I’mPossible Dream Podcast

Our podcast mini-series, in partnership with Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, Neruda Arts, and Kitchener Public Library explores the systemic implications of building connections between underrepresented youth and community grassroots organizations while navigating the dominant, mainstream structures in place.

This podcast mini-series will include three episodes that highlight the voices of individuals across different points of the Yuva Arts Project’s evolution. The aim of this podcast is to honour the relationships of all those involved in the project across the globe and emphasize the imperishable need for hope, connection, and unconventionality needed for social transformation. The podcast will connect grassroots opportunities with a youth-led future reducing risks of child exploitation and abuse, and include authentic stories of youth, the impact of the Yuva project on their self-perception (identity, leadership, self-worth), and the world, and how they envision their lives moving forward.

We are grateful for these amazing individuals who worked with us on this project: Julie Thompson (project coordinator, hosting), Abbi Longmire (art, marketing), & Rahul Prabhakaran (audio editing)

EPISODE 3: Prema & Halima

Prema and Halima share their own personal journeys within the project, including the blossoming of their friendship beyond the barriers of language and culture. They will also speak to the personal impact of the project, their friendship, and the current state of the pandemic.

To listen on Spotify, click here: https://open.spotify.com/show/1LuwpCp0Ulqtlvq7YFQmFQ

To listen on Podbean, click here: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2ca3b-11d7d32

English Translation – Prema

Hi.. My name is Prema and I am in the eleventh grade. I have been living in Prerana Naunihal since 2013. Today, I am going to share some of my thoughts with you.

So.. I have several hobbies such as dancing, playing games, spending time with animals, kitchen and gardening, reading, listening to music. Singing is my passion. I really like practicing my voice everyday. I also like to exercise. There are a lot of things that I do… and in life, I like to learn about new things.

So Yuva Arts Project was a platform for me, and still is, through which I got learn a lot about new things and got to explore myself. I learnt a lot of new things in Canada.
I was introduced to so many musical instruments that were new to me. For instance, the bansuri (flute in Hindi) that we normally get to see… after I attended the Yuva Arts sessions and the activities I participated in, I got to hold a bansuri in my hands and see bansuris of many types. That’s when I realized there are so many different types of bansuri. And one life, sorry I mean one line that I really liked and learned is that music is not set in stone, there is no line of fate. When someone says “This is music.” – there is no such thing. Music is so big but there are so many little nuances that I learned when I went there. Like my music teacher would say “there is no right or wrong” in music, – I had only heard that but when I went to Canada, and experienced it, I enjoyed it. I used to be very self-conscious while singing……. I thought I couldn’t change anything or do anything differently. I had forgotten that I could add a bit of myself into it – the yuva project helped me relearn this. I am very grateful for that.

Since the pandemic, my life as well as that of the whole world, has changed. There have been a lot of changes to my life since COVID-19. There are some positives and some negatives. I will first share the positives. SO during the pandemic, school shifted to online – because of that i have more time on my hands during which I practiced my voice. Before, I used to only practice my voice for an hour, but then I started to get 3-4 hours to practice my voice. I enjoyed that. Because there was so much free time, I started exercising a lot. And another thing is that I had time to explore my hobbies. This change has been really good for me.

And if I talk about the negatives … One thing that I miss from the non-pandemic days is in person singing classes which used to be a lot of fun – it is not the same experience in the online classes. In person was just so much more fun. And the other thing is that we barely get to socialize with other people because of COVID-19 – almost 1.5 years – that’s also something I miss. These are the two things that were difficult for me but other than that a lot of things were better. Comparatively, everything was much better, I would see in the news on TV how people in the outside world had it a lot worse than I did. I am very thankful to God for that.

When I see my future, I imagine a girl practicing a schedule, a schedule that I’ve prepared for myself. And the schedule looks like this: a girl who practices 3-4 hours of singing mindfully everyday, and after that she tries to learn new things and new instruments and she exercises regularly. She has the time to practice Karate and as mentioned before, she finds the time for all the hobbies that I like which I mentioned in the beginning… and I am living a peaceful life , mentally, a peaceful life. And this is what I envision for my future, this is what I see in my future. I want to have a future /where /I can do all of these things.

Whatever I do I want to be able to do it whole-heartedly and give it my 100% – this is very important to me. Wherever I am and whatever I do, I always want to be able to sing in my life – and to make time for my singing. I have noticed that whenever I did not practice music, I would feel anxious. It feels like I have wasted my day and I don’t know how the time went by. To be with music is very important to me. Health and music is something I like very much and I always want to have it in my life.

So, Hello Halima. My message to Halima is: Wherever you are, stay happy. I want to say a big thank you to her because, after becoming friends with her, I learnt something good in life; that friendship or any other relationship doesn’t mean that you have to be together and do everything together. Just because we’re so far away that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends anymore. So, friendship or any other relationship, needs to be from the heart – it doesn’t matter if you are near or far, you can send them your well wishes and of course when you’re near someone you can be good to them – but even in being far, friendship can still be maintained – I learned this from her – and I would like to thank her for that. She lives so far away but even then I always have positive thoughts for her in my mind – that must mean that she must be also thinking the same as well. I really do believe in connection through vibes and I learnt this from her so I am grateful to her.

So if I had the chance to tell a world leader something, I would say that when the leaders of the world make decisions – make them for the entire country or state, not just for themselves. So I think that they only need to keep one thing in mind every time they make decisions: before implementing any decision, they must ensure everyone benefits from their decisions and they’re not harming someone. And when I am talking about “everyone” I mean that also includes animals, plants, the environment, the Earth, everything – they must think about all of them. Because I think that we talk a lot about taking care of our environment but it’s only talk – there is no action. So this is my request to them, that they think about the environment, the earth, and animals whenever they make a decision – that they think about everyone, this is my request.

EPISODE 2: Kelly Fran & Jade

This mother and daughter duo are artists, activists, and community organizers. Fran brings insight to her experience as a workshop facilitator and culture keeper within the Yuva Arts Project. Jade speaks to the special mentorship role taken on by the Indigenous youth within the project.

To listen on Spotify, click here: https://open.spotify.com/show/1LuwpCp0Ulqtlvq7YFQmFQ

To listen on Podbean, click here: https://yuvaartsproject.podbean.com/e/kelly-fran-davis-and-jade-smoke-davis/

EPISODE 1: Tamara & Lisette

As project coordinators, Tamara and Lisette will speak to the inception of the project, the friendships that were created between various community organizations and the individuals who participated, the process of planning and organizing despite the lack of infrastructure in place for international arts exchanges with underrepresented youth participants, and the tenacity with which they overcame stigma and systemic barriers within smaller academic institutions and the larger systems of government within both India and Canada.

To listen on Spotify, click here: https://open.spotify.com/show/1LuwpCp0Ulqtlvq7YFQmFQ

To listen on Podbean, click here: https://yuvaartsproject.podbean.com/e/tamara-menon-lisette-pineau/