Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. The annual celebration of the environment and nature. The 3 Rs for a healthier earth are :We talked about some ways we reduce, reuse and recycle. Then we talked about the “greening” of certain cities. Boston is considered a “green” city not only because of its open spaces and gardens, but, the city has good public transportation, bike rental facilities, recycling trash bins on sidewalks, and public awareness. New buildings are using alternative energy sources, and water conservation systems. Washington, D.C. was also mentioned as another “green” (= environmentally friendly) city. There are a few events to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow – a march on the Boston Common for Science, and the annual Charles River clean-up.
Today’s topic was – Communities: People and Place. We began with a definition of community-a group of people that live in the same place. Also, a community is a group of people that share similar ideas, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, religions, education, lifestyle, politics, civil security and safety, nationality, language, culture, interests,and more. We talked about specific communities – families, universities, groups of friends, sports teams, business/professional, and others. Then we talked about the roles, and duties, responsibilities and rights that we have in these communities. We almost forgot to talk about online communities, which most of us are members of.
We discussed our personal communities, in small groups, and found that we have lots of communities in common and also some that are very different.
Next we described the place of community – our own neighborhoods. What do they look like? What is the tempo of life? How about sounds and smells? Is it crowded or open?
But how does a community become a community? We watched this video about two Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn (known as Haas&Hahn) who created and led a community-made global art project to encourage a community to work together to improve their community. Watch it again here:
After watching we talked about the project and what impacts it has on communities. Some of us thought the paintings were ugly, and did not do much more than fix the exterior of the buildings. What about the lives of the people living inside? Others thought that maybe these paintings would encourage the people in the community to strive for an improved life and respect for their neighborhoods.
If you are interested the full article about Hass&Hahn’s latest projects around the world and to see some photographs of their work and the communities they are working in click on the link below:
Celebrate community and Happy Earth Day!
Remember to relax and practice!