fantastic forests

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This exhibit opened last week at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC). I meant to go on opening day but typhoon Nida also made an appearance so I ended up checking it out on Friday after teaching in the neighbourhood. There are activities and demonstrations scheduled throughout the day which you can register for in advance at the front entrance table. It wasn’t very busy when I arrived at 1:40pm so I took a look around at the exhibits and had a go at the tree-ring printing at two. One of the displays talked about the connected network of trees and I just came upon this piece in the New Yorker which is a fascinating read: The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web.

If you have elementary aged kids, they’d enjoy the space and activities so go see it before school starts up again this month.

 

Also in the neighbourhood…

Down the road from JCCAC are two other places you should check out:

  • Shek Kip Mei Estate—there’s an outdoor covered exhibition area about changes in the housing estate over the years. It’s a fascinating look into Hong Kong History and the Housing Authority.
  • Heritage of Mei Ho House
    Mei Ho House resulted from the 1953 Shek Kip Mei fire. It is now part hostel part musuem. Walk through the building to experience the history of the community and learn how public housing in Hong Kong came about. Closed Mondays.

Social Acupuncture

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Social Acupuncture in the Tai Ping Shan Area is part of the West Kowloon Cultural District’s New Works Forum, “a platform for Hong Kong artists working across different fields who are interested in expanding their practice into new areas, to explore innovative ways of creating and performing, thinking and discussing topics around contemporary performances.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about what community art is and how the meeting of history, people and social issues are remembered, shared and celebrated. The event was a good place to start to see what is going on in Hong Kong. How is it that we engage people through the arts to speak up/out and tell their stories? Their “open notebook” session concluded their five day workshop facilitated by Darren O’Donnell. Groups shared their learning journey and project ideas they wanted  to put in place. It’d be interesting to see next steps and what direction the projects are actually taken in.

The Tai Ping Shan area is well worth exploring. The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences has a walking medical heritage trail map you can pick up and use, follow one of the heritage trails from the Antiquities and Monuments Office, or just go down Ladder street and check out the intersecting streets. Some unique stores around Square Street area as well.

 

 

stories

If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.

—Barry Lopez

Stories have been a recurring theme this past year in life and learning. Last month at the ELC, I attended a session on developing professional learning communities through appreciative inquiry–Chris Jansen. One of the key strategies of creating a plc is sharing powerful stories.  Stories emotionally engage people and asking the right questions draw out these stories. There is authenticity in sharing what is personally important. We empower, partner and write new stories together.

A few weekends later, I went to Manila with some teacher friends to visit and learn more about Kids International Ministries. I really appreciate that in every project, they take the time to get to know and work alongside community members–to really invest in the people and support local organizations already there who are working to build up and strengthen the community.

The people we met in the Philippines have such a friendly demeanor and they really caused me to pause and think. Knowing that we were only there for the weekend yet still taking the time to share with us, to tell their story and want to hear ours…it was an honour to have the opportunity to spend time with them.

Hong Kong being such a transient city and living here for a decade now, I find it emotionally draining having to constantly say goodbye to people. I was reminded that in continuing on with our journeys, no matter how long or short we’ve known someone, our paths have crossed, our stories have met and that’s a gift.  It makes us who we are.

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Their story, yours and mine — it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them.

—William Carlos Williams

So take the time to listen. Listen to the stories of others.
Care.
Share your story.
Connect, reflect, learn and grow.