Monday, September 8, 2008

Break for Peace

This is most recent piece, and perhaps one of my most colourful, Break for Peace, draws upon my experience working with youth in Colombia in 2006. The youth I met live in the municipalities of Soacha and Chia, near Bogotá. The image brings together images of youth solidarity, graffiti art, hip hop music, and break dance: vehicles that urban youth in Colombia use to express their resistance to rights violations, to violence, to drugs, and to other issues that plague their lives. It is their way of expressing their need to break down barriers and express themselves as creative individuals and as a collective who need to not be ignored but heard. I got to participate in the annual "Festival Hip Hop" in Chia that said: ¨"No al consumo de droga. No a la violencia" – a positive message that encourages youth to understand that violence, joining the insurgent groups, taking drugs etc., is not cool. And that music that says otherwise is also not cool. This piece shows the colours, sounds, and sense of empowerment that the Festival gave to its participants.

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