Festive Road’s Creative Director, Jessica Rost, recently travelled to India as part of the Trans-Form project. Trans-Form is a volunteer-based project that engages UK, International and Indian artists with schools and communities in Ahmedabad, India, in an educational, arts-based programme of workshops, transforming waste into carnival and street arts –transforming people’s lives.
The project was set up by Manuela Benini, a regular freelancer for Festive Road, in 2014 with support from Arts Council England. Since then, the project has continued on a voluntary basis and has support from many UK Arts organisations such as Mandinga Arts and City Arts based in Nottingham. This year, artists from Wales, UK, Finland, Australia and Brazil, volunteered to work with schools and NGO's to engage with more than 500 children with limited or basic access to education.
Children learn new skills that will support their educational and creative development, aiming at having an economic impact on their lives.
A two-week residency of workshops, culminated in a celebratory carnival parade at Kankaria Lake, on Saturday 23rd January 2016. The parade saw 600 children, from across 13 schools and foundations, come together to parade their creations. Other volunteers were from Small World Urbanism, based in London, who created a beautiful community garden and play area at Swayam Foundation in the plasterers district in the city; complete with paving, play equipment, murals and plants to tend.
Developing a project with no budget, using the currency of 'in kind' support and exchange of skills, the project looks at raising environmental awareness in the city through carnival, street arts, creativity and urban landscaping. The project was supported this year by 18 international volunteers, including many of the artists who regularly work with Festive Road, as well as our own Jessica Rost.
Jessica said: “Trans-form is more than a one-off project; it’s the coming together of like minded people who really want to try and make a difference to this world. It was an absolute privilege to take part this year and work with so many wonderful people on such a worthy project. I hope to volunteer for the work Manuela and Trans-form are doing throughout the following year and I know that the Trans-form family will grow and grow.”