Regional News

October 23, 2010

Unmask Yourself

Velikiy Novgorod meets “Faces of Youth” from America and Kenya

American artist and photographer Mark Scheflen decided to visualize current problems of modern civilization after visiting Kenya where masks are very popular. This idea resulted in the Youth Project by New York organization Kiboko Projects. During this project students from Russia, Africa and USA made masks, paintings, photographs, books and films. Today you can see children’s art about main topic of the day in exposition “Faces of Youth” in Novgorod Exhibition Center.

Youth Projects participants from Velikiy Novgorod are First Gymnasium students who deeply study foreign languages and painting. As explained by gymnasium teacher Irina Shirina the project is not only about masks. Teenagers choose important for them topic to discuss and practice English while communicating with their counterparts from Kenya and America via Skype.

Participants say that they acclaimed this project enthusiastically. First because of the unexpected opportunity of entirely new and hence intriguing communication with teenagers from other continents. Mask-making process is also important for them.

“My mask represents two senses – feast and cunning because you can not live without it. There are times when I have to deceive people to accomplish my purposes. And feast is a way of living. It’s uncharacteristic of me to be in low spirits, I try to see positive moments in all things”, shares her thoughts project participant Lera Trunina.

One could be a witness of mask-making process during the master class by Mark Scheflen on the opening of the exhibition. According to Mark Scheflen’s remark Russian masks are more skillful than the others. The point is that there are no visual art lessons in many foreign schools and particular skills are unavailable for children.

By: Maria Klapatniuk