CULTURAL HOMES IN CITIES
What’s needed in our cities are safe spaces, especially for children, to play and be kept an eye on. In these safe spaces we need people that speak their language, understand their culture, understand their needs and interests. This gives parents time to breathe and relax, and to have fun too. I suggest a cultural space, I’d rather say a ‘cultural home’, located in the areas where people need them, where they are accessible, and where they feel welcome: the architecture and image of the space must appeal to the people it will be hosting.
These cultural homes need loving people to run them, and facilitate activities. Artists are perfect for this, as they are hard and dedicated workers, mostly devoted to raising social awareness and cohesion. They also need stable jobs to provide income. These cultural homes should have instruments, drawing utensils, dancing, movie projectors, and sports equipment. Group activities ― music & sport ― can bring people from all types of backgrounds closer together, and create social bridges. Such cultural homes should be places people feel they can go to anytime (‘feeling at home’). Here they can develop themselves artistically, socially, and physically. These spaces should be accessible for those with impediments as well. To have a great city, people need to be able to come together and do things together, and focus should be on the arts.
Under the Blue Door
Through our own experiences as musicians that collaborated with the San, we saw a community increase their sense of self worth because we came to them, and invested our time, energy and love into their culture when we performed together. Youngsters started to look up to their (grand)parents' music and dance in another way. It took effort to find ways to communicate and gain each other’s trust. It would not have happened at the level it did without making music, dancing and sharing meals together.