Children are our future. How we invest in shaping their values as responsible and sensitive human beings will help shape the future of our world. We are at a critical existential crossroad where the sustainability of our planet is at risk. The leaders of tomorrow will need to be equipped with the awareness of how humans impact the world around them, with compassion for other human societies and the natural environment, and a deep emotional connection with nature.
We need to sow seeds of compassion, arm them with the ability to solve complex problems and come up with mindful solutions, and create the foundation of wisdom to know how to live in harmony with nature and respect cultural diversity.
The Art Village Karjat is a project born from the collaboration of Artists, Architects and Artisans. It is a platform for exploration and creativity. The physical structure of the village responds to its climatic context, and is built from earth technologies. The architecture sets the tone for the ethos of learning in the space. With a strong core of being an ‘experiential education’ set up, the village celebrates learning by seeing, doing, listening, feeling, discussing and performing. Here, all forms of art and science are encouraged; especially those of nature and its ways.
At the village our objective is ‘to nurture children’s curiosity and creativity; to create awareness about our environmental and cultural sustainability; to encourage artistic expression through hands-on programmes and activities.’
The faculty conducting programmes at the village are practicing artists in their own fields. They are active members of the ever-growing village community. When a musician who has taken up singing as his full time profession conducts a Hindustani classical interactive lecture-demonstration, what he brings to his sessions is not only his music, but also the celebration of the art form and real time practical knowledge of how it can be pursued. With activities ranging from cloth weaving, paper-making, star-gazing, classical singing, contemporary and classical dancing, pottery making, painting, calligraphy to bird watching and butterfly observation through nature trailing and various forms of free play, the Art Village Karjat welcomes children of all age groups for day visits and overnight stays through the year.
Last year, during the summer months, the village hosted a one of its kind ‘parent – child’ camp over the span of two nights. With both mother and son getting exposed to the work and painting style of Mondrian and creating functional art from their abstractions, to father and daughter exploring terracotta on the potter’s wheel together, to mother and daughter sketching collaborative stories with charcoal; the synergy of this camp was extremely enriching and fulfilling. Not only was it an exercise for quality bonding between the duos, there was genuine learning and exploration with no boundaries of age. It was a true celebration of art!
With that in our purview, the improvised theme of monsoon camps this year is to encourage relatively older children to get away from home and spend quality time making friends and bonding through new experiences! This June is specifically dedicated to children between the age group of 7 to 12 years in a junior batch and 13 to 16 years in a senior batch. The activities are curated for these age groups, to strike a balance between learning and lots of fun, by group building and individual level explorations!