Monday, 20 February 2017
This film of Nabil Hamdi the author of small change may be of interest in terms of the arts and social cohesion. Nabil talks of the arts mediating between the state community and need, he also brings a critical eye to what gets talked about as equity.
Small change is an interesting approach to development planning which helps us to see the connections and networks between people place strategy and provision. One of the ideas of small change is that people think far to long before they act and then act far to long before they stop and think.
An example that sticks in my mind - is how Nabil was working in post Tsunami Sr lanca and he said that people were waiting around in tents 18 months after the disaster as they new nthat the western aid services would house them in purpose build accommodation the people in the tents had all the skills they needed to build traditional vernacular houses yet had become dependent on people from the outside making things better, they were losing self respect.
Work parties were organised and people began to build their own houses, recycling the debris of their former lives. As well as building better places to live the community began to pull together, recognising skills and traditions valuing each others skills history and crafts. Nabil would say that the issue was not just housing the issue was deeply embedded within community and the need to recover and move forward and the solution to the issue was complex and enormous yet through building houses and taking a level of autonomy and independence the process of building a new normal could begin. People were not put off getting started by the enormity of the task.