Sit on a carpet and eat the carpet

Sit on a carpet and eat the carpet

In Azc Gilze tens youths live temporary; But when we mention this word –temporary- with another word –live- can carry a paradox. You need to feel these teenagers! You never know how many days, weeks, months and even years can take until you receive a positive answer for your permanent statement in the host country or finally you have to leave! You lose everything in your own hometown and here day by day someone comes in your life or leaves you and you feel they left you behind.

Most of them they did not have any choice. Leaving their home country is only the first step!

Some of them grew in this asylum center, from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran and now… Syria!   War, injustice, the lack of basic human rights, poverty and hunger  make many people of the Third world country immigrate to developed countries with hope to find a better future.

Sit on a carpet and eat the carpet is the name of  project that took the shape during 2 years of my working period in asylum center at Gilze, first as a workshop leader, second as an art program coordinator from Dutch national organization Vrolijkheid.

This project based on three steps:

First: Homeland

Second: Memory

Third: Happiness

In the part of the homeland, I asked them to think about regional  fruit and food recipe of their countries; What land can give us with her generous hand like a mother, and we can take it eagerly!

Second step was making story based on youth’s memories. The one of the most important strategies to make and design project for Vrolijkheid organization is “Story”. As a designer and art program coordinator, I talk and discus with the habitants of asylum center usually. I hear to their memories and stories and think how to can involve them in my projects. I feel them and give the forms and find the motifs for their words and emotions.
Designing the carpets and different traditional and geometrical forms of carpet is one of the concerns in my artistic process. After discussing with youths in this project, we follow my idea and we started to design a carpet based on their stories and memories.

I made the final design and asked the youths  to choose and paint the carpet freely. Claudette Van De Rakt my co-program coordinator in Vrolijkheid Gilze and I organized 10 workshops for them from first step; Discussing and designing were included too and after Una Cousins, young internship student started to try different colorful food recipes with them every Thursday. Mohsen Mirani, the music workshop leader and volunteer of Vrolijkheid in Gilze as assistant supported me in all steps.
On May 5th 2018 for a festival called Onderweg which has been organized by Vrolijkheid and its organizers Caco Verhees and Niels de Groot, I displayed the project “Sit on a carpet and eat the carpet”, Happily, energetic and full of colors and fruits!

Mitra Jashni

May 2018


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