Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Multiculturalism in Action Project – ICONIC Mums Program Workshop 5 多元文化行動計劃ICONIC媽媽課程工作坊 (五)

It was a sunny day on 12 August 2017. Participants of the ICONIC Mums Program gathered at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC) in Shek Kip Mei for their fifth workshop: “Community Observation: Photo-Voice Workshop”. We were glad to have Dr. Carol Chow to be our instructor.  
2017812日,陽光普照,ICONIC媽媽課程的參加者齊集石硤尾賽馬會創意藝術中心(JCCAC)參與課程的第五次工作坊:社區觀察: 相片X聲音工作坊。很高興這次有周佩霞博士(Carol)做我們的導師。
Before the workshop started, we walked around JCCAC with Carol. Although it was the first time for many of us to visit JCCAC, we felt familiar with this place. The architectural style was reminiscent of the old-style public housing and factories in Hong Kong. Many of our participants grew up in similar environments. Indeed, city design shapes our life experience, and in turn, it constructs our memory of life. It was not just observation we learned in this workshop, but also its connection with our past.

The architectural style of JCCAC is similar to the old-style public housing and factories

The spirit of photo-voice is ‘to listen and to be heard’. Carol shared with us different international projects that have brought about social change by using the power of photos. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”; then a GOOD picture definitely worths more. Carol also taught us some
skills of taking good pictures: from diagonals, to rules of thirds, to shadows, and to try new angles etc.
聲音發聲的精神在於 聆聽與被聽見Carol跟我們分享了一些國際性項目,它們都是通過相片的力量為社會帶來轉變。常言道, 一圖勝千言,那如果是一張很好的照片就更能表達千言萬語了。Carol也與我們分享了一些如何拍出好照片的技巧,例如運用對角線、三分法則、陰影、嘗試新角度等。

Picture taken with a new angel

然後,我們分成小組,分別得到一個任務:在深水埗最熱鬧的街道,如桂林街、鴨寮街大南街等實習觀察和拍照。我們拍攝了各種多元又活潑的生活日常:街市、路邊攤、舊樓、全球化的景物、興建中的建築、斑駁剝落的樓宇……等等。After that, we were divided into groups. Each group had a mission to observe and take photos of one of the busiest streets in Sham Shui Po, namely, Kwai Lin Street, Apliu Street, and Tai Nan Street. Pictures of the wet markets, open-air stalls, old buildings, globalization, constructions, and demolishment which showcased the diverse culture and vibrant daily lives were all captured by us.

Participants visiting Sham Shui Po on a sunny day

JCCAC,大家分享了各自拍攝的相片和背後的故事,以及自己的感受。雖然不同的參加者拍攝同一個地方和景物,但所傳遞的訊息各有不同。Carol帶領參加者從照片中發掘深水埗與我們各自居住的社區的異同。她說:有了比較,我們才可以更容易看清自己。Back in JCCAC, we shared the photos we took, together with the stories and our feelings. Interestingly, though some participants took pictures of the same thing at the same place, the
messages they delivered were different. Carol led a discussion on the uniqueness and commonalities of Sham Shui Po by asking us to compare these images with our own community. She told us: through comparison, we could see ourselves better.

A local scene in Sham Shui Po

Mixture of residential and commercial, old and new

We realize that everyone has a voice of her own that deserves to be heard. So let’s try using the power of photo-voice to create a meaningful project!  


Reporter記者: Amber Hui 許卉

Monday, August 21, 2017

Multiculturalism in Action Project – ICONIC Mums Program Workshop 4 多元文化行動計劃ICONIC媽媽課程工作坊 (四)

A Music Life: Women’s Alternative Way to Express Themselves

“We like learning, we keep progressing.
We like music, we can express ourselves bravely.
We enjoy being alone, we do self-reflection.
We are not afraid of cockroaches, because we can be strong.
We have temper, but we can accept ourselves.
Keep discovering ourselves, keep discovering ourselves.
Exploring in music, exploring in music,
for a happy living.”
---------The song “WE” co-created by all participants

在音樂尋找, 在音樂尋找,

In the heat of summer, from Yasumoto International Academic Park Room 405 came the sound of melodious singing, which cooled us all down like a gentle breeze. It was the fourth workshop of the ICONIC Mums Program, “My Story and My Song: Music Workshop”, held on 29 July 2017. You will never guess this song was co-created: from lyrics, to composition, to accompaniment, by over 20 women of different ethnic backgrounds, within as short as one hour. You must be wondering how they “collided” and cooperated to pull off this cheerful and heartening melody. Now let us follow the music therapist Ms. Yuki Fung to see how she taught us community music, explored our musical potentials, and brought the ICONIC Mums to join hands in creating music that expressed their feeling.

在炎炎夏日裡,悠悠歌聲從康本國際學術園405室傳來,如徐徐清風驅散了空氣的炙熱。這是ICONIC媽媽課程在2017729日舉辦的第四次工作坊 我的故事我的歌:音樂工作坊的現場。你一定猜不到,這首歌曲是20多名不同族裔的女性在短短一個小時內自己填詞、編曲、伴奏的成果。你也一定會好奇,是怎樣的合作和碰撞能迸發出如此歡快而令人振奮的樂章?那就讓我們一起跟隨音樂治療師馮靜嵐老師,看看她如何帶領大家玩轉社區音樂,一步一步發掘大家的音樂潛質,並令ICONIC媽媽們通力合作,創造出屬於自己和表達心聲的音樂。

Music Opens Your Heart音樂開心扉
The workshop started with two ice-breaking games, namely, “Music Heart Attack” and “Catch the Egg!”. Unlike regular warm-up activities, Yuki played two golden oldies "Country Road, Take Me Home" and "Imagine" on the guitar. The musical elements not only made the atmosphere relaxed, but also allowed us to quickly integrate into the group.

工作坊開始了。靜嵐老師首先帶領大家玩兩個破冰遊戲: “音樂心臟病 音樂捕蛋。不同於平常的熱身活動,老師以結他演奏著清新明快的經典老歌 “Country Road, Take Me Home” “Imagine” 。這些音樂元素不但令現場氣氛輕鬆歡快,也讓大家快速融入團隊。

When the music stopped, who could name the other person faster?

The joyful bunch who succeeded in catching others’ eggs 

Everyone Can Make Music人人都是音樂家
Yuki then invited us to choose from a variety of instruments and prepare for the ensemble. Some participants hesitated and wondered, with neither musical knowledge nor professional training, whether they could play music. In spite of this big question mark, we were all attracted by the pleasant looking drums, “wooden fish”, and hand bells. With favorite instruments in hands, under the conductorship of Yuki, we played in different rhythms, producing a harmonious melody. Participants could not help expressing the view that indeed everyone could play music, and that music has no boundaries among different cultures.

一番熱身之後,靜嵐老師邀請我們從樣式繁多的樂器中挑選一件,為大合奏做準備。一些參加者心中不免發愁:毫無音樂基礎、沒有經過專業訓練也能奏樂嗎?儘管心中有個大大的問號,但一看到形態可掬的小鼓、木魚和手鈴,大家都興奮地挑選心儀的樂器。在老師的指揮下,每種樂器按照不同的節奏發聲,最後竟然奏出了和諧的旋律!參加者不禁感歎: 人人都可奏樂,音樂不分國界。

Childlike musical instruments were great inspirations to participants

Trying out as a conductor!

Our Story, Our Song我們的故事,我們的歌
Finally, it is time to decipher how the song “WE” was produced: We were first divided into groups to better know each other, and shared our common views in an innovative way. Then Yuki, based on her rich experience, helped us developed them into lyrics. We discussed, brainstormed, and created a collective song “WE” expressing our common characteristics and aspiration as women.
終於到了揭秘集體歌曲創作的時刻了。 大家首先進行小組討論,並以創新的方式表達大家的共通點。靜嵐老師憑著自己豐富的經驗和大家一起把這些共通點拼湊成歌詞。業餘 樂手們集思廣益,為歌詞譜曲。一首表達我們共同特點、共同心願和美好願景的集體之歌 “WE” 就誕生了。

Everyone playing their instruments and singing the co-created song

In the process of song creation, everyone made their contribution, be it brainstorming ideas, plucking the strings, or singing out lyrics: truly joyful over collaboration and mutual assistance. Amazed by our own potentials, we were stimulated to profoundly reflect on ourselves. Music made us more confident. Our commonalities inspired us to better accept ourselves when facing negative moods. We also realized that everyone could write songs to express feelings. Music, as a common language, can connect one another and contribute to solidarity building.


Participants sharing their thoughts with laughter

Seeing their experiences, do you have the urge to write your story and your song? Act now!

Reporter記者Zhu Chen朱琛

Multiculturalism in Action Project – ICONIC Mums Program Workshop 3 多元文化行動計劃ICONIC媽媽課程工作坊 (三)

Belly dance? Can I do it? The ICONIC Mums Program, launched by Multiculturalism in Action Project 2017, organized its third workshop “Body Autonomy: Belly Dance Workshop” on 19 July 2017, and gave us a totally different view of our body.  

The morning workshop began with our Indian participant teaching us how to greet each other in Hindi: putting on hands together and say “namaste”. Our instructor Ms. Devi Novianti then invited us to introduce ourselves and say something about our own habits. Through this we discovered some interesting and unexpected commonalities among us despite our diverse cultural backgrounds. For example, a few of us loved coffee whether we were Chinese or Nepali, or a couple of us insisted on putting eyeliner whether we were Indonesian or Pakistani. We also found similarities among different cultures as they shared very similar moves in their dances.
工作坊以印度裔朋友介紹如何以印度語打招呼(雙手合十說“namaste”)揭開序幕。然後, Devi Novianti老師讓我們分享生活的小習慣。我們發現:雖然大家來自不同的文化背景,但卻有不少有趣和意想不到的共通之處。例如,不論是華裔或尼泊爾裔,大家都喜歡喝咖啡;也有印尼裔和巴基斯坦裔朋友不約而同地表示每天出門前必須畫好眼線。然後,我們透過比較不同舞蹈的舞步,繼續發掘不同文化之間相似的地方。

The most exciting part of the belly dance workshop was, of course, BELLY DANCING! Since we were all new to belly dance (and dance in general), most of us struggled to master the movements at the very beginning. The hip and waist movements were the hardest – it was like re-activating some long-lost muscles! Personally, it was also a bit of a challenge to look at myself in the mirror at first as my chubby body twitched unrhythmically as if electrocuted . Gradually, however, everyone got better at the steps with practice. More importantly, Ms. Novianti kept reminding us of what beauty should be: it isn’t about having a slender body, but being thankful and confident with who you are; only by seeing the beauty in yourself can you dance with beauty. With that in mind, despite remaining clumsy, I was able to truly immerse myself in the passionate music and enjoy the fun of my first ever belly dance experience like my fellow participants did. In fact, I think we all did quite well as newbies.

緊接下來就是最期待的肚皮舞環節!由於大家對肚皮舞以至舞蹈都比較陌生,部分動作做起來還挺具挑戰性。相信大部分參加者都會認同腰臀的動作是最吃力的,做起來就像要使勁把身上退化已久的肌肉長回來似的。對我個人來說,看著鏡中的自己毫無章法地甩著身上的贅肉還挺難為情的。但跳著跳著,大家很快便掌握到竅門,漸入佳境。Novianti 老師亦傳授了我們一個跳肚皮舞的秘訣:要展現出美麗的舞姿,必先要發現自身的美,而美並非要有天使面孔加魔鬼身材,而是自我欣賞自信的光彩。聽罷,雖然我還是跳得有點四肢僵硬,但總算開始接受自己,並在熱情洋溢的音樂伴隨下,享受舞蹈的樂趣。其實就第一次接觸肚皮舞來說,我們還是跳得蠻不錯的。

Learning the basic steps of belly dance 學習肚皮舞基本步

Group dancing to vibrant music隨著強勁的音樂舞動起來

The workshop was completed with a follow-up discussion on body autonomy. During the discussion, many of us reported having had negative images of our own bodies, often due to comparing ourselves against some commercial beauty standards advocated by the beauty industry. Regarding the constant pressure from ubiquitous advertisements of beauty products and services, Ms. Novianti again emphasised the significance of self-embrace as the key to discovering one’s own beauty. We have the autonomy over our own bodies, so instead of feeling insufficient or even guilty for not being like what others think we should be, we should choose to appreciate ourselves and shine in confidence, just like we did when doing belly dance. She used two belly dancers as example, showing that even though they have different body shapes, both of them dance beautifully. True beauty is not in your body, but it is the light shining from your heart.  


 Discussing the concept of body autonomy討論身體自主的概念

Our attention was also drawn to the importance of defending body autonomy as a means of safeguarding gender equality. As our body belong to us, WE are the rightful persons to decide how to present or express ourselves with our body without being judged or even harassed. This was an especially powerful message for us as ladies who are often subject to the imposition of various unfair standards regarding how to dress and behave. For instance, if we dress in a sexy way, we are considered to be inviting sexual harassment; but all the while we rarely hear people say, “Well, this man chose to put on those sexy pants. He deserved to be touched!”. An interesting little episode to share here: To help us and our ethnic minority friends to protect ourselves in case of sexual harassment, we all practised shouting fei1 lai5 aa3!, literally “sexual assault!”. It was an empowering experience for many of us!

Novianti老師繼而引導我們以身體自主的概念為起點,思考性別平等的問題。她強調:我們擁有我們身體的自主權,我們有權決定如何以自己的身體表達自己(如個性和喜好)而不受他人的批判和滋擾。這對作為女性的我們而言尤其重要,因為比起男性,女性更常面對各種針對衣著和行為的不公平標籤。例如女性衣著性感會被視為自招麻煩被性騷擾也認為是活該。但我們卻甚少聽到針對男性衣著性感的批評。在此分享一個有趣的小插曲:為幫助我們和少數族裔朋友在面對性騷擾時保護自己,我們一同練習喊非禮呀!” 。這個練習對我們大部分人來說也是一個充權的體驗呢!

To conclude, the workshop wasn’t just a fun experience of belly dancing, but also a lesson of self-love, which, together with the sustainable lifestyle and practice of physical and mental health we learnt from the previous workshops, is the first step to better living and self-empowerment.


Reporter 記者: Holly Fung 馮詩皓