Sasha of I AM: International Foundation, in Antalaha Madagascar.
Last month, I had the pleasure of having Sasha Sicurella visit me in Antalaha Madagascar. Her visit, presence, charisma and of course her contribution during her stay was an ultimate success with an ideal outcome that everyone will remember warmly. The ME, MOI & ZA photography and art project touched many people in beautiful ways and the reactions at certain moments were moving. It brought out some interesting conversation and the self amazement of how each student has a talent they may not have known about. Skills were oozing out of some people! Every individual that participated put in all their effort, learned new and exciting concepts and genuinely relished the 5 day experience.
As Sasha explains on her website; “The I AM: International Foundation is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides world-wide opportunities for people of all ages to explore identity through art, film, and self-portrait photography. Initiatives are based on the belief that everyone has the right to meaningful creative experiences. Since 2010, the foundation has served more than 1,800 individuals through 39 projects in 21 countries.”
I observed and assisted Sasha everyday and it was so much fun to watch her interact with the children and adults with her smile and flare. She is so free and at ease behind her camera lens and she knows just how to get every individual interested in participating creatively in self portraits. She used a lot of body language (and even some French!) to communicate and when needed, the locals that have been learning English helped with translating. Sasha fit right in from the moment that she arrived. And then within a couple of days, it was as if she had lived with us for a long time. Everyone was inspired to participate in her project and to have her around. Over the course of 5 days, she engaged over 50 individuals in a series of arts-based workshops that involved self-portrait photography, mixed media painting, creative writing, drawing and self-portrait collages using locally sourced material. For more photos of the results, you can check out the FB link below or click here. But before you do that, I encourage you to just keep scrolling down this page for photos of our students heavily concentrated in their self photography ventures! And then, further down this same page, photos from ME, MOI & ZA… Antalaha’s first ever art exhibition!
Thank you Sasha Sicurella for creating some unforgettable memories for the people at the CALA villages and for the GIDA English students of Antalaha. The time that you spent here left us all with eyes and minds wide open and hungry for more photography and art projects. We hope that you will come back soon! MISAOTRA! -Joey and your friends in Antalaha
Mr. Eddie Fernand, the Mayor of Antalaha, hosted a public exhibition of the finished artworks at the city hall for two days, the first event of its kind in Antalaha.
N.B. I met Sasha of I AM: International Foundation through Lori Segall Burnett owner of LSB gallery , photographer and a good friend in Montreal. This is the second humanitarian art related project that Sasha and I have shared together in less than a year period. The first was in Montreal, with Lori, at Lori’s art gallery, exhibition UP :RISE .