The detail of the steps leading up to the platform, words chosen by our girls and referencing Rio's Profeta Gentileza, the values that our girls value the most in life: God, Love, Peace, Respect, Unity, Dignity, Equality, Justice, Life, Hope.
Biggest challenges from the week:
1. Learning to trust the Brazilian work pace to bring us to deadline in time
2. Overcoming the fear of drawing at the top of this tall ladder!
3. Overcoming my deep-rooted fear of public speaking to talk on the local radio Medina FM to promote the event and talking to the crowd about the design and symbolism of the mural on the night! Apart from the fear, what an incredible feeling to have my collaboration and work valued in this way by the community. Rita and the local council's belief in me and my work from the beginning of the project has been astonishing and makes me feel for myself the transformative power of the belief of another person in you, exactly what we are aiming for with our girls, thank you so much!
Best moments from the week:
1. The joy of being alongside our Pink House girls as they painted their eyes into the design, seeing their pride and excitement.
2. Hearing local lad Luao singing away to himself as he painted. After a few random encounters in the street back in the week of painting Nani and Luana's faces in the space, we invited Luao to collaborate and he helped us out each day.
3. The spontaneous body stop-motion moments with Rachel, Nani, our girls and the treat of Wellington's champoinship-level capoeria! :-)
4. Learning to paint using Guina's spray gun.
5. Being treated to 'cafezinho' at two neighbours homes, including Dona Zade. "Cafezinho", meaning "little coffee" actually means being treated to a huge spread of coffee, juice, biscuits, cake, cheese and fruit in the comfort of neighbours homes, chattering away. Time and again here in Medina I have been so moved by the genuine warmth of these beautiful Brazilian folk. The warmth of the hugs I'm receiving daily from the girls and our many friends throughout the town will keep me feeling like I'm basking in Brazilian sun way into the future! :-)
6. Every child, teen, youngster, worker, granny and grandad that stopped off to look and chat about the wall throughout the week. It seems the mural really is speaking to people. One 13-year old girl, Rebecca, even told Rachel and I at the end of the week that her and her friends now pass by there now just to stop and chat.
And of course the most important and heart-warming moment of all: the girl's inaugurating the space, with impressive dance, theatre, video and poetry pieces and the unveiling of the mural: Despite the rain worries early on in the day the event went ahead and our girls did an amazing job of presenting our theme, asking the local community to Open their Eyes: Your Look can Transform Our Lives. They performed brilliant dance pieces choreographed by the lovely Lauren Batty and theatre pieces put together by the brilliant Cristina Gonçlaves de Alguilar.
p.s. Keep an eye out over the next few posts for more detail about the girls individual work and the project work leading up to the mural collaboration.