ready and waiting for their performance

03.11.12 | day thirteen ‘building community’

The last day of ‘Building Community’ began with a frantic morning trying to complete the roof and tidy up the site, and ended with a beautiful afternoon of celebrations, performances and thank yous all round! The soundtrack of the morning was provided by the metal benders, who arrived early to start hammering the tin sheets into shape. They not only had to shape the tin to fit over the timber battens we were screwing on top of the plywood sheets, but also make the strips that will form a drip edge along the top ridge of the roof. Clem left site mid-morning to pick up our three guests who had arrived from Delhi: Siddharth Pandey and Pranav Singh from the urban development NGO CURE India and Aanchal Sodhani, from the British Council, with whom WORKSHOP is collaborating for their next project. It was great to have them here to see what we’ve been up to, and discuss some of the challenges we’ve faced. By the time they arrived, the plywood was nearly up, and the site was being prepared for a Nanhi Dunya ceremony under the watchful eyes of Kiran didi. The guests – the childrens’ families,  members of the local community and other Nanhi Dunya friends, started to arrive around 3pm and for the next couple of hours the structure was used as a stage. Children from a number of Nanhi Dunya schools performed dances and songs, and at the end of the ceremony all the participants were presented with wreaths of flowers and beautiful scarfs. Many of the participants wore really lovely Indian clothes that they had bought with Kiran (a big transformation from their morning attire!) and they all looked great! It was also a chance to present the block-print trained mothers to the community, who are going to be the first users of the new space.

We ate our final evening meal inside the candle-lit structure, and although it wasn’t quite finished, we all thought it looked pretty darn beautiful! We had managed to install timber slats between two of the bays, and wood-block printed fabric within another bay, so it was easy to imagine what it would look like once it’s finished. It had been a hard two weeks, but very fulfilling to see the fruits of our labour! Apart from Louise and Inez, who have decided to stay on for an extra week to help us complete the interior (hurrah!) all the others left on Sunday afternoon – and the site feels very empty and strange without them. It was a great group, and we’re hoping that there will be more opportunities to work together in the future. For now, a huge danyavaad to the team!

Louise Underhill, Inez Tan, Kaushik Naarayan, Vishal Jayan, Simen Malde, Erling Soyland, Anders Bjorneseth, Katarina Harbaekvold, Maria Ringstad, Mari Overli, Jone Norland, Hanna Malene Lindberg, Veronica Hellebergshaugen, Thomas Skinnemoen, Jago Boase, Yanchee Lau, Keelan Hegarty.