Out of interest, I visited Sober House art exhibition at Alliance Francaise yesterday. It is a small gallery of paintings, sculptures and other handcrafts made as part of the rehabilitation program of victims of alcohol and drug abuse. I was amazed at the level of workmanship by these youth who were once afflicted by drug abuse, they had not been artists to begin with and yet they now produce beautiful pieces. The gallery of images I have posted presents the pieces I found most interesting, my thoughts about them and my alternative names for them.
“The back of a coastal woman”
This sculpture is named “Mama Africa”. When you look at the woman from the front, she is breast feeding her baby with a sad expression on her face. The sculptor describes it as the portrayal of the African woman who is uncertain of her future but has hope. I preferred capturing it from behind because I don’t think that African women can afford to hope in uncertainty or dwelling in the darkness that comes with sadness. Breast feeding our children when we are overcome with sadness can only spell ‘doom’ to them. So I decided to call it, ‘the back of a coastal woman’- because all coastal women regardless of social standing wear Khanga, when you look at her from behind you are left to wonder about her, what does she look like, what is she thinking of, who is she?; Unless she looks back at you, it’s a mystery .
“Laughing out loud- LOL!”
After seeing most of the art work represents one form of struggle or another, I was intrigued by this portrait of a laughing woman. We are portrayed as a dark continent, full of troubles and sadness indeed many images of Africa show images that are dismaying. This laughing woman reveals the truth;amidst all the troubles, we always have a reason to laugh. Walk down the streets of Tanzania and you will see that at some point in time there is a group of people engaged in a conversation full of laughter. There is laughter all around us. In fact, you hardly see a crying face even among those who sleep on the streets unless they were mourning over the dead.
“The hustle is real”
We are sometimes prejudiced as being lazy but we are a nation that is always on the move. Our men and women engage in different economic activities, most more laborious than not; they drain the energy out of you and the returns are but small and we still keep at it. Pushing, pulling and moving on!
“The beach is my playground”
Other kids have a swing set, sand boxes and Lego sets. But having been born and brought up in the coast, I find the most pleasure dipping my feet in the salty water, feeling the sand on my skin and watching the waves as they hit the shore and say good-bye. This painting was a welcomed sight, it shows real life at the coast. When I come from work every evening I look out at the beach and watch the school children having fun at the shores in their school uniforms and school bags, without a care in the world; in my mind I always wonder how is it that they don’t tire.
What’s your thoughts on my take?