Go Global Tanzania 2019: Community, Creativity, and Communications
The Beyond Borders: Go Global Tanzania 2019 exhibit shares a few glimpses into the works created by students who participated in the Go Global Tanzania: Community, Creativity, and Communications program Summer Term 1, 2019. The program enabled UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver students from all degree programs to immerse themselves in an interdisciplinary, intercultural context, considering questions such as:
- What does travel and travel writing enable us to explore – not only about the people and places we encounter, but also about ourselves?
- How are places represented and people’s stories told – or not told?
- How can sharing diverse ideas and perspectives lead to understanding and mutual benefits across disciplines and across cultures?
- How can creative and cultural production inspire social change and community building, both locally and interculturally?
The Go Global program, led by Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies English Instructor Joanna Cockerline, abounded with diverse experiential learning opportunities. Students visited villages, markets, and local schools as well as historic and culturally-significant sites. Activities ranged from participation in locally-led environmental initiatives to hands-on learning at artisans’ workshops and roundtable discussions with prominent East African authors, filmmakers, artists, human rights leaders, and community activists. Students had opportunities to delve into academic projects alongside creative pursuits such as poetry, film, web design, photography, and multi-media art.
The Beyond Borders: Go Global Tanzania 2019 exhibit shares just a few of the experiences and pieces of work inspired by our journey.
Guest Speakers and Authors
Numerous guest speakers from East Africa shared their works and ideas with the students.
Ndungi Githuku, an internationally-recognized human rights activist, filmmaker, slam poet, reggae artist, and street theatre instigator, discussed grassroots strategies for what he deems “artivism”: the power of art to inspire social justice and change
Munira Hussein, a fiction writer and poet from northeastern Kenya, travelled to Tanzania to read from her works and share her perspectives on the increasing opportunities independent publishing can forge in contexts of governmental, economic, and gender oppression
Charles Chanchori, novelist and journalist, discussed his work plus insights on alternative publishing channels and the use of social media to increase accessibility to literature
Faith Mutheu, recently named the Most Influential Young Person in Kenya, shared her perspectives as founder of a mentorship program for disadvantaged youth, and as the author of a book based on overcoming challenges of her past
Rukia Kurwa, an Arusha-based artist, TED talk speaker, and founder of the artists’ collective The Annoyin’ Artist, further emphasized the power of cultural productions to inspire social change, understanding, and connectivity across borders
Whether exploring contemporary East African writing, film or art, discussing these works with their authors and producers, or immersing themselves in the rhythms of daily life in Tanzania, students who participated in the program all agree that the questions they asked of themselves are not uncomplicated ones – and are ones that will continue to impact them far beyond the program.