Art spaces hosting activism & strengthening community engagement

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Surveys!

Karen Phillips    www.freedimensional.org

Evaluating impact is crucial to make a case for our work as an organization and when dealing with building a link where one may not have previously existed, it is not always easy to make with our inserting some sort of counterfactual argument (what would have happened had fD not done x, y, or z). This said, one easy tool to use to get an idea of the impact you are having on your stakeholders or constituents is a survey. 

This summer fD hosted a network meeting for new art space administrators. Following the meeting, we circulated a survey created for free on Survey Monkey [www.surveymonkey.com]. Now we have some concrete feedback about the meeting that can be turned into a report for the fD community.  Have others had luck with surveys or other tools to help measure impact?

Mapping

I am interested in this mapping project for networks that New Tactics developed.  Do you know anything more about it?  Is it a quantitative measure of success, do you think?  Or could it be?

Comments on yesterday's dialogue I missed and some thoughts

I would like to comment on a few points from yesterday's online dialogue: I very much appriciated the comment about dialogue being framed always from the perspective of the art space and the need for a dialogue about how can the activists be part of art spaces. 

When we use the words "art spaces", "community engagement" and "activism" over and over again, I feel like we are fetishizing these practices without filling them with much content so I would really appreciate a dialogue that gives examples and case studies so that we can be more specific about our discussion.

On that note, I would like to briefly summarize cura bodrum residency's recent engagement with nautical migration from the Aegean coasts of Turkey to Greek islands with the hope of making it deeper into Europe. cura bodrum residency is a young initiative, very much in the process of formulating its function and practice, as well as forming its public. Trying to tackle different issues that has local relevance, we realized the necessity of taking on the migration issue, yet had no background on it, theoratical or practical. We put out a call for applications for those who would like to work on "human mobility" not narrowing it down to migration. I started educating myself through online research and following the noborders camp that took place in lesvos in august 2009. Although we had a panel discussion in Istanbul titled "Wrestling artist mobility and human mobility into a common discourse", we failed in having people on the table, who work on issues related to migration as NGOs, activist, or anyone who has had the experience... By the time we arrived in Bodrum to take the issue on, we still felt lost as to how to engage with this reality. We decided on the strategy of collecting narrtives from people who live in Bodrum to at least understand how this phenomenon is percieved and discussed among the local public. In the meanwhile, discussions broke out in the lesvos no border camp mailing list about what actions should be taken and about the problems in how the camp was organized. This made me realize that it is very hard to create a common ground about what should be done, how it should be done even between NGOs, activists, anarchists, leftists or autonomous individuals with a consciousness about this subject. 

Basically, no matter what it is that we are taking on, it is crucial to create an engagement that includes people from different spheres of activity. It is crucial to bring together academics, NGOs, activists, researchers and cultural producers to be able to learn from each other, develop a common language and decide on common action eventually. This is where the importance of support networks come in I think. They have the ability to create an interest in different spheres to engage in a more diverse exchange by suggesting the possibility of bringing all these backgrounds together... 

Another point: although I have been familiar with freeDimensional's practice of placing activists in art spaces, who need safe havens, only in this context and yesterday's recorded discussion, it sounded to me like activists enter art spaces only when they have no other choice.... So maybe we can discuss more specifically what the gains are for activists to consider art spaces as a possible venue of activity or support structure?...

thanks, izzzzzzzzzz 

 

Migration / Human Mobility

Alicia Marván - artist . curator . activist - www.aliciamarvan.com

I love the broadening of your residency topic into "Human Mobility", I'm sure it took the project into an interesting turn. I am also delving into the issue with the february residency, and also chose to broaden to theme, but from "Economic Migration" to just "Migration", to include other migrations in the ecosystem/experience (monarch butterflies, aerial seed pollination, psycho-social migration of the self, etc.).

Another very important thing that has been mentioned by you and others is the diversification of the network and working teams. It is very important for me at Guapamacátaro to reach out and include people from a variety of disciplines in order to gain a better understanding of the issues in turn. This year I received very interesting proposals from architects, product designers and educators, in addition to artists.

Iz: It will be very interesting to compare results/collaborate next year, post-residency.

Hello Iz, Thanks for your

Hello Iz,

Thanks for your comments and thoughts here.  I wanted to ask what resulted from your decision to collect narratives in Bodrum about irregular migration from Turkey to Greece - did you publish these?  Were they illuminative to you?  I would like to learn how this initiative went - is it a useful example of an arts space engaging an issue with 'activist' or 'humanitarian' intentions?

 It seems you've struggled on deciding what to do about issues that you have identified as crucial.  I wonder if New Tactics, or anyone else attending this dialogue, have examples of the way actions on human rights issues can emerge from collective convesations such as the one you've described, or the one we are engaged in now.   If so, do these examples suggest that networking and meeting does indeed lead to collective action?

thanks

work in progress

As the threads of the conversations get longer, they become very fruitful and enriching, thanks for all the links and examples that are flowing in.

 Answering Max's question about what we do with the narratives we collect; we are still in the process of collecting and confused about what we do with this information and knowledge. Someone offers to draw on a map all the migration routes with insights of a local fisherman. Who do you serve if you make this information avaliable? You hear of immigrants hiding in a shipyard. What do you do? Do you go there to provide food and necessesities as the first human reaction? You hear about bodies washing ashore with bullet holes in them or a fishermen being killed intentionally because he had immigrants in his boat. How do you make these Frontex practices visible that can become so brutal in the absence of any monitoring mechanisms? 

I feel the need to come together with people who are engaged with migration discourse and come from different backgrounds and discuss all levels of actions from providing humunitarian aid to working towards policy change... It would be great to somehow map out all the tactics that are developed to support immigrants in their dangerous and uncertain journeys to see how we can contribute best...

If there is anyone following the conversation and has background on migration, it would be great to get feedback on developing tactics related to migration issues... 

Tactics related to migration issues

Alicia Marván - artist . curator . activist - www.aliciamarvan.com

 here's a start:

1) Targeting the cause of migration: we are implementing this at Guapamacátaro by fostering a sustainable, integral community to minimize the need for economic migration. We provide jobs, as well as bring in knowledge in sustainability, permaculture, resource management, information technologies, communication, human development, etc.

New Tactics' tactical mapping: identifying tactics and impact

iz oztat wrote:

I feel the need to come together with people who are engaged with migration discourse and come from different backgrounds and discuss all levels of actions from providing humunitarian aid to working towards policy change... It would be great to somehow map out all the tactics that are developed to support immigrants in their dangerous and uncertain journeys to see how we can contribute best...

Yes! Hi Iz, I wanted to reply your comment on a desire to 'map out all the tactics' around immigrant issues, and also try to reply to Wondercabinet's question about using the New Tactics mapping tool to measure one's impact.

New Tactics' tactical mapping tool was designed to do just what you are you thinking about, Iz - map out all the tactics that are currently being used on an issue, and figure out what resources you and your allies can bring to the table and how you can best contribute these resources.  Tactical Mapping is a method of visualizing the institutions
and relationships sustaining human rights abuses, and then tracking the
nature and potency of tactics available to affect these systems,
ultimately serving as a tool to monitor the implementation of strategy.
We have learned that it is important to focus on relationships when analyzing human rights strategies.  Human rights work involves efforts to change human behavior and the institutions established and carried on by people.  Therefore, the project's tactical mapping tool emphasizes relationships - rather than more abstract causes such as history, culture, poverty, and lack of awareness.

When we facilitate the process of developing a tactical map, we first ask practitioners to identify the 'center relationship,' which consists of two people and is the smallest relationship that best represent the nature of your issue.  This is the relationship that you ultimately want to change with your human rights campaign (see the image and description below for an example). Then we ask practitioners to add all the people that come in direct contact with those two people at the center for your map, and then to work out from there and identify actors that do not have direct contact with the center individuals, but still have an impact on the relationship.  The next step is to identify the nature of these relationships and reflect those by using different colored markers. Once the relationships are mapped, it is possible to identify where tactics are currently being used - are they being used to target policy-makers, courts, citizens/voters, survivors, etc. Which tactics are working and which are not?

(The image below is a small part of a tactical map that we made on the Guantanamo Bay issue - the relationship at the center of the map that we wanted to change was between the GTMO torturer and the GTMO torturee.)

The next step is to identify potential leverage points and action steps. The map helps to promote
tactical innovation by pointing out new ways of intervening - new relationships to change, disrupt or strengthen.

Now, regarding the impact question - from what I have learned about the tactical map, one is able to identify and analyze the impact of a tactic because each intervention is concrete with goals, steps and outcomes. Your strategy is a collection of individual tactics that support each other - this is a way of visualizing and documenting each tactic - and each tactical step. (I hope that my colleague, Nancy, can ellaborate because I don't think I am being very clear!)

I hope this helps to give a brief introduction to this tool.  If you are interested to learn more, please download an article titled "Tactical Mapping: How Nonprofits Can Identify the Levers of Change" published in the most recent volume of the Nonprofit Quarterly.

I am very interested in learning about other tools that people are using for strategic planning, and if you think this tactical mapping tool would be helpful!

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

exploring tactical mapping further

Kristin,

So far, I have been adding links to our blog that relates to all the research I have done at http://curabodrumresidency.blogspot.com/ but the linear and chronological layout makes it very hard to make connections and draw outcomes. I wil definitely look into the tactical mapping tool and try to utilize it. Thanks for introducing it.

 

Tactical Mapping, Migration issue & Art Spaces

Kristin provided some great information about tactical mapping in her post - New Tactics' tactical mapping: identifying tactics and impact.

I wanted to provide an example that would be closer to the experience of the Art Spaces who have been writing about migration. I was thinking about what Alica wrote in her posts - re: youth involvement (engaging the school and children across from their art space) and Tactics related to migration issues (about addressing migrant issues from the economic aspect.

I've developed a VERY simple map based my own ideas of who might be closest to a person who is considering migrating (from Mexico, Turkey, Egypt - those art spaces that have shared some of their thoughts on migration) to another country to work. And placing an Art Space within the "tactical map" - which could represent for example Alicia's Art Space of Guapamacátaro . In the figure - you can see at the "center" of the map - the relationship between the "recruiter" and the potential "migrant worker". Guapamacátaro is targeting two "places" or relationships on the map:

  • the migrant worker directly by providing jobs and fostering a sustainable, integral community to minimize the need for economic migration; and
  • the children of the school- by providing them with a regular space, interaction with people from other places while making them proud of their own community, that people want to come to their place and community.

As you can see from the "tactical map" - her Art Space is also connected to fD (freeDimensional) and the other art spaces through the fD network. Note: the colored lines have meaning - very simply put: red - power over relationships;blue - mutually beneficial; green - exploitative; and yellow - conflict (of interest, personality, power, control).

    By outlining as many relationships as you can think of that are directly and indirectly involved in your issue (such as migration), it allows for greater creativity and analysis about where YOU can take actionl Each relationship on the "tactical map" is a potential place to "target" your tactics - examining if that would be a place where your art space could have the best chance of impacting the issue of migration toward your desired goal. 

    You can return to your tactical map often - as relationships are always shifting and changing (in terms of people changing positions, power, levels of benefit, exploitation, or conflict). You can see if your tactics have "hit" your intended target and moved them toward the action or goal you intended. This can be very helpful in measuring your impact over time.

    I hope this provides a helpful glimpse into the using the tool. For more information, see our Tactical Map page.

    Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager

    WOW! Tactical Mapping, Migration issue & Art Spaces

    Alicia Marván - artist . curator . activist - www.aliciamarvan.com

    Thank You Nancy! This is extremely helpful, and has inspired me to develop the idea further, both organizationally and artistically...what software do you use to create the graphics? a standard one like PowerPoint or something specific to mapping?  

    Tactical mapping - simple tools, great results

    Alicia,

    I'm so glad that you found it helpful. I created that tactical map using PowerPoint. When New Tactics works with groups, we use a wall or large sheets of paper, "post-its" of different colors and colored pens. But you can even use the dirt on the ground to etch out the relationships. The real point is to get people talking together about who they know, what they know about the relationships and insititutions and ideas for how they can influence these relationships and instituions. 

    Let us know if you come up with some great ideas for how to better "artistically render" tactical maps and any ways that you create them that you find useful that could helpful to others. Thanks!

    Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager

    On migration...

    As a playwright I’ve been involved in couple of projects
    dealing with migration issues. In 2007 I was the lead writer for the TAXI
    Project - an original play exploring issues of freedom of expression and the
    complex realities of living in exile. Written by four members of PEN Canada's
    Writers in Exile Network, the play follows
    four characters forced to leave their home countries and their struggles to
    create new lives in Canada.

    Now I’m working in collaboration with Filipino artist,
    Catherine Hernandez, on a new play called: “Coyote”. This play was inspired on
    my own experience of crossing
    the Mexican border into the United States as a child. “Coyote” tells the story of five Mexicans
    whose clandestine journey into the north is hindered when their guide, the
    “coyote” goes missing.

    “Coyote” has been selected for Alameda Theatre Company
    2009 and 2010 De Colores Festival of New Works by Latin-Canadian Playwright. Slated
    for publication in a forthcoming collection of Latina/o-Canadian Theatre by
    Playwrights Canada Press. Canada 2012

    We are currently on our second draft and had identified
    the need to connect not only with people who had crossed the border but with
    those who are “are engaged with migration discourse and come from different
    backgrounds and discuss all levels of actions from providing humanitarian aid
    to working towards policy change”. 
    With a little bit of online research we were able to find few
    humanitarian groups in Arizona and had been invited to visit a fellow artist
    Karl Hoffman, who documents life in the border and organizes “awareness tours”
    on the routes use by migrants to cross the desert…of course the main issue now
    is finding the funding to afford the trip and do some much needed research!

    I guess for us artist the major barrier for networking is
    funding…and that is why art spaces that provide residency opportunities are so
    much need it and having a network of art spaces and NGO’s is almost like
    utopia.

    -Emma Beltran

    Poet

    BTW anyone knows of any art spaces in Arizona
    that could be interested on our project? Or where can we find some funding
    opportunities to be able to travel to Arizona and strengthen or work through
    research?!

    more on "community"

    Thanks for your cautions about the broad use of some of the terminology, Iz. It's easy for all of us, I think, to fall back on such phrases and to use them in a routine way that works against their potential. I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the phrase 'community-building' and even the word 'community' and what, exactly, we mean when we employ these words/phrases.

     Much of the talk about the future of publishing (something that interest our writing residency program greatly) is the notion that it will be based in 'community-engagement.' But I'm curious about what this means and fear the phrase is now a catch-all for any group with common interests - and I think that's not very useful. Community does include notions of common interest, yes, but it also includes shared resources, social interactions, and the capacity to work through conflict. I also fear that in the age of virtual communities, our communities rooted in the physical world are underestimated. Thus the importance of an art space (and in this case I refer to the program I help with, Sangam House, and that art space's capacity for connecting with the people who share the roads, the local customs, local markets, etc.

    Sangam House's efforts to reach out to its physical community is uber-challenging because it is a tremendously diverse area vis-a-vis language. Tamil is the official language of the state but several mother tongues are spoken in the immediate area - along with French and English - and these language's very often are a defining factor for this or that portion of the community. 

    Part of Sangam House's mandate is supporting writers working in marginalized regional languages, particularly in South Asia. We provide public readings and discussions where those from the local villages and neighborhoods are introduced (or re-introduced) to writers working in the local languages. Our hope here is to help preserve (and sustain) these local canons before they disappear -- or are gobbled up by English. This is the most immediate and substantial form of community engagement that we have found. It provides social interaction, utilizes the communities physical facilities, addresses a major concern for the communities (preservation of mother tongue), and encourages others about what might be possible within said community. (That is, one doesn't have to switch to English and go running off to Delhi or London or New York to make meaningful literary contributions.) 

    Onward.

    DW Gibson

     

    Defining community engagement

    dwmgibson wrote:

    I also fear that in the age of virtual communities, our communities rooted in the physical world are underestimated. Thus the importance of an art space (and in this case I refer to the program I help with, Sangam House) and that art space's capacity for connecting with the people who share the roads, the local customs, local markets, etc.

    Thank you for for sharing the form of community engagement that Sangam House in
    India has undertaken. In the age of "Information Communication
    Technology" or ICT it seems that a great deal of focus has been directed to building virtual communities. The New Tactics website is dedicated to connecting human rights advocates together in order to exchange experiences, ideas, tools and resources to more effectively and efficiently advance their efforts. It is also very important to us that we can assist in connecting advocates and organizations together so they can build both the virtual and face-to-face collaborations that reduce their isolation as well as develop collective power.

    Yet, I whole-heartedly agree that the face-to-face relationship building in the REAL - not virtual - places (where people make their homes, work to earn a living for themselves and their families, and struggle to improve the conditions and their lives) is where we will see, feel and touch the fruits of our labor. If we don't apply the knowledge and connections we build virtually to our real world spaces and face-to-face relationships, then the changes we seek cannot take shape. 

    I'm very interested to learn how other Art Spaces are engaging the communities that surround your physical space - as well as the virual communities you are building, such as through the fD network.   

    Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager

    Art spaces - how to engage communities?

    I really appreciated your comment on how hard and problematic it is to define what we meanby community. Thank you for sharing the ways in which the Sangham House engages writers and the surrounding community. Public readings and discussions seem to be a great way to build connections and remain engaged.

    In preparation to help freeDimensional develop a tactical notebook, I watched the interviews with the organizations that participated in the Wasan Island retreat. I was amazed by the diversity of art spaces and I would be interested in knowing how the specificity of your art space plays into your ability to do/host/support activism? In other words,in what ways are your spaces unique and how do you use those aspects in order to host activism? How do your spaces engage communities? 

    Are there issues in the surrounding communities that could be better addressed through art or within an art space?

    passive engagement

    I'll just say some other points, not in opposition to other comments about engaging community, but in addition to them. 

     

    Proactive 'engagement' of community could sometimes be a bit aggressive.  Too much, too fast make people suspicious... thinking to themselves: what do they want from me? why do they want me to do this? how exactly would this benefit me?    Community engagement should be a two way, slow, organic conversation. Listening as much as talking, watching for small ways that an 'art space / project / something else' could be an appropriate addition to a street or neighborhood. 

    food as passive yet very powerful community engagement tool

    Alicia Marván - artist . curator . activist - www.aliciamarvan.com

    preparing and eating meals together with the community has been HUGE for me and the development of my projects. It's something everyone does and enjoys. It involves care, sharing and nourishing. I think it's a great component of artist residencies that other, more bureaucratic humanitarian efforts lack.

    Re: food as passive yet very powerful community engagement tool

    Great point, Alicia! Yes food certainly brings people together in a unique way. It is interesting that this is so important in the development of your projects. Is this the case for all freeDimensional projects? 

    Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

    Saying grace

    It seems that food is indeed a universal way of bringing together people. . . or not!  I have found in my personal experience of living as a foreigner in different communities that often there has to be a foundation of trust even before someone will accept your food.  While I was studying in China, my American friends and I attempted to make an "American" meal of burritos (?!) for some of the street vendors who has previously offered us the use of their mobile kitchens.  We could not get even ONE person on the street to sample what we made and they stared at us with obvious digust as we consumed the tortillas, beans, etc.  It was funny at the time, but it made me realize that before someone will eat your food they may need to get over their suspicions of the other in the first place.

    Food - a tool for community building

    Karen Phillipswww.freedimensional.org

    I think food can be an great tool for community building--fear, suspicion, distrust can be turned into humor and a willingness to try new things.  Food and especially collective food preparation can be a great bonding experience.

    Since she hasn't mentioned it yet, I'll plug one of our practitioner's own initiatives involving food and community across cultural and geographic divides: Julie from Caravansarai's Virtual Chef project. http://virtual-chef.net/   

    Yes, I completely agree that

    Yes, I completely agree that the discussion of food is an important one vis-a-vis community. Food, like language, is tightly tethered to sense of identity for a many human beings. At Sangam House in India, the only scheduled group time every day for the writers participating in the residency is dinner. Meeting around food provides leisure, is built around sustenance, and serves as a strong nexus between visiting artists and a local community. It is a terrific way to begin dialog in general. And eating a dinner together is one of the few things that can not be done in a virtual community setting. Indeed, wonderful approximations can be made -- a la Julie Upmeyer's Virtual Chef project -- but the actual, practical experience of eating the same meal - in a very literal sense - is one of the few activities left in the world that must take place in a shared physical space. 

     

    Do activists enter art spaces as their last resort?

    iz oztat wrote:

    it sounded to me like activists enter art spaces only when they have no other choice.... So maybe we can discuss more specifically what the gains are for activists to consider art spaces as a possible venue of activity or support structure?...

    I was really intrigued by this point - that activist tend to enter art spaces as their last resort. It also brings me back to the earlier discussion on safety and vulnerability - do you think that your space may offer more of a safe haven to the artist/activist because it is not an institutionalized "safe haven" for larger groups of people? Are there benefits for the activist in terms of opportunity to continue activism/art? What are some of the barriers to accessing art spaces as potential safe havens?

    first resort

    Whereas the service of Creative Safe Haven developed by fD is typically a 'last resort', the overall process of networking that fD engages in amongst art spaces, activists, artists and human rights organizations is intended to uplift art spaces to higher levels of influence in civil society.  I believe that individual activists and organizations involved in activism just need to know that they are welcome and they will proactively engage art spaces in their local communities.  I think that sometimes when someone is challenging a regime of power, speaking out on an important issues, challenging the status quo that it is often a lonely process.  Sometimes we may think that we have to 'go it alone' because what we want to do or say may seem too political or potentially dangerous (drawing unwanted attention) so maybe we don't always have the time and reflection (space) to think of other people and places in our communities from which to seek support.   I think it might boil down to a double-legitimacy quandry:  the art space at times needing legitimacy to work in the area of human rights and the activist needing to know that they may approach the art space for support (not just usage of the residency bedrooms).

     I have observed this over the last years as a real obstacle, but not one that cannot be overcome. 

    some other examples besides Creative Safe Haven

    Last year during the Conectas Human Rights Colloquium in Sao Paulo, fD worked with its hub partner, Casa das Caldeiras, to offer an art space for the initial day of the colloquium, a day in which 70 global activists and community organizers would meet for the first time.  We approached Conectas with this idea b/c we understand the challenges of such a big introduction of people and we felt that an art space such as CdC had a lot to offer to make this a unique experience, one that would ease these folks into a week of intense work that lay ahead of them.  You can see a bit of the first day on the colloquium video and in its photo album.

    Another example fD learned about at its Cairo hub The Townhouse Gallery.  We worked with the Tadamon Multicultural Council, which is made up of over 25 refugee and community groups in Cairo.  This council was formed by The Townhouse responding to a need in its community ... very simply, these groups needed a place to meet and Townhouse allowed its 'art space' to be used for community purposes. The council is now fully registered and has its own offices but the Townhouse's role in helping the council get on its feet is important to remember.

    Activists and Art Spaces: "Last Resort" or "Unusual Resort"?

    Dear all,

     Sorry for Conectas silence this week ! We are really close to the beginning of our largest event, the Colloquium, and I have to manage several things !

    I found specially usual this discussion about activists considering art spaces only as a "last resort".

    Although more theoretical issues could be explored here, I would rather make a practical point: the major human rights NGOs are composed of lawyers, social workers or experts in international relations/law. Those experts are used to make reports, elaborating legal opinions or lawsuits, making statements at the United Nations and not using art as a tool for their work to advance human rights.

     For those people, it is quite difficult to understand the "art language" and how the art spaces can contribute to their work with advocacy, education and so on.

    Conectas has used artistic tools such as videos (to report the human rights situation and the elections in Zimbabwe, for instance) and getting into partnerships with art spaces and organisations such as fDimensional and Casa das Caldeiras.

     In sum, I think human rights activists consider art spaces a unusual resort rather than a last one. If art spaces understand more the human rights language often used by human rights activists and make efforts to use art in this context, human rights activists would be more likely to use this important space offered by art to advance human rights, through technologies such as videos, art galleries, online forum and so on.

     Thiago Amparo

    Conectas 

    resort

    Thanks Thiago,

    I agree with you.  I think that this is a situation (challenge) that fD seeks to change.  We take it as our goal to 'best' communicate to activist and activist organizations that there is a range of art spaces willing to be called upon during times of duress experienced by human rights defenders.  I think we have our work cut out for us, BUT also think that we make small steps forward with dialogues such as this and by growing our relationship with organizations such as yours.  Thanks for participating in the dialogue!

     

    todd

    long term and less visible effects

    in another thread of the conversation, there is a discussion about visibility of the activist and the language used around his/her practice. In those cases, we are mostly talking about activists, who are responding to issues that has urgency and immediacy. Hearing more about DW's program to sustain mother tongue's, I realize there are different speeds, depths and subtleness of creating an impact on your community. Nature of their work is very different than someone who puts themselves in the forefront...

    Although I became familiar with Sangam House at the EASSI meeting, I did not know about this program and aim of yours... 

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