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NEO
GILSON

I identify myself with values, education, convictions. The innate values instilled in me are beneficial to myself and influence my relations with others positively, having the privilege of education and ability to express myself. My race is my advantage because I have embraced my identity, skin, I own my difference, I don't seek validation from the standards set by mass media. I believe class is not limited to financial stature, influence or social prestige but class to me is how people relate to one another in a decent manner, with tolerance to diversity.

 

I want to be asked about my culture, values, my convictions and my ambition in life. I would not like to be asked about why I am a migrant, what made me leave my country of birth because I believe we should be mindful, sensitive to the turmoil the human race is facing, respect and tolerant to whatsoever valid reason forced people to be displaced, refugees, migrants without making them feel unwelcome. I prefer not to be asked about anything related to policy. The differences between my country and Ireland are the values, I've experienced that here in Europe it is safer, there is respect for the rule of law. In Ireland I have observed people’s privacy is respected.

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VIEW SUMMARY OF WORKSHOP  

SELF DIRECTED WORKSHOP ACTIVITY /

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My community

is my family,

the society I'm living in,

my community is  the arts.

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Art can change things because it is an instrumental tool of self-representation and an influential tool to  start a dialogue, advocacy for change, it is a strong medium of persuasion to engage the mind to think  critically about the status quo, the challenges faced in society. Art can change things through advocacy of  the rights and voices of the community. Art has a way to encapsulate that even through oral tradition from  generation to generation. 

Socially engaged art practice captures the heartbeat of the community. It is an expression of the voices of  the community through an art form. Working with the community through my art practice is a mechanism  that helps social cohesion and integration especially for me as a migrant it is important to know the  history, culture, heritage of the country I am living in. Art has a universal language that weaves everything into a beautiful tapestry of diverse cultures.

It takes collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, the community, religion, business, NGOs, government to  engage regarding the needs, challenges that are facing the community and impacting global relations.  Having meaningful reflective dialogues, workshops, research mechanisms to analyze and diagnose the  needs, opportunities, at grassroots levels through developmental and sustainability programs to empower  the community to use art to be self-reliant.

 

Lasting social change will come when humanity embrace,  tolerates, and celebrate each other's differences then there won't be injustices, racism, xenophobia,  fascism...

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VIEW MENTORSHIP JOURNAL  

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE ACTIVITIES /

<selection>The existing external and internal things that cause stress for you – what you might like to change?

when my daughter is unwell,

situation in my home country, unrest, poverty, political turmoil.


Not having a safe space to talk to someone, my faith, writing helps me in terms of mental health. I'm compassionate, I care deeply about other people going through hard or difficult times.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) writes in The Serenity Prayer

“God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other”.

<selection>The existing internal and external things that you find nourishing – what you might liketo keep or develop.

Prayer, my children and mom, music, writing. Going to art galleries,  positive affirmations, laughing, dreaming big and challenging myself to do better and to impact the  youth in my community positively. 

Going to nature hikes, seeing people succeed, seeing peace in the  world, seeing human rights upheld and justice prevail. 

I was taking a walk in the park a few weeks ago, I saw a beautiful small creature, I took a picture, and  it was so inspirational. The experience was nourishing, and I have developed this into a short poem.

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FANCIFUL FLIGHT

Its mild and misty
Morning that nourishes my heart
Walk in the park, clouds hanging in there
For golden seconds
My eyes carry a burden of beauty
It's a peacock butterfly
A flutter with her majestic wings
Charming hues, Capture my heart
Fills it with buckets of joy unspeakable
Oh, morning that nourishes my heart
Wish you'd linger longer