Make do Tell 2015

Stories from our projects in India and Nepal.   Check out our Artists in Community International website : or Fabcebook page : Artists in Community International for more.

Sun and Salt : India

The environment of the salt pans is stark, vast and harsh for the communities of people who live there harvesting salt for most of the year.

In 2014 one young girl, Pauna, who is about 19, asked how my skin could be soft and smooth when hers was so blemished and damaged. It was a startling and revealing comment as I am more than old enough to be her mother, but not quite her grandmother.   In her Gujarati language she asked me about cream;  at the end of our art project conducted in the 30+ degree heat, sun and sand, I handed over all my sunscreen, moisturiser and handcream with translated instructions about how sunscreen works.  

read the article here : Sun and Salt

In the Brick Kilns : Nepal

Brick women

Like the saltpan workers in India, the brick makers and brick kiln workers of the Kathmandu Valley live and work in difficult and harsh circumstances.On our many walks out from Bhaktapur last year we would see small groups of people making bricks – one by one from a single timber mould. The families live in small huts next to the mounds of clay and stacks of bricks.

We went to see the firing process and were incredulous to witness teams of people carrying up to 32 raw bricks into the kilns on their back, and other teams emptying the kiln in the same way. Skillful workers feed this huge and voracious kiln, pouring and poking coal down into holes, which bring the fire into carefully created gaps in the stacked bricks inside. It is hot and can be dangerous work. Smoke from the coal-fired kilns belches out across the valley, blurring the mountain views. We also learned of the pitiful living circumstances and piecework wages of these people. It is an archaic way of producing the millions of bricks that are used in nearly all buildings and many smaller roads in the valley.

read the article here : In the Brick kilns.  

Boys Beasts and Painting : Nepal

Young men and older boys work with mule teams transporting bricks to and from the kilns.   They work a ten-day shift, then have one day off.  We were invited to join them on that day this week. As they work on a piece-rate they work hard and fast, and ensure their animals work hard and fast too.  We are told they earn about 6000 Nepali rupees per month (about $A75). read the article here : Boys Beasts and Painting


We  thank our many supporters, including the Children’s Art Village, for providing funds to make this project possible.  Artists in Community International donate our time and some costs to the project.