Tuesday late morning I’ll have arrived at the Dandenong Community Arts Centre for my first meeting with a small group of young Afghans. I’m now three weeks into a scoping report on a new, revitalised version of Home Lands, with myself leading its creative direction.
I’ve done as much background research as I felt I needed, without over-doing it… I want to learn from those with whom we may work with. The collection of short stories, From Kinglake to Kabul, provided insights to how young people from Australia and Afghanistan found common ground and gained valuable life lessons in the writing of that book.
It’s not coincidence that From Kinglake to Kabul was co-edited by Neil Grant, also a Dunmoochin artist in residence. I may be leaving in a couple of months, but I’m making the most of getting first hand accounts of life in Afghanistan from Neil’s perspective. Numerous colleagues have worked, or are currently stationed in Kabul.
This new Home Lands will recruit a willing team of young Afghans keen to gain skills in digital media production, within a program that will immerse them in creative activity and networking. The plan is to make lots of stuff leading eventually to a series of collaborative video productions between our local team and another in Afghanistan.
I’ve prepared some notes, packed a sample of make-do-with-anything production tools and the biscuits have just left the oven. It’s going to be great!
Here’s a wonderful photo and video collague from Neil’s 2009 trip to Afghanistan… erm, the music, I’m told is actually Eygptian!