In mid January 2018 I will set up in Mexico City for 6-weeks to conduct a ceramic hand-building workshop for a group of 10-12 girls and boys from the Comision Unidos shelter home. We raised $2,965 through Go Fund Me + $626.01 through @atelieranu ceramic auction to make this happen <3 We'll be working with clay and benefitting from all the healing that play and artistic expression allows, and then have an exhibition/auction of the work we create where the proceeds will be donated back to Comision Unidos.
We met Comision Unidos founder Rosi Orozco last year in Delhi while exhibiting the ceramic work from the first Aanu Seva workshop. She invited us to conduct the workshop in Mexico, and after meeting the organization a few weeks ago the wheels have started motion!
Comision Unidos works to eradicate human trafficking through a 5 pronged approach: firstly, protection and care for victims: they have a shelter which provides a safe home, support and education for 12 girls, a support system for survivors for their integration into society after they leave the shelter system and this October they opened the first shelter of its kind in Mexico for boys. Secondly political influence to affect change top-down; Thirdly through prevention, creating awareness and research to better understand the complex field. Fourthly, citizen participation to build a community of support and shared information on the topic and finally, communication of the subject through publications and social media to spread information to the world.
AANU SEVA 2018
Last year, Atelier Anu founder Anu Nagaraj sat carving and kneeding, lost in her thoughts, she had a realization about how healing the process of working with clay has been for her, and that she wanted to share that creative freedom with those who otherwise wouldn’t have the means.
She first came across the subject of human-trafficking when she worked with refugees arriving in Greece in January 2016, and here dark stories emerged about missing people being trafficked for their organs. As she investigated the subject further she knew these were the marginalized people she wanted to work with.
For the first mission last January 2017, we fund-raised and developed a 2 week ceramic program for the NGO Apne Aap, to bring the benefits of art-therapy and creative play to 12 women from the at risk Perna, Singhi, and Sapera tribes, living outside of New Dehli. The workshop concluded with a exhibition and sale of the ceramics at the India International Center as part of the Last Girl First: World Congress vs Sexual Exploitation of Women & Girls conference in Dehli. Read more here: Seva 2017 Recap.
Creative expression shouldn’t be a privilege. Providing those without access the potential to create, offering an alternate perspective outside of their everyday realities is the aim of the Aanu Seva project.
Seva is the Sanskrit word for the act of service - to give back - an expression of compassion for others and a genuine desire to uplift those around you. This felt like the perfect name, and the Aanu Seva project was born.
Working with clay has a real duality to it. There are parts of the craft that are extremely challenging...even stressful actually. It often feels like taming a wild beast, but the desire to conquer the medium pulls you back. But there is also another side, where the simple contact with the material feels soothing and grounding.
I can see real value in the healing that it's brought me as I put all of myself into the pieces that I make. My thoughts, my anxieties all get channeled through my hands, into a unique physical entity that is literally made from the earth. Something new is born, through this transference of feelings. This is where I see so much opportunity for therapy through this art-form. And this what I want to share with others.
- Anu Nagaraj xo
The $2,500 in funding needed will help to cover the tools and materials needed for the workshop; studio, firing and glazing costs; transport expenses; exhibition setup, my flight home, accommodation in a flat share, and to support logistical hurdles as they arise. All remaining funds at the end of the mission will be donated to Comision Unidos.
Thank you for your support in making this happen!!