With Lionel Estève (artist), Rachel Monosov (artist), Lisa Lapierre (photographer), Nathalie Guiot (author), Claudia Radulescu (artist), Stéphane Guiran (sculptor) and Philippe Terrier-Hermann (artist-researcher).
During three weeks, 7 artists, selected based on their engaged practice and their educational approaches, have drived photo, video, sculpture and collages workshops and presented the fruits of their workshops as part of a collective exhibition. The opening has been a huge celebration in the school. All the parents traveled to discover the exhibition in Manachannalur, a town of 140 000 inhabitants in south India. Traditional dance punctuated the event and the children were able to testify of their experience and share their joy of having realized their first artwork.
One hundred children aged from 6 to 16 years old participated in these workshops initiated and produced by Thalie Art Foundation. For the majority of them, their parents are illegitimate and work in the fields or at the factory. The contact with the artists and the different practices addressed allowed the children to stimulate their creativity and to develop a certain autonomy of thought. Arts education is not on the academic curriculum of public schools in India before entering university. Thalie Art Foundation wishes to model this program for this village school, and eventually to make it permanent in other establishments.
The engagement of Thalie Art Foundation in India
The foundation supports a school inspired by the Montessori method in South India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Created by a local association, Huma Uplift Trust, (which has been active for 30 years), the school welcomes 700 Dalit children (aged 3 to 15), from the caste traditionally known as the “untouchables”, and runs an orphanage for some 100 children affected by HIV. The mission of the school is to counteract the social determinism that shapes the lives of these children from disadvantaged communities, most of whom have no access to education, as they have to leave the school system at the age of 11 to work in the fields alongside their parents, the majority of whom are illiterate. Thanks to the association’s work, these children can now obtain and education in English, which is the key to finding jobs.
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Thalie Art Foundation created the Thalie Fund, hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation, dedicated to the support of this project.
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