Thursday, 10 December 2015

AoC SA, Rondebosch East Primary School, 8 December 2015

Justin:  I enjoyed being outside with my friend.  I enjoyed learning about climate change.

I learned that the climate changes the water level (Abdul)

I learned that if you listen and your partner speaks you will know what each are feeling (Andrew).

I liked about this was when I was asked questions about the environment (Shaked).

I liked that they are trying to teach us about the world (Sarah Jane).

I enjoyed communicating with my friends and interacting with the presenters (Haneem)

It's not just the professionals that make a difference.  Your voice does too.  If you going to change, change for the better...your voice counts. #World Peace.  ( Aleker)

This project has really got me concerned about pollution and all the types of pollution.  I felt very confident and special when I got to share or express my
feelings with somebody I can trust.  I learned that you can make a difference, starting at home, at school or a nearby park.  Even by closing a leaking tsp just shows you've made a major difference.  Acting as a mediator, cleaning a nearby park or helping the elderly has shown you've made a small difference.  And who knows?  Maybe someone has seen you doing something special they'll follow in your footsteps and then the next person...eventually it'll become a daily thing, changing our generation.(Siyanda).

I felt good listening and speaking to a person who understands me (Kai).

I found out that we should not waste water or pollute water. Climate change is happening fast so find ways to save South Africa please.  I hope my voice is heard.  (Fadlurhman).

I found out that you can achieve many things in life and about climate change.  And world peace.  And I love the lesson of today I had been inspired.  (Ayabonga).

I found out that the water levels will be really high in the future (3m high).  I hope that we do not pollute because it will be hard to breathe.  (Said).

Today I enjoyed the project when we had to talk to your friend and express your feelings about this world.  I really enjoyed this.  All the best.  (Virginie).

Today I learned that the change is for the better.  I learned that in an agency everyone has a voice and everyone gets a chance to speak and listen (Sarbirah).

Today I learned that everybody has a voice in the world and we can make the world a better place by speaking.  (Emaan).

I learned that when you work with agency you work with respect because when you talk to each other you want them to respect you, and you listen to them.  (Al-Keisha).

My thoughts were good because I think it came to the children and that in the world everyone has a place.  It came to me and changed my mindset.  I have a lot to tell my parents.  And I know something is going to change someday (Caitlyn).

I just want to thank Agents of Change who made time to come to our school.  Today I learned that everyone has a voice and everyone needs a turn to speak and listen.  (Quania).

I learned that everyone can make a difference and all our voices need and can be heard.  (Tatum).

I want to ask why we don't have a good police force to fight against ABUSE.  People are abused, and abuse and mess up our planet.  Most police forces have stations for different crimes.  Why not litter and dumping.  All they do is make them pay fines.

We need some progress in our country.  WE NEED CHANGE AND WE NEED IT FAST!!!!! (Grace).

I Mihle am a good listener and I like to listen and speak but the most I normally give people the chance to be heard because one word can make a difference.  Give others the chance to be heard.  But you must also be heard.  Thank you.

Today I learned a lot.  What I like about what I learned is listening and speaking.  This was a good help to me and most people who never gave others s chance to speak when you are having a conversation.  I would like to thank Agents of Change for what they did. (No name).

Saturday, 17 October 2015

AoC South Africa, Simonstown Penguin Festival, 10.16.15

Witnessing and hearing the responses from our peers was something which was unexpected, but shows/gave us insight on what they felt about our current situation.  The impact from hearing the approach we could use with the public so they have a positive reaction when in the beginning they were so nonchalant about it.  The curiosity sparked in the people when we were amongst the crowds gave us an opportunity to explain and educate the public of Seaforth, and tourists among them.  The responses received were positive, and overall a positive outcome!! (no name)

Dear Earth....Earth - a planet amongst the galaxy.  Infested with 9 billion human species.  Of these 9 billion, more than 3/4 damage the earth/ nature.  But why?  The nature of earth does not have a voice, so we cannot communicate with earth.  (Literally).  The small things we do can make a big difference.  Being positive human beings can make a huge difference.  There is so much things to think of...but it is so difficult to persuade people to deviate from western culture, because we are all brought up in that manner.  Let's save planet earth.  (Gershwin).

Today, getting to have a listen on the group's conversation revolving around the change in climate and the impact that we as earth's inhabitants have on our none renewable resources was an interesting start to my day.  I got a lot of insight to why we as humans only are willing to act when danger stares in the face.  By then it is too late. I would surely love to become more involved in making change, no matter the size.  Today was much enjoyed.  (Bradley).

I have learned a lot today about our only home in the cosmos which is earth.  I have learned that many people do harm on this planet.  People pollute, litter, and they dump dirty things in the oceans.  And they don't even see that what they are doing is very wrong, because what of what society and a system has put in their brains.  The human species is killing their home, and some people are trying to do something to stop and teach people about this, but people don't want to listen.  This wonderful blue planet is dying, and we are going to do something about it.  (Maneli).

Climate change affects people and animals too.  Looking for a new planet won't solve things.  The process is perpetual.  We will deplete all natural resources, like we are about to do here.  (Nina).

God created us.  He knew very well we would create all this 'climate change' so I think he (God) is going to do something about it.  Nature will fix itself.  Le Chartelier agrees with this.  So god will do something to oppose this growing rate of climate change.  (Somelele).

Ek was baie beindiuk oor wat vandaag plaats gevind het.  Om te sien hoe babe mensen om gee oor ons omgewing.  As n natuur hebber is die grootse eer wat ek kon by woon.  Ek wil graag verder n verskil maak in die lewe van diere net in die see - niet maar ook op land.  Ek wil n verskil maak waar ek kan ook in die lege van mensen wat niet so bevroeg is soos anders is nie.  My noem naam is Pikkewyn en dis seker een van die rede hoekom ek so lief vier diere is.  (Levonia "Pikkewyntjie')
Translation from Afrikaans to English:
I was very impressed about what took place today. To see how many people care about the environment makes it a great honor for me to be part of this as a nature lover. I would like to continue to make a difference in the lives of sea and land animals. I would also like to make a difference in peoples lives. My nickname is Penguin' and that is possibly the reason why I love these creatures so much. (Levonia "Penguin")

Thank you very much guys for your time that you shared with us.  I personally appreciate it once again, thank you.  I hope to see you again, contact me when you have another function.  (Nemkhizeh).

Today was a very good day honestly because the topic has been on my mind ever since being conscious and seeing things in a different perspective, and I feel like I want to do something about it and I'm not just saying that, I really do, but there are somethings holding me back aswell, but none the less today was awakening and it was amazing getting to see everyones opinions on everything.  (Lelethu).

Today, I received the assurity of freedom of choice and freedom of life.  I realised that trying to force people to think the way I'll think or am thinking, is creating wars that may have been put to rest (Hitler).  Thank you for reminding me that people need love, even though their way of thinking leads, or is the cause of their ignorance to what is happening around them.  God Bless.  (Jodie)

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

SA AoC Reflection that Nicci sent 22 August 2015 South Africa

I can imagine a future where each person has to carry a plant around with them because there's no guarantee that there will be enough oxygen wherever they are going.  I think (hope) that this is just imagination and that this will never happen.  But I can still imagine it being a possibility and I think that that is a problem.  People shouldn't have to live in a world where everyday we worry about the future.  It's very sad and this is why we, as humans, should be sustainable.  It is not something to fix at the 11th hour or the 99th minute, because sometimes things are beyond fixing and as time goes much more slowly for the Earth.  It took the Earth millions of years to get where it is today, do you think that anything will change fast?  It won't.  Fortunately it seems that people are aware of this and more and more people are changing their thoughts and ways every day.  This is what make me feel a bit better. These thoughts circle continuously in my brain. Whenever people bring up the future and what it could be like one day if we don't change, I start to panic. People don't like change, what I they don't change?  Then I remind myself that people are changing, even if it's slowly and that's good.  We as individuals need to be sustainable and plant some trees or something, because think about it - one day it could be a lot more difficult lugging your personal plant around with you than it is to plant few more now.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

SA AoC Simonstown Reflections 25 July 2015 South Africa

Saturday was terribly cold in Muizenberg, the wind was icy!  So we held AoC conversations here in Simons Town.  I'll send through some photos too.  Next week, we'll hopefully go to Muizenberg beach, if it's a little warmer.

The conversations focused on Andy Fisher's concept of the pains of capitalism, and the way that the system is set up to create a sense of shame.  We also looked at Rollo May's modern day idols:  conformity, apathy, materialism and social hierarchies, and the way they sometimes blind us.

Here are the reflections:

1). How Is it that when so many have become aware of the negative side-effects of climate change, that so much of lifes daily routines remain unchanged?

Motor car sales have increased. And so too the emissions emitted.

Imagine that every car driver on Earth was issued a can of poison gas and told to open it and take it along with them for their daily travels. Imagine, smiling, waving and even hooting and shouting at your fellow drivers in the daily traffic, as your allotted can hisses out its toxins. Imagine going to the office, school, shops, friends and then home, with the can, all the while spilling out its daily allocation of assorted noxious gasses.

Imagine doing this everyday, every month, every year, always...

Now imagine living in a city with your friends, loved ones, children and pets, beautiful animals and plants
..and millions of little gas canisters.

2).  "You're face to face with the man who sold the world."

It upsets me how some people care so much more than others and how they have to work even harder to make up for the arrogance of other people.  I don't understand how people can care more about themselves and their pockets being lined with money than they care about other people.

Some behavior sickens me and makes me feel guilty to be human.  People have done unforgivable things to the earth.

I think many, if not most people want to be good, but society is so twisted and difficult to untangle and correct.  Sometimes I just feel really sad about the situation all people find themselves in.

I think people who care just have to do their best.

3).  I've been thinking about the way we're shown how to focus on what we present to the world.  It's often connected to what we can buy, or how we show ourselves on social media.  And yet I feel most comfortable when I can forget about those things and be with people who connect and share.  It's helped me to shape something new and start to explore it.  And it's helped me to see how imagination can create a sense of solidarity or exploration that includes 'others'.

As we've spoken about the despair we feel at the deaths, extinctions and injustices, I thought about how much the world matters to us, and how we're learning to see beyond the fears, doubts and anxieties consumerism creates, and into something deeper.

We have new fears, but we can see through the manipulation and explore our empathy for the earth.  And that is helpful.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nicci Attfield reflects on South Africa and AoC work 9 April 2015

 ....'I think it's true that the ideas are shaping and changing because of the AoC work.  It's a little bit difficult with my writing, because writing about social sculpture and taking part in AoC are two totally different things.  AoC is about freedom, sensitivity, awareness and agency (because we speak and share, and because we connect to a wider community, as one of the children pointed out so intuitively).  And the questions I am asking have also emerged because of Agents of Change.  I've been learning about food, and how it was controlled through agriculture as a way of moving people into industry.  I have also been learning such a lot about the social impacts of development on communities.

In South Africa, so many communities are struggling because of the development of mining and one group of people said that if you want to take a way a community's identity, then you chase away the ancestors.  If you do that, the community will die off.  The woman then explained that the ancestors live on a particular site that is going to be mined.  She explained that her community will be destroyed because the ancestors will leave or abandon them.

My overall question now is how human and environmental rights intertwine?  Can we ever fulfill our human rights if we mistreat the environment?  And how do we get to understand different ways of being so that we can understand that there are not only single ways of being in the world (the ones we might be most familiar with through education).  As I'm sitting and watching or listening, I am increasingly beginning to understand that the way that we are living isn't right.

AoC has been very lovely because it attracts very diverse people.  Everybody feels as though it's okay to take part, and there is a lot of freedom to speak and share.  I haven't seen anything like this before, and particularly the openness.  My previous ways of looking at difference may just have perpetuated the divides between people.  I'm understanding that realizing this was a part of my process, and a part of working reflexively.  I also realize that AoC has changed my life in many ways, and that even as a person who studied diversity, I now have greater insights into different ways of being or living with the world than I had before.  And this is why I really believe we are doing something very good for all people who want to reflect, share or listen to themselves or other people'....

Thursday, 26 March 2015

SA AoC group reflects on freedom. Observatory CT SA 22 March 2015

1) I think that education is very important for creating awareness of the world.  If you teach people to care and love and heal, then you will get people who want to do things for good reasons.  People are not superior to each other, the animals or the earth.  By destroying our world you also destroy people.  If the trees are gone, then people will not be able to breathe.  If the water is polluted we cannot drink.  Our needs are connected to the earth.  People have been telling each other that we don't need the earth.  I think it is time to accept that we do need the earth.  We need it to live.  Once we accept that it will make an important difference.  People need our Mother Earth to nurture us and teach us and we need to love and nurture her too.  (Danny)

2) My thoughts at the moment are about what I need vs what I'd like to have (or even what I think I might like to have).  Realizing how sacred mountains can be mined, and rivers diverted, livelihoods threatened and cultures and identities broken down, for coal which benefits only a few people makes we question how we live.  What do I actually need, what do I sometimes find more convenient, and what is adding to or making problems?  We need water but we don't need the dyes and chemicals that get added.  I wonder about the choices I've made, and the ones I would have made differently if I had been able to see more holistically.  I'm also seeing how human and environmental rights are very intertwined (nicci)

3)  There's such value in positive re-inforcement as opposed to horror stories and scare tactics.  This work is healing work.  It's healing the broken hope.  It heals the guilty conscience and warms our hearts to positive change.  No matter how slow, it is still a change in the right direction.  If everything that is in the world was just originally dreams or ideas then repairing, reducing and caring are also ideas in my head that could oneday become a reality.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

SA AoC at Two Rivers Ocean Park Cape Town 28 February 2015

Today, we spoke about freedom.  These are our reflections:

People don't really have the freedom to knowledge.  Businesses often don't tell all of the information about a product, because they know that what they are doing is not ethical or good.  But then people will buy their product or service, and themselves become unethical, even without their knowledge.  Often businesses don't admit these things because then people won't buy their stuff.  This means that people will not often want to support groups that survive at others' expense. (For example, people often don't know that clothes are made in sweat shops or products are tested on animals).   Basically, businesses lie to the public to get what they want, which I think is extremely wrong.  People should not be supporting bad causes without knowing it.

I love willow trees, I love how they look like they have long thin arms which are reaching out, or maybe they just have long hair.  (Danny).

Not everyone or every living creature has the right to be free.  Freedom is something we should enjoy, and not take advantage of.  Not everyone has freedom.  Those who have should treasure it.  Some people have to fight to be free, while others get it handed to them on a silver platter.  Don't take advantage of something so special, that not everyone has the right to.  Living creatures do not have the right to anything.  Trees are cut down without even a thought.  They are killed without consent.

We need to protect this world we live in because one day it might not be here anymore.  We should protect things while there is still a chance for survival, and not when it is too late.  (Raeesa).

Can the aspect of freedom not only relate to human beings, but plants and animals as well?  We speak of freedom, and of how we are free as human beings, but how free are we?  Our freedom is restricted, and limits one to be seen as conventional.  Why can't we have a variety and difference in our lives instead of living in a black and white world of conformity?  We relate freedom to human beings, but freedom can as well be applied to animals and plants.  Even though plants cannot speak the human language, they can emit vibrations.  Why can't plants and trees be as they are?  Environmental rights of animals and plants matter too.  Even though animals do not speak English, they do have their own language that humans may not understand.  If humans invade their habitat, they do communicate, and should have the right to freedom as well (Lauren).

How do we live well, rather than living rich?  How did we learn to believe we should live rich?  Capitalism speaks about creating a need, and it did create a need by taking people out of sustainable life, and from family, and forcing people to work and leave home to do things like work in the mines.

The system was set up to benefit few and create consumers rather than connected people.  We should have freedom to be, rather than have to prove yourself over and over again as productive and worthy.  Freedom could be about about time to spend in long conversations or exploring your child's perceptions of the world.  Or freedom to eat healthily because food isn't full of toxic chemicals.  I'd like to have freedom from the cruelty of factory farming and freedom to create.  It would be helpful to have freedom from products which damage the environment or other people.  Freedom to disconnect from the idea that real work is connected to power or prestige would be helpful too.  Cooking for a family is nourishing work, and yet people may still be seen as unemployed.  I think we need the freedom to define work as that which brings value or makes a difference.  (Nicci).

Levels of freedom range from being physically imprisoned, to being a wandering nomad.  There is financial freedom, but what is that?  There is also also the importance of freedom from physical threat.  There's the freedom of food, shelter, family and love.  How is it that traditional people had to give up this to enter into a capitalist system to earn money?  In exchange for money, people risk physical safety, proper shelter and healthy food choices.  Sometimes they experienced loss of community and family support.  When people had to travel from their homes to 'the land of opportunity' they crossed imagined borders that turned them into criminals if they didn't have the right (invented) documentation to grant them legal access.

The whole system has been created to make menial and ridiculous jobs and procedures to perpetuate itself, and to protect the very few.  (no name).