The Unlikeliness of us
At the very surface of things, our encounter could be seen as simply one between two individuals: a young arts student and an elder, engaging in a creative activity together over the course of a few months. Yet underneath the surface, it has been an encounter between worlds of experience, a sharing of personal histories and lessons of life, a translation between cultures and timeframes. Different communities – previously generally living alongside one another – built bridges, yet also existing ones were reinforced. This encounter took place within the context of a shared physical space, in formal and informal activities, leading to an exchange between and a discovery of the other and of oneself through the other.
Although it initially felt like a staged experiment in social interaction to some, participants soon came to realise that this type of experimentation can also be (re)framed as a simple, down-to-earth everyday activity.
Art – beautifully phrased by one of our participants as “a commitment to speculation” – fulfilled a humble role in framing our encounter, giving focus and a sense of direction. It helped to shape a space in which honesty, curiosity and trust between people could be grown, propelled forward by each individual’s commitment. More than art as an activity or the result thereof, the ‘encounter’ itself became a form of art to us.