Friday, January 05, 2007

more streetkids ideas

Hi, the more I think about the street kids initiative in Sudan, the more I realise that it is such a worthwhile way of using the creativity we have been given. Janet, thanks so much for the enthusiastic response, and I hope we can soon have lots of bloggers around the world chipping in with ideas. If there is any info you think of that would help come up with ideas, let us know.
One thing that is a bit of a shocker is that it is illegal to take photos in Sudan, and in a country where they seriously think NOTHING of cutting off hands or heads if the law is broken, one has to be a bit careful, so there may be limitations about what we can be shown. The humanitarians working on this project are really taking a chance to help these kids, and will sometimes need to be discrete in deciding what photos to post.
Here is part of an email I sent C today to clarify some things.
"Where possible, given the limitations about taking photos, please blog photographs of some of the typical Sudanese fabrics, leathers, images, styles, landmarks, arts, crafts etc so we can get an idea of what a tourist would consider a reminder of the place. It will help in designing items and ideas. Is there any kind of textile industry there? Also some idea of the raw materials available to you, so that we can modify and adapt ideas to suit that.

I gave Joyce a briefcase for her birthday, and then thought it would be a cool idea for your project, so here are photos. These are made in Madagascar, and the fabric on the front is woven raffia, which is another thing they produce there. It should be easy enough to copy, and use local fabrics that have a Sudanese flavour to them, or leather embossed with recognizable Sudanese symbols, images, people in traditional dress, camels, cows with long horns etc. The case is big enough to comfortably hold A4 documents, the clear pockets inside are great for passports, credit cards etc, so it is ideal to sell as a holder for travel documents etc, and is a great unisex kind of gift, flat, light and easy to pack in a suitcase, so good to sell as souvenir or gift for expats to take home.
Maybe the covers could be canvas painted with artwork, you artist friend could come up with a few ideas of camels, cows, people in traditional dress etc and teach some of the kids to reproduce them on the canvas, then use in items like these briefcases. Even if they don’t have machines for the sewing on the panels and leather, they would be able to hand stitch with two needles, so not much equipment is needed.
I also think it is a good idea to have a section in the blog where ideas you receive by email are posted, because one person will read another’s ideas and that will spark a new idea for them, and the whole thing grows as people brainstorm together.
Has anyone designed a logo for urban cowboy? How about throwing it open to the bloggers as a competition and offer something made by the boys as a prize. I know there are a few graphic designers among my regular readers, and they may have friends who would also like to get involved. Those cow photos you sent yesterday would be a great starting point."

Here is today's quota of photos:

This was taken from our dining room window this morning.

In the Western Cape, nestled among the mountains, is a delightful little village called Prince Albert. This was the farm dam, in the grounds of the guesthouse we stayed in last year in winter. BTW, the crumbling cottage with the windmill, which I posted yesterday, was in the middle of the same village. A "fixeruppa" just waiting for some TLC!


MargaretR said...

Thanks for your comment on Digital Gran. The Sudanese project is a very worthwhile cause, I hope lots of people join in.

Janet said...

I posted a link to you today so hopefully some other people will come visit and learn about your project.
Love yours Birds in the Mist!! And the one of "white lightening" too.

Sheila said...

Your photo of the day is very interesting..I love photos of doors, windows and roofs (or should that be rooves..?)