IDENTITY, AESTHETICS AND CULTURE OF MAKING
A two-week long journey of self-retrospection by means of questioning, observing and finding answers. The significance lay in the fact that the realizations that dawn upon the individual would have the potential to alter their perspective of the surroundings and even themselves.
In relation to the word ‘identity’ the questions that sprang up were- Who am I? Why am I what I am? The answers to these would also serve as hints for- How do we see, perceive the world around (aesthetics)? What all goes into anything we make (culture of making)?
Finding answers meant looking at various aspects such as one’s habits, attitudes, thoughts and gauge the associated changes over a period of time-right from childhood to be precise. The next step was to analyze the reasons and factors behind -such as the family background, various events and experiences. The fact that growing up happened in an environment that revolved around ‘grooming’ was undeniable. And the educational system plays a key role in ‘influencing’ the traits of every individual.
So who and what were to be observed, that could help find these answers?
Children and everything that they do- for they are uninfluenced and thereby know no limits or so called reasons for doing and not doing something in any particular way. But really what are the things that they do and what runs in their minds?
The different kinds of environments such as a learning centre in a slum (Makkala Jagrithi) or a educational set-up ‘Bhavya’ aimed at creating spaces for the kids to develop interests, give them opportunities to experiment and explore their dreams. Whatever be the limitations in terms of resources or hardships faced the single common thing which stood out was the creativity of the kids. It was this inherent trait which when nurtured brought out mind-blowing abilities in them. The qualities developed and the knowledge gained on their own would convince anybody of the fact that these were rooted strongly and that they would later be the best citizens in the society.
Also there were classroom activities carried out that required us to actually see how our thoughts flowed when we started drawing a form out of the blue and even filling it with arbitrary colours. Trying to think of habits that could be changed, I could come up with alternate ways of doing many things such as increased use of left hand for lifting objects or writing or even typing.
After all this one would certainly feel that they would be better off than what they are now, had they also been brought up in such meaningful spaces. But having grown up now what can be done to become childlike? The rigidities and assumptions ought to be shattered to pave way for those new thoughts and ideas to occur.
Unlearn and re-explore to see the real change.