Outreach Foundation’s Boitumelo – Philosophy
The name ‘Boitumelo’ means to make a person smile or be happy, or bring joy to a person. The name itself is a very strong motivation for the artists and crafters to creatively explore artwork that will enable people to experience or find joy.
Stitching together communities
For Boitumelo, we use the arts as a way of communicating with one another, with extending creative expression through public participation. Products and artwork are handmade through embroidering, weaving or knitting/crochet. Many of the projects are collaborative and emphasize collective healing, memory and restoring relationships to the land or communities.
Giving expression to social responsibility
Artist/crafters explore different art-making methods to express their needs and concerns about their social contexts pertinent to living in Hillbrow. By giving voice to what happens in their immediate surrounds, people are more likely to care, engage with the Global Village and be empowered to take action in their daily lives.
Excellence, self worth and value
Boitumelo strives for creative excellence, facilitating communication within communities in Gauteng and South Africa. The project uses the arts to nurture self-worth that enables product development, which in turn supports product sales and income. This facilitates economic independence and combats poverty in an incremental way for participants.
Theory of change
Erica’s involvement in the art making process at Boitumelo means that she gets involved and explores, investigates and teaches new techniques and art ideas together with the crafters. The ability to collaborate on an artwork only has validity if it challenges the crafter and the viewer, thus the ideas of each project must be sufficiently researched. Through the creative process of making, the artwork becomes defined and the working together of many hands and hearts creates a clear path that can be defined be each individual and the intentions can then be communicated to the public collectively.