Co-Creating Change Exchange with Nairobi: 3 Stones
Post by Amy Mellows
For the last year, we have been in an ongoing conversation with John Namai, a Nairobi-based storyteller working predominantly with children and young people as a participatory storyteller, mentor and Facilitator. John is a founding member of Zamaleo Act, an East Africa centre for Artistic Excellence, specialized in participatory educational theatre and the Annual storytelling festival, which has been running for over a decade.
In the last couple of months, as part of The Co Creating Change Network’s International commission, the young people and staff at Doorstep and Zamaleo have begun an online cultural exchange and sharing of professional practice and creative techniques, and how we co-cerate change in our communities!
“I have learnt so much being part of this international exchange. I have loved being able to not only observe and take part in John’s storytelling sessions on zoom, but also host John in our sessions too. The children and young people have all been really excited about connecting with someone all the way in Africa and learn about the way they live and what they like. The next part of the project will include Amy and I leading a drama session with the young people John works with and John leading a storytelling session with some of our children. We are then really keen to hold a zoom session for those older young people to connect with older young people in Nairobi and talk about their own creative practice and why they love making theatre. Our hope is that once these relationships have formed, that they will continue to communicate with one another. We then hope to fundraise and co-create a digital piece of theatre/film online. But thats the long-term dream, for now, continuing our conversations, observations and sharing creative practice is our focus.” – Jade Campbell
We have been observing each others practice in creative sessions with our young people via Zoom and in the sharing of photos and videos, and have shared and discussed the nature and structure of our organisations and their practices. We plan to facilitate each other’s young people in creative/storytelling sessions via Zoom very soon.
By exchanging videos of games, cultural norms and personal introductions, our young people have been in touch with one another, and we aim to grow this exchange/collaboration further in the next half of our work together.
Our growing partnership is keen to investigate issues faced by local young people in each community, integrating appreciation of one’s own heritage and culture, addressing retrogressive cultural norms, sharing societal, political and cultural similarities and differences, appreciating the stories and contributions from other cultures and exchanging best practice of our community co-creation work and creative processes with young people.