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Project YK-04 Primary school

Work in progress

March 23, 2015


We started this project with a very flexible design. Depending on progress the sculpture could be longer or shorter. In the best case scenario we could also incorporate a slide and monkey bars. As the circumstances of working at the school take shape it turns out that our hopes were much too ambitious. On the other hand, we are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and interest of the children. They participate in all aspects of the work with such great joy. Together with Monica we try to grasp what it is that makes children here so much more practical than back home. Growing up the way they do is a school all its own. Their enthousiasm can also hinder the work to be done. Dealing with this remains a daily challenge.

With the basic structure finished we can focus on the all important top layer. Monica teams up with Ousseynou Bâ to get to work on the mosaics. Aminta Gueye joins Roos to create the pebble skin of the snake. Hans makes sure all necessities are taken care of to somehow finish the project before Monica flies home. This is our little team. With the three women getting the most attention, building work like this is typically a male activity.

All pebbles are collected on the beaches in and around Yène Kao. There is always a certain attraction to those stones that are less common, in this case smooth pebbles that are brown, black and white. And once you start you have to continue. Luckily there are many kids happy to help collect them. The pebbles are fixed with coloured cement. We use locally available oxides as pigment. We really like the effect of this affordable material.

The broken tiles for the mosaics were collected and assorted by the children. Plenty of whites, greys and pale colours. The bright colours had to be bought and broken. Monica started with younger classes to create the decorations of the seats. Next up were the older classes to find important words and make letters for on the ‘little house’. Even though there were plans to create more mosaics with classes we decided it more appropriate that Monica create her own piece of art on the remaining bench. So deep into the project she had not even thought of the option, but agreed. With great result!

That leaves us with some painting to do. All should be done on time.




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