Diving Into the World of Arts-Based Research, in an Ever-Changing Global Society

Despite having little control over the COVID-19 health crisis, we absolutely have control over how we choose to treat one another. We are extremely saddened by the current state of affairs our world is in, pertaining to racial injustice and systemic violence. Whether it is within the black community or the remnants of the caste system that still dictates Indian society, we remain focused on the youth. It is in times like these, in which we rely on our leaders. We believe that youth have the unique potential to be game-changers, given the opportunity to lead and rebuild a more equitable and just society, contrary to our current structures that are engrossed by colonialism and white supremacy.

Our world is constantly shifting, breaking new ground, and pouring new foundations. This means that the Yuva Team continues to adapt and respond to our growing, changing, dynamic world. As we dive into the research world, we are adapting to these ever-changing times. We are devoted to taking responsibility and providing space to bring forth authentic voices and stories of diverse youth so that they can build a structure that is more accessible and sustainable for our world. In order to better understand the potential impact of the Yuva Arts Project, we continue to pursue the answers needed to centralize our focus on the youth as the game-changers in our future projects, and ultimately, our world.

We’re back!

Dear Yuva Arts Supporters,

We would like you to know that our efforts continue and that we are working towards future projects. In the meantime, we are also excited to announce our participation in Waterloo Region’s Crime Prevention Council’s anti-trafficking campaign. We will be hosting a presentation of our journey and look forward to addressing local issues surrounding human trafficking in Canada. Our event will be on May 12th at the Kitchener Public Library at 7pm. There will be music! We shall post a link for registration in April.

Feel free to visit the Waterloo Region’s Crime Prevention Council website to learn more about the campaign and our involvement: https://preventingcrime.ca/raising-awareness-about-human-s…/

May 26th, 2019 – Goodbyes

And they’re off. Goodbyes are hard but this has been an unforgettable, life changing experience that we are all going to be impacted by for a lifetime. Hopefully everyone involved brings some of what they have learned back to their individual communities and together we can work toward a promising and compassionate future for generations to come. A bittersweet, beautiful end to a project over two years in the making. Thank you for following these youth’s story.

May 25th, 2019 – YUVA’s Final Event

A huge thank you to everyone who came to our final event! Healing of the Seven Generations opened the afternoon with traditional Haudenosaunee dances and songs. Halima from Reception House then led us in an Islamic prayer before the Mumbai youth performed a series of songs and dances. It was a beautiful conclusion to the project alongside sponsors, facilitators, participants and family who have joined us along the way. Love to you all, thank you for following this project’s progress 💕

May 24th, 2019 – Trip to Niagara Falls

The youth were able to explore Niagara Falls today! They said that they felt they were in a dream, what with walking past the tourist attractions, observing the falls from above and then taking the Hornblower boat cruise to the base of the falls. It was a beautiful day for all.

May 23rd, 2019 – The Last Workshops

Our final music therapy and theater workshops were today! The theater workshop was conducted by Tanya and Nigel who brought fun theater games and contagious energy to the table. Tableaux and topics of what we want to change in the world were the goals of the day and it was so inspiring to hear the ideas of the youth and realize the good that they are going to contribute to the world. We cannot wait to see where their lives take them and we are so proud of them for everything they have worked toward and achieved during this project!

May 22nd, 2019 – Arpillera Making

Today the youth had the opportunity to create arpilleras, a Chilean form of tapestry making where the youth sewed a story into cloth. Many of the youth expressed what they want to do in the future with their arpillera. This was incredible to see as this was something the project has aimed to work toward: providing a space where the youth can see a future for themselves outside the world of trafficking. The youth had an incredible time and made some beautiful pieces of art. We extend our deepest gratitude to Isabel of Neruda Arts for leading us through this incredible workshop.

May 21st, 2019 – Theater and Dance

The third theater workshop of the project consisted of vocal warm-ups, mirroring, tableau making and creating dances together. The youth had to make tableaus based off of themes such as the Jungle Book and sharks, mirrored each others movements in order to learn about connecting with their acting partner, and worked together to choreograph a dance, one move at a time. A big thank you to Nigel and Janice Jo Lee for facilitating!

May 20th, 2019 – Victoria Park and Dances

Another park day! We played camp games and soccer, as well as shared dances. A lovely end to a lovely weekend. Though it was a little chilly, all the movement kept us toasty warm. Afterwards, we watched videos about both Canada and the Seven Wonders of the world, as well as played board games and danced even more. We are blown away by the youth’s boundless energy. Looking forward to the week ahead!

Big thank yous to our volunteers today, Rachel, Avery, Sarah, Caleb and Nick!

May 19th, 2019 – Moccasin Making

The youth are now shoe makers! Today, we had a moccasin making workshop led by Mary Clause and organized by Fran of Healing of the Seven Generations. The youth put together, sewed and displayed their very own beautiful footwear while also learning about Indigenous culture and history. Some very powerful conversations were had and meaningful relationships were made. We are so grateful to the Indigenous community for sharing their stories, welcoming us into their space and educating us on their beliefs, values and customs. It was a truly insightful experience.