Only two weeks to go before I head to Mumbai. Besides working, I’ve been preparing for the trip, along with some logistical details. I recently got my vaccines and immunization shots updated, and little by little have been buying some useful ‘accessories’ for traveling. Regarding research, I’ve been in contact with the main collaborator in my research project/documentary, Andres, who works at Mewsic (the organization I will be working with) as Program Manager. Together, we’ll be assessing the best ways to get in touch with the children participating in Mewsic, also with teachers and volunteers, who come mainly from Australia and Europe. I believe it’s a great opportunity to organize and propose creative partnerships, probably with The New School, music students, who want to have some work experience in the volunteering field, collaborate with a great team of musicians in Mewsic, and travel around India doing so.
On another note, I’ve been trying to plan out every single day and afternoon so I can be part of every event and workshop the Mewsic staff will be hosting and doing. The Mewsic bus (which works mostly out of Delhi) is a great program which I believe has a lot of potential for its participants. It brings music to the children who are eager to learn the art form, but due to lack of planning or resources, have limited access or transport systems. I recently bought a book that explores community building and placemaking in slums and low-income communities. It is very interesting how participatory research and planning creates short and long term solutions to complex problems. I think Mewsic is creating just that. Through music, people become empowered to have healthier lives, feel more independent and deal with complicated issues, such as drug abuse and domestic violence. I’m doing more research on this topic and the co-relation with music and the arts. Very excited to get on that plane and be able to create/document something truly unique and amazing.