Lost Within The Pages...
Have you ever read a book and felt completely lost within its pages? It’s as if that book has thrown you into an alternative universe where anything is possible and there are no restrictions on what you can or cannot do. The real world and your problems seem to slowly evaporate as you delve deeper and deeper into the book and its version of reality.
Have you ever picked up a paintbrush and let it glide it over a blank canvas, allowing the brush to illustrate whatever appears in your imagination at that moment in time? All of those pictures and wild scenes in your mind suddenly come to life as you release them onto the blank page. In return, you feel a great sense of release as you let your creativity come to life.
Could you ever imagine being deprived of creative outlets or moments such as these? Where you are growing up in a community where there is little encouragement or opportunity to express your inner thoughts and the chance to escape into another realm? Unfortunately, this is the case for many underprivileged communities in today’s world as many do not have the opportunity to freely read, write or create whatever they choose. It is not to say that the resources are not there or that they do not have access to books or craft materials, what is mainly lacking is the motivational support.
Here at SOLS 24/7 we try to pack in as much creative fun as we can into our community centres! We give impoverished communities a chance to release their imagination and therefore, any stress that they have caged up over time. It is so vital that frustration with daily life is released in a safe and positive way, quite often people lock it inside of themselves for so long that it begins to take its toll and spoils their day, week or even month. People don’t often realise that the smallest change in someone’s routine can in fact trigger a lasting change. For instance, reading a book at the end of a difficult day can alter your peace of mind and prevent negative thoughts from whizzing around your head before you sleep. Sketching a simple doodle in your spare time may turn into drawing a simple observation, which may develop into an artistic passion. The possibilities are truly endless, and don’t you think that life is too short for them to be undiscovered or neglected?
Quite often, underprivileged communities are disregarded when it comes to the freedom of the arts and literature as these subjects are sometimes viewed as privileges of the wealthy. Yet, these opinions are truly outdated and should not be generalised. Some of the most amazing artists, writers and creative’s of our century were raised from impoverished environments yet strived towards innovative freedom of the imagination. Many did not allow their backgrounds to define their futures, they ventured on and ignored what society said; they took control of their destiny and developed it into a reality.
Of course, to do such a thing takes great strength when you are surrounded by an environment that may be viewed as impossible to stray away from or may push you back down. Nevertheless, it is not impossible to gain that strength from others who will be there to support and encourage your creative journey. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of attention and appreciation for someone’s self-confidence to rocket through the roof and lead them towards a happier path.
Creativity Can Transform A Community
It can bring everyone together and eradicate the shadows of segregation. How do we know this? Well, we have seen it for ourselves. SOLS have set up centres in quite literally the centre of impoverished communities and created a hub for the public to freely visit and attend classes organised by our dedicated and driven team. We have witnessed many cases where the centres have brought the spirit of a community back to life and have created such positive environments and safe havens for the local community to visit. Students of our centres have praised us for providing them with free tuition and support to learn to read and to write creatively and for chances to be involved with craft workshops where they may discover different forms of art.
Not only can it bring people together, it can also provide a window into the lives of others and spread awareness that there are still so many people in need of simple necessities. By hosting a gallery event where local students can display their art, you are forming an experience for people to share and discuss what these students see and draw attention to that positive changes to the community still need to be made. It opens up a space to debate, to discuss and to display these inequalities and reoccurring issues. By hosting a literature event where students may perform their poetry or speak out about their stories, it opens up a whole new chapter on the community and how there is still space for change. Not only does it impact the student, it may influence another bunch of students to the same and to work towards a brighter future for themselves.
It is never too late to learn. The students of SOLS are of all ages and backgrounds, yet in our community centres there is one frequently witnessed fixation that they all share; hope. So many people hope for a chance to express their thoughts and feelings, therefore, the opportunities we provide do not go unnoticed. Once there is hope, there is a gateway for change, and once there is a gateway; creativity may be released. All it takes is one person, or in our case one organisation, to highlight hope and make use of it by providing it space to grow.
Whether you find release in reading, drawing, painting or any other artistic form, it is incredibly vital that you utilise it. No matter where you are from or how you have been raised, you deserve a chance to express your outlook on life so that you have a fighting chance to change it too.