Updates from the Field: May 8 2019 Reflections on Transition and Closing:
The end of a project is always emotional, a bit sad, but also full of positive sentiments. Because we have been together almost everyday, the girls, the assistants who are mentors to the girls, the daily vendors, drivers, neighborhoods, and community chefs we work with have become a special community. These repeated interactions have woven strong and dynamic positive relationships. Another truly special aspect is how present and vibrant the girls are by this stage. I think when self-expression is encouraged everyday, when girls have the space to be themselves, to dance, draw, paint, share their experiences and overall just to be creative, their personalities, their identities become more alive, bigger and more present. I find it to be such a clear reflection of the power of creativity, safe space and collective actions to move youth into a fuller expression of their humanity.
One of our last activities with the group included creating a transitional object. This was incorporated into the curriculum by our advisor and art therapist Bonnie Hirschhorn. In this activity, participants make a piece of jewelry they can wear to symbolize strength and belonging. This object with its symbolic meaning helps the participants to remember their experiences during the project and to transition these experiences into their lives post-project. On the advice of our artist assistants the transitional object was made from beaded jewelry. It was a great way for everyone to spend time together talking, creating, and then at the end sharing what they want to remember as they wore their new pieces.