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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#HAPPYINSCHOOL



Currently running at the KZNSA Gallery is #HappyInSchool, a project and exhibition that works with grade eight learners in seven secondary schools in Umlazi, KwaMashu, Verulam and Tongaat, Durban. The project engages with these learners by partnering with educational NGO OneVoiceSA. (OVSA).

Central to the exhibition is the question “What will make me happy in the future?” Through a series of participatory workshops the learners and OVSA facilitators explore visualisations of a ‘happy’ future through the technique of image theatre. Groups of learners create dramatized images using improvised props and costumes to depict their dreams and aspirations. Captured by photographer Harry Lock these ‘dioramas’ provide an uplifting series of group portraits.

Happy in School was inspired by the worldwide phenomenon of Pharrell Williams’ smash hit music video Happy. The song and www.wearehappyfrom.com has become a cultural trend synonymous with changing an emotion into an action. Learners from Zwelibanzi High School in Umlazi choreographed their own version of the Happy song and the video forms part of the exhibition. #HappyInSchool joins Over 2000 communities from 153 countries who have thus far created their own version of Happy.

June is Youth Month and the project sets out to highlight the importance of young people having a voice as an instrument for change; and a means to explore issues of human rights, gender equity, cultural diversity and specifically, nation building. In all of the workshops and activities, young people’s practice of rights and responsibilities was highlighted to support them in becoming active participants in the realisation of these rights.

Young people need to be recognised as active rights holders, who have the capacity to become full and responsible citizens. Youth engagement on health and lifestyle issues, now and in the future, is vitally important for South Africa at this stage in its democracy.

#HappyInSchool is a project of the KZNSA’s Social Art Programme 2014/15 supported by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund.

The NLDTF relies on funds generated by the National Lottery and its aim  is to see that the grants made will make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable. The NLDTF is dedicated to improving sustainability of the beneficiary organisations it funds.

#HappyInSchool was developed by Independent Arts and Culture Activator Bren Brophy in partnership with the schools facilitators from OVSA and photographer Harry Lock with mentorship training by education and health specialist Dr Emma Durden.

The exhibition runs until June 28 in the Main & Mezzanine Galleries of the KZNSA Gallery at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit www.kznsagallery.co.za


In the Park Gallery is a moving videography installation curated by visiting French visual artist Delphine Colin, “The Poetry of Bodies/Po├ęsie des Corps that brings a fresh international feel to the Gallery complex.