Februar 14, Zurich
It is already a week since I came back from joining the Mini-Zine-Library-Project in Kolkata. Always, it takes time for me to let adventures sink in. Zurich feels small and sparsely inhabited—and funnily not many people are outside, no honking cars, no autos, and what about all the street dogs?
Coming back, talking about my time in India, I faced again these postcolonial questions I asked myself in Kolkata. But this time, caught in explaining “What am I as a white European doing in India”, rather than thinking about what was done. Might only be a broad statement, might be trueish, but sometimes I think a lot of critiques comes from people who only talk about the fact “white woman going in a ‘third-world’ country for doing charity work” and hardly ask what is the project about/in what way is it done/who is included/which people get to talk or what has been done. And, most of all, critique is theory. A project is a project: it is doing. Maybe it is assumed, doing and reflecting are separated capsules, rather than one accompanies the other…
I digest, a lot of people we met and so many bright, powerful and contributing children.
I am still overwhelmed by the intimacy and joy a simple tool such as a zine and one’s own story creates. I observed a zine as a safe space, not threatening regarding the big questions that come together with “art”, but rather inviting. Having so many freeing minds of fuelled children around, them creating their own space, taking over their voice. They made their ground for ideas, for their expression and letting process and spontaneous ideas finding a way into production. And, as most important, this process creates such joy and playfulness.
Like many grown-ups, I step into the fatal trap to underestimate children. Fortunately, I was proven wrong and was taken over, was invited to participate, without any prejudices. Letting myself float, observe and develop an own narrative—I learned to be in this very moment drawing, writing and following intuition from all the children surrounding me, who took my hand and showed me. I am thankful for their trust and what they taught me, leaving me fulfilled… =)