows are essential for their studio, she explained.

“For many artists, sharing their art in the community is crucial. The same goes for Vicuña artists who have diverse abilities.”

“The live stream will allow more people to celebrate Vicuña’s talents,” noted Lee saying she hopes guests at the show will be “uplifted” and “inspired” by the art.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Vicuña studio holds 2019 Winter sale

“Often, I find myself grinning and smiling as I interact with our artists and see their works,” she said.

Natasha Brayshaw will have her acrylic on paper on display called Snowy Magic.

Brayshaw is an artist that enjoys to be challenged, said

She sets goals and works hard to accomplish them, noted the director.

Although she is not afraid to use a variety of mediums, Brayshaw enjoys working with acrylic paints the most.

Theresa Tetu will have her Little Bubs grumpy cat jewelry dishes and cat paw bowl for sale at the show.

“Her creations are an expression of her love and enthusiasm for cats. Her bubbly personality results in fun art projects, and she is always full of creative ideas,” explained Lee, adding that Tetu started at the studio as a pottery artist and only recently extended her talents to acrylic paintings as well.

MORE: ‘Imagine Van Gogh’ art show coming to Vancouver with ‘exceptional COVID-19 measures’

Vicuña Art Studio was opened in 2008 by Maria Daley. It is a studio devoted to supporting artists with diverse disabilities to embrace their individuality, develop their talent and create inspiring works and it is owned and operated by the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living in Maple Ridge.

More than 50 pieces of art will be part of the show including paintings, illustrations and sculptures and all will be available for purchase.

Vicuña Art Studio’s annual Winter Art Show takes place from 1 to 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27.

The live-stream link is vicunaartstudio.com/winter-art-show.

For more information call 604-465-7526 or email vicuna@rmacl.org.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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