Team trip to Germany
The Viva con Agua South Africa team recently travelled to Hamburg Germany, from Cape Town, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Millerntor Gallery.
After a two-year postponement of the gallery due to Covid-19, the 10th anniversary took off with a splash (pun intended). This year the Viva con Agua cosmos was out and ready. Viva con Agua Uganda, Switzerland, and Germany welcomed us warmly. We finally had the opportunity to meet our virtual friends live. The SA team was on two of the Millerntor Gallery’s panels with our fellow water activists, with whom we enjoyed amazing music and explored extraordinary artwork.
Meeting and networking
This year the gallery’s focus shifted to women and woman empowerment. Especially with women enduring the brunt of obstacles and challenges when it comes to Water Sanitation and Hygiene. Artists such as Amanda Arrou-Tea, Anise and Bona-Berlin were a few of the many females who rocked their art. We met with facilitators and had conversations with musicians such as Mal Eleve. To our surprise, our fellow South African friends Sounds of the South were there too.
We participated in two panels; ‘Nina Manzi + Shero = Power; Social entrepreneurs & Artist for Social Change and WASH Impact’ and ‘Next stop & next level South Africa’.
The panels allowed us to share the story behind Nina Manzi and our personal s/hero journeys. Our panel discussion included conversations about cultural and economic differences which arise with the fight for safe and accessible water and WASH facilities. Sane, the illustrator of Nina Manzi, and Lauren, Project Manager at Baz-Art, also shared their ideas and the process of bringing Mother Water to life.
In our exchange, we took the audience on a journey to Cape Town and the surrounding areas. It was also the perfect occasion to share what has happened since the Viva con Agua foundation dropped (mind the pun) on South African soil, as well as the hopes we have for the future.
Meting with Go Banyo
Meeting with the Go Banyo team in their Shower Village and being onsite with the bus was a great learning curve for all of us, especially now that our Nina Manzi project is in full swing at U-turn Homeless Ministries in Claremont.
Visiting the Villa Viva Hamburg site.
This visit was a great experience as our own headquarters are on the premises of Villa Viva Cape Town. The construction ground is large, and we were able to share our experiences, learning and insights. We hope to return for the official opening to see the growth.
The ‘secret wars’ was a competition during which six artists were split into two groups of three and were given two hours in which to develop a painting on a shared wall which would later be auctioned off. Sane had the opportunity to paint our very own Nina Manzi. This competition was plenty of fun and a great opportunity for collaboration with international artists. It was made better when we later found out that Sane and her team won the ‘secret wars’.
The Germany trip and the Millerntor Gallery experience were unforgettable. There were many lessons that we brought home for our Nina Manzi initiative, including education and a communication perspective for our respective communities.
We thank the VcA Germany team, Go Banyo, and all the wonderful people we came across for their hospitality and passion.