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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 10:59

Art is a Dynamic Relationship with the Environment

A quiet region of Scotland is building a reputation (and tourism) through art that connects nature and community.

When I heard about the Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS) it stuck me as curious that this was the first time that there had been one. After all Scotland's environment has always been important as an inspiration for artists, writers, composers, scientists whether that's Edwin Landseer, Margaret Tait, Robert Burns, Hugh McDiarmid, Felix Mendelsshon, Martyn Bennett, James Hutton or Patrick Geddes.

The landscape is rich in folklore and mythology and articulated by prehistoric monuments and signs of thousands of years of inhabitation. In fact even the word 'environment' was coined by Thomas Carlyle when he was living in Ecclefechan in 1828.

Published in Arts and Culture

Abstract

This article describes the contribution of creativity to human development in the new nation of Timor-Leste, exemplified in a case study of community art centre Afalyca.  By taking a creative approach to the challenges of life in his developing country, the young leader of this enterprise, Marqy da Costa, is realising his own potential more fully and offering enriching experiences to others. The impact of his centre on a range of stakeholders, including staff, participants and the wider community is discussed. 

For participants, the outcomes of their involvement include enjoyable opportunities for creative expression; valued recognition from national and international audiences; the broadening of life experience to encompass new possibilities for self-actualisation; skill development and income from employment and sales.

The factors that have contributed to Afalcya's creative achievements are examined.  These include inspiration and assistance received from organisations and individuals in and outside of Timor, family support, and the age and gender of leaders.  Also significant are founder Marqy's personal characteristics of artistic talent, social and language skills, love of learning, persistence and conciliatory approach to conflict.  Barriers to the realisation of Afalcya's potential include lack of systemic recognition of the value of creativity for sustainable development, unsupportive bureaucracy and gender related restrictions of participation for women. The potential for similar initiatives to contribute to a positive future for Timorese people is explored.

Keywords

Timor-Leste, creativity, arts participation, human development.

 

In Timor-Leste, we need a new mentality; people who have initiative,
creativity and innovation, and who apply this with hard work.
Prime Minister of Timor-Leste - Xanana Gusmao
Human Rights Arts and Film Festival Launch, Melbourne, 9 May 2013.

Published in Health and Wellbeing

Eletrobrás is the Brazilian government state company responsible for electrical energy efficiency and they offer several energy efficiency programs. One of these programs helps small municipalities reduce consumption of electricity and improve the energy efficiency of operations that use electricity. Until 2004, this program followed an approach that failed to meet the company's targets for improvement, and thus a new approach was proposed. This paper reports on the successful implementation by Eletrobrás of a creative process in 43 small municipalities. The results show that both the municipalities and their inhabitants managed to reduce consumption as a result of the new approach. The municipal employees – people with varying but often low schooling – felt their self-esteem increase as they solved problems and taught their clients to save energy.

Published in Business

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