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Connect, Mid-month RAP: 6/15/22 ~ Cultural Repurposing



Greetings and Happy Midweek!

And it’s exactly mid-month, so it’s time for another of our RAP sessions (Review And Process, deeper and wider). Each of these mid-month RAP sessions revisits a cross-cultural theme or topic from a previous Connect, going more deeply into what we’ve begun to explore. This month we are going to revisit the topic of Culture and Art, with an additional focus on repurposing (or using old materials for new projects).* This fits neatly into the Harbor dimension of our Global SKILLs 3D Dynamics, since often, in this Harbor dimension, people work together with shared purpose. **

I come to this reflection having been personally intrigued by a long term art project going on in Ghana - which involves repurposing plastic water containers (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45836387). For years, the artist, Serge Attukwei Clottey, has been creating these wonderfully imaginative and culturally relevant ways to repurpose the containers which can be found everywhere in his region, often discarded and littering both urban and rural spaces. Countless community members have worked side by side with Serge - collecting the containers, helping him cut them into pieces and sew them together into bright yellow plastic tapestries which then (among many new purposes) pave roads and cover walls.

One take-away for me, as I see the process and results of Serge’s amazing creations is simple delight in this unique cross-cultural moment of viewing his art as it is created and displayed there in Africa. In addition, both the visual and cultural impacts, especially for me of the ‘yellow brick roads’, are also deeply inspiring. Such great examples of how repurposing ingenuity in one culture highlights property ownership issues and places value on womens’ contributions - in this case, their labor of love involved in the containers’ original purpose - which was to bring life-sustaining water to countless families.

How about you ~ what is one cross-cultural take away for you as you view Serge’s masterpieces? Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for a recent update on Serge’s work, and several other fun cultural repurposing moments.

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,

Betsy


Notes:

* using the blog link above, see a previous Connect with related topic: 1/26/22

** through my business Global SKILLs and several partner subsidiaries I offer unique cross-cultural consulting and training including: 3 Dimensional Dynamics perspectives:

1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST ; 3rd dimension = HARBOR (which we explored this week)


Global SKILLs LINKs

~ recent update on Serge’s work: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/serge-attukwei-clottey-yellow-brick-road-ghana-nomad/index.html

~ LOVE this architectural repurposing example from Jakarta: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/933/1/012038

~ repurposing schools as cultural spaces in Canada: https://www.canadianarchitect.com/repurposing-schools-as-cultural-spaces/

2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

“It takes a community to build a community”

Please Note: this is copyrighted content.

Please do not reproduce or share without my permission (betsy.barbour@gmail.com)


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