In June 2022, Helene Rousseau was contracted as Changing the Story’s digital exhibition lead to work alongside and curate a digital exhibition that would highlight the projects of the network. Helene sent out a call to the Youth Research Board of Changing the Story to join this legacy project as co-curators and designers of the project. Seven YRB members expressed their interest in pursuing the project, Erick Ngabonziza (Rwanda), Samjhana Balami (Nepali), David Espitia (Colombia), Antonia Bello Vélez (Colombia), Leonard Nyiringabo (Rwanda), Taahirah Hoosain (South Africa), Jesús Campos Pérez (Venezuela).
We started working together in July 2022 with a tight time frame to see this project come to life. Our initial meetings were discussing various platforms for our digital exhibitions taking into consideration challenges such as cost-effectiveness, mobile-friendliness, the ability to make beautiful and bold designs, simple, free and effective platforms for execution, and the longevity of the exhibitions that would not need ongoing maintenance. We finally decided to use Microsoft Sway as a tool to use for our collections as it was a relatively easy visual tool to use with little coding knowledge, free to use and hosted freely on Office365. The collections could also be easily shared and embedded into the Changing the Story website alongside the Resource Archive.
In July 2022, we worked together on our first collections that would accompany our physical (Re)Memory box exhibition. These were prepared and tested out with the wider CTS network at our face-to-face gathering at the end of July. It was an exciting time for us to be able to meet in person for the first time and work together in the same room! It was also exciting for everyone to see our (Re)memory boxes come to life!
In August 2022, the work continued to complete four digital exhibitions meeting online weekly. The themes and artwork of the collections were chosen by the YRB which were Peacebuilding, Creative Resistance, Participatory Arts and Youth Leadership.
Because our YRB are from all over the world, we were able to translate the exhibition into four different languages, Kinyardzwa, Spanish, English and Nepali making it more relatable and accessible to our partners! We also were fortunate to meet with Seth Deacon, visual artist and curator from Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, who gave valuable feedback to the young people in enhancing their collections.
In September 2022 we wrapped up our work, did the last edits and were ready to launch and are hopeful that it will be a space of celebration for our partners and a catalyst for new ideas and projects to bring about change! Our physical exhibitions are also due to be shipped out this month and excited for these boxes to get into the hands of our project partners!