ARTEparaTECHO’s theme this month is Education. We have chosen this theme because the right to education is the basic premise for the social development of the communities and is the most valid tool to fight poverty, marginalization, and exploitation. January 24 we will be celebrating education day and we strongly believe it is essential to reflect on how education has been affected by the pandemic, considering the effects on the short and long term.





The inequities in remote education access and the impact of the pandemic on youth and adult learning and socialization, need to be address.


Since the outbreak of the pandemia,188 countries have imposed countrywide closures, affecting more than 1.5 billion children and youth. The potential losses that may occur in learning for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom. To minimize these losses, many schools are offering distance learning to their pupils. However, this option is only available to some. The people most affected were the students and professors from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In many cases these people do not have the tools to connect remotely, or have one for the whole family, suffer from low connection and find it more difficult to study at home. “There will be for all children significant learning losses, but for those who are vulnerable - for those already at risk - they may never return to school,” said Margarete Sachs-Israel, regional education advisor at the U.N. children’s agency.


Across Latin America and the Caribbean, closures to stem the coronavirus outbreak have left more than 154 million children - about 95% of the enrolled - out of education, many who have no way of going online to learn, according to UNICEF. Quarantine measures around Latin America have exposed a stark digital divide between rural and urban areas but also within the region’s big cities - between the people in affluent neighborhoods and those living in sprawling slums, where there are no adequate infrastructures.


The digital breach is not a consequence of the pandemic but with the pandemic not having digital access meant no longer being able to study, no longer being able to work, no longer being able to communicate. For many of us, it's hard to imagine a life without school, without classmates, without homework, without the fun of recreation. But during the pandemic, many people who had made great efforts to go to school had to drop out, because they cannot attend classes.

The impact of dropping out of school is not limited to learning. We need to consider that schools are both social hubs that support the development of students’ socioemotional skills and well-being and centers of their local communities.


We need to think about how can we guarantee the right to education when to study we need a computer and an internet connection? How do we get to work if the kids are home? How do we protect the mental health of teachers and students?


It is necessary to go to the root of the problem, to fight structural inequalities.This is what we do every day. Moreover, we collaborate with schools to promote the development of academic and socioemotional skills in children and young people.


If you're interested in supporting TECHO, sign up here. You can always stay tuned about the cause of the month via my blog, where I give updates through my correspondences with their volunteers.


From TECHO and myself,

thank you so much for reading.

Lots of light,

Lot



Dear friends


First of all, a merry Christmas. What a sweet time to be alive!

Every year at this time, I start scouting for a new notebook to journal in the year to come. Along with it comes a lot of reflections, as I’m wrapping up the journal from the previous year – and what a year it’s been.





In the beginning of 2021, I set out an intention to go full time as an artist before the end of the year. Looking back, it’s been such a fun ride with exhibitions, both groups, duo and a solo, and lately an art symposium in Egypt and a nomadic art life in Central America.


The past three weeks, I’ve been working in San Jose and Monteverde in Costa Rica – producing art pieces for a gallery in the city and a big mural in the cloud rainforest. It’s been such an inspirational trip, especially given the ticas’ (Costa Ricans) luminous, joyous art, which is just everywhere. Inspiration can’t seem to stop when surrounded with colorful art all over, and I’ll take the impressions with me in my heart. Until I come back, of course!


Now, I’ve arrived at my final destination for the next while.

I’m in Santiago, Chile, where I’ll be working on my next body of work. I’m excited to show you more, but for now, let’s enjoy the holidays!


I plan to set out intentions for more growth in my art life, more joyous experiences with family, friends and colleagues, and much more travel.


As I was riding my bike through the streets of Santiago earlier today, I was filled up with joy. The dried, yet sizzling river on one side, the trees on both sides of me, the odd silence city parks sometimes create... and the hot wind in my hair. I felt alive and present, and most of all like a child. In that moment I had no connection to my left brain, I was just playing with the speed and laughed out of joy as I shooshed through the small paths in the park. I want MUCH much more of that childish joy, so that is my utmost dream in the year to come.


Laughter. Joy. Playfulness.


I wonder, what are your dreams for the year to come – and are you holding yourself accountable for them?


I hope you are, so you can enjoy getting there.


Lots of love and light in this holiday season, and see you in the new year -

happy New Year!


Lots of love,

Lot





Dear all,

It’s been a wild ride for the past couple of weeks - first starting off with a few days off in Stockholm and Uppsala, visiting an old friend and enjoying the chill, Swedish nature — and then in Egypt.

Egypt was a wonderful adventure. In the late summer, I was selected to participate in the symposium, giving me a trip to Egypt with 7 fellow artists from Denmark and Egypt.

The purpose with the program facilitated by DEDI (Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Initiative) is to create a dialogue and exchange between Egyptians and Danes.

We started off in Cairo, got a feeling of one another, and a whole lot to see those first couple of days in the big city. Among other things, a bunch of galleries and exhibitions, meeting artists, getting inspired by the contemporary art scene, visiting a comic festival, and getting positively overwhelmed by the variety of places, people and things there.

Barely digesting the first impression of the capital, which only urged hunger for more, we hopped on a train through the magnificent land to Aswan. The beautiful thing about arriving at night is the surprise you’ll get the following morning - my gosh, I was surprised. And serene. It was as if the loud city’s sound had been replaced with a long sound of silence. It was as if I was back at the country side where I grew up and all my inner process could really flourish.

We’d spend the next 8 days at a beautiful hotel by the Nile. Visiting the great temples Philae and Abu Simpel, sailing Lake Nasser at the Aswan Dam - oh, and I even tried out my boat license by cruising the Nile on one of our many trips between cultural sightseeings. We got a thorough impression of the Nubian culture, getting insights in their traditions, crafts and ways of life. I was amazed by the Botanical Island, where one of the workers would give us a tour in the wonders of the garden’s many seeds, flowers and mysteries. All in all, I was just amazed by the open mind and sense of communion among the locals in Aswan and how they shared it with us. Whether it be crafts, coffee making, music, stories or just their time.





It seemed like wherever I went, whomever I met would always encourage me to sit down, take time, and breathe. A few nights into our stay, we began to see thunder, and it was the first storm in 11 years - oddly enough, one of the themes for the symposium was water, and it was equally funny and tragic. It made no harm to us or where we stayed, but given Aswan is not at all used to storm, nor rain, it took quite the time to clean up the day after. There was flooding, and the storm had an effect on the scorpios, that were suddenly to be found in the city. We were a little paranoid, but also just surrendered to the effect of this weather. The day after with no water or electricity was a slow one, and it was nice with some peace and quiet. Everyone carried on with a joyous spirit. I always find it beautiful when we’re being humbled and come to some sort of surrender.

A couple of days after the storm, I met up with a local photographer, Mostafa, and was he good! We had a ton of fun shooting some paintings in the making and try out some of his ideas. We ended up spending the rest of day together along with one of my artist colleagues, partly in dialogue and play with a local family.

I will miss the open heart, mind and home here.

The last couple of days in Egypt, I spent in Cairo. Partly checking out the final touristy things - among the Sphinx and Pyramids, and wow! - partly chasing cheap art supplies and of course fingerrings in Zamalek. Clubbing, checking local markets, attending gallery openings, Mohamed Ali’s Palace, mosques and what not. I was as busy as Cairo itself!






Now, I’ve barely had time to digest this wonderful adventure, as I’m leaving for Costa Rica - but what an adventure. Not only did I get to see so much of the Egyptian art scene, I got new artist friends, that are ever so inspirational. I’m both thrilled and frustrated with the amount of inspiration from this trip - and especially the talents of my colleagues. I wish I had a time pocket to dig into and create everything they inspire me to. I share this with one of them, and she reassured me I have the rest of my life to live out whatever I’m inspired to. Thank you for that.




On that note; better get started.

Lots and lots of light,

Lot