Mapping Cultures in Communities (Mar-May 2018)
From March – May 2018, a series of cultural mapping exercises were conducted as part of an action-learning workshop, Mapping Cultures in Communities. The workshop was presented by ArtsWok Collaborative, in collaboration with Cassia Resettlement Team and facilitated by Janet Pillai. Workshop participants were recruited through a public call and consisted of 18 members from various fields – arts and creative practitioners, social and community workers, architects, sociologists and social researchers – who were either students or working professionals.
Through the workshops, participants had to design a framework for a cultural mapping exercise to be held in Blk 52 Cassia Crescent, implement the mapping, analyse the data and provide recommendations for interventions. Members were split into two teams, Team Navigation and Team Interactions, and each focused on different aspects of the social well-being of the residents. Team Navigation focused on navigation and wayfinding aspects of the residents’ routines within and beyond Blk 52, including the sociability of these routes and destinations, while Team Interactions focused on social interactions in spaces within Blk 52. Participatory mapping approaches were employed to involve residents to map out the activities they do, the spaces they use and the people they interact with.
At the end of the mapping exercise, the team presented the main mapping findings back to the residents, as well as wrote a report containing the rationale, findings and the recommendations emerging from the cultural mapping exercise by the two groups. It is a combination of each group’s individual reports on their particular mapping focus and approach, and is intended as a guide for anyone who is interested in designing an intervention addressing the social well-being of residents in this particular locality.
Cassia Kaki Project (Aug 2018-Jan 2019)
Taking up the recommendations and findings of the cultural mapping report was a team of 9 practitioners, with professional specialisation in different fields. Practitioners underwent an action-learning process as part of The Greenhouse Lab comprising designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation (DIME model). This was facilitated by ArtsWok as well as Justin Lee. The design process of the Cassia Kaki Project began in August 2018. Informed by background knowledge gained from the cultural mapping study as well as stakeholder engagement as part of the design process, an arts-based programme was implemented. It aimed to bring together a group of seniors with little to moderate sociability levels above 60 years old together who have been relocated to Block 52 Cassia Crescent to engage in an 8-session arts-based programme.
The key objectives of the project were to enable cohesiveness among the seniors residing at Block 52, to encourage mutual support between them and to facilitate the integration of information on relevant community services into their lives. Seniors chose a visual arts or performing arts strand (with some attending both), and workshops were facilitated by The Greenhouse Lab participants, with support from some volunteers. Project monitoring was carried out weekly during the course of the workshops, with evaluation done mid-point as well as at the end of the programme. An overall evaluation report was prepared and shared with key stakeholders.
On top of that, recommendations in programming, participant engagement, volunteer management and operations were put together in the hope that future programmes in this community can achieve fuller outcomes.
There is interest from residents for the Cassia Kaki Project to continue, and some Greenhouse Lab participants will be continuing this programme with them, in collaboration with the Cassia Resettlement Team. Cassia Kaki 2.0 will commence in 2020.