Mami Wata: Heal the Children of War Through Art – Entry 11

Colors Send Love Into the Darkest Corners – Entry 11

Together teachers and students walk hand in hand into the unknown; the
light of creative freedom guides us through the darkest regions of the
globe and into the endless potential of the human heart.
In the land where the Lords Resistence Army slaughtered the local
community and cooked their flesh, as an intimidation tactic, it is no
wonder that the trauma within the subconscious of these youth
expressed itself through the emotional attachment to the color red.
This color of both passion and violence pours across artistic
compositions throughout “Friends of Orphans”, like the spilt blood
across the Northern Ugandan Earth. Stories of the most horrific
atrocities echo through the psyche of this land, yet the youth have
astonishly transformed the unthinkable into the inspiration to leave
hatred and ignorance behind and maximize their ever second of
opportunity to learn and grow. “The world is changing and we cannot
afford to pass-up an education.”

Smiles spread through our class, like a wild-fire in August, the day
we demostrated how the primary colors, plus black and white, can make
every color imagined. The excitement of this practical knowledge
glowed upon the faces of these former child soldiers like never seen
before. Resources and money are scarce to say the least in these
parts, but with only three colors, paint can cross oceans, move
mountains, and heal the inner wounds of humanity. From this point on
red found its place amongst the rainbow of color and equality spread
throughout their unwaivering expression of love. Within one day
horizons have expanded beyond the confines of space and time and into
the unconditional love of mending hearts. Call upon yellow, blue and
red to accent the purity of all human emotion. In the first week our
pupils drew facial expressions in black and white to expand their
artistic vocabulary, now the use of color fused with consciousness can
complete the puzzle. The internal world can now be accurately coveyed
by the external expression and trauma trapped within can be released
through a positive outlet.

The past draws near the vanishing point of no return. During another
artistic excersize these inspiring youth painted their experiences of
war small in the distance of their composition. As the road of life
drew nearer and nearer, the hope and love of their present moment
consumed the foreground of their painting. This is meant to represent
the distance that they have traveled in the journey to save their
lives from the collapsing tunnel of obscurity and hoplessness. As the
pain emerged through their eyes and flashes of their past echoed from
their memories the pages remained white for some time… yet as the
color flowed up the ‘road-less-travelled’ they were reminded of the
self love and courage within that carried them so far. This day
watered the seeds of inner trust and by the end each student walked
out the door with chins up and shoulders high in the sky with larger
and larger dreams of flight. This work is to create a safe environment
for each soul to find self-empowerment… AND ITS WORKING!!! We all
can be so blessed to discover the inner courage to practice alchemy in
the face of suffering and climb into the blue skies of endless
potential with the former child soldiers of Northern Uganda.

With so much LOVE,

Benjamin and the Mami Wata Team