On the third day of class we relocated for a third time because many of the women were saying the sun was too strong and wanted to be in the shade. However trees in Congo have snakes in them, so it wasn’t long after class started that a snake dropped in the middle of one of the circles of women and they are scattered- screaming, running. I was just glad we hadn’t passed the paint out at that point.
Once they settled down again we reviewed the terms and color mixing equations and the ladies were given back their papers of their vision of a hopeful future. We discussed the concept of the mural- how each would receive a panel to paint their own dreams, hopes, visions for the future. However at that point I had already prepared a base color and written the words to a phrase that would cover part of the mural, plus an image of a woman standing off to the side, which is part of the logo for Women in Warzones (Wamu). I just told the ladies, if there are lines cutting across your panel, dont paint over these lines, just incorporate them into the picture. The phrase across the mural also was in line with the message of Wamu… “Tumaini yetu imezaliwa barabara.”… meaning “Our hope was born on the road.”
The ladies did very well through the painting process. Each received the three primary colors, a mixing dish, brushed, and a panel and they were fully engrossed in their artwork of hope. Images of children studying at school, good food, cement homes, cars, happy families, and big gardens covered the paintings. They all loved the chance to apply what they had learned regarding the mixing of paints to create a whole spectrum of color. The final outcome was beautiful, and definitely came from their hearts.