Agent of Transformation: part 4 “Arts and Media as an embodiment of the true self”

One will not argue that writing is also an art. For as longs as I can remember, writing has been the only way I could ever express my feelings. Even during a conversation, when I was unable to convey a thought, I always found myself promising: “I will write to you”. By writing, I could always go deep in my thoughts and feelings and select the right words. Writing empowers me. It gives me great strength. To me writing is a form of meditation. I even write to myself to make sense out of what oftentimes makes no sense until it is canvassed on a piece of paper and a black ink. Then rereading it gives a meaning to it, making facts become alive like Pinocchio being reanimated on a Venice stage. Writing assures me that all my ideas will be laid out without interruption and that as long as I have enough pages, I can be as thorough as I want to be. To know that I will be understood gives me great joy and heals any doubt or hurt I may feel due to incomprehension. Today, I am exploring a new way to convey my messages through photography and the use of the media.  A few weeks ago, realizing that it would take me way too much time to sit at my desk and send a long e-mail to a friend to whom I wanted to describe a beautiful scenery and how I felt sitting in front of the Appalachian mountains, I came up with the idea of just sending them a picture. The image was worth a thousand words. As a result, I have been trying to express myself a bit more through the arts, sometimes to relieve myself from words and find a new way to convey my messages.

I am a native of a French speaking African country. Maya Angelou is the first author whose book I first read in English and then understood. If It took reading her entire collection to really “know why the caged bird sings”, I can definitely say that it took approaching  the Arts and the Media as a Peacebuilding tool to grasp her collection even more. In certain parts of the world, oppressed societies could only refer to the arts to scream for help and also to move on with their lives. Nowadays, I am fascinated by how the Media can be used as a tool to connect all the countries in Africa which are separated by language. “Liberation comes from a practice that is engrained in us” and for me, I feel liberated whenever I carry a paper, a pen and in the background, airs a note of ‘Asimbonanga”. And when at times I feel like warming my body up, I wrap around my waist a piece of cloth and jump and dance to the sound of the drums of “Sing-Sing Rhythm”. To me, that is real liberation!

Part 3 of Agent of Transformation can be found HERE.


by: Wore Ndiaye K.