Hands-on Change is an evening of discussions and presentations by Suprabha Seshan, Maja Kuzmanovic, Maria Blaisse and Cocky Eek, hosted by Shibumi Friends International. Deep in the forest beside a muddy little path stands a colorful sign which announces the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary. This is the home of our first speaker, Suprabha Seshan. Today in Amsterdam Suprabha and Cocky showed us in pictures and video how a family tries to garden back the biosphere, simply because it needs to be done to improve life.
Environmental awareness is often associated with restrictions; there are all kinds of things we will no longer be allowed to do. Suprabha looks at it in a much more positive way: improving the quality of life. This is central also to the work of Maja Kuzmanovic. With her organization FoAM she tries to improve the relationships between people and nature and technology. She showed children covered in mud to make seedballs that can bring flowers to hidden city-corners. And Open Sauces a dinner where the food serves as a powerpoint presentation. And she spoke about a project with the World Toilet Organisation and a visit to the Barefoot College in India.
In a similar way Maria tries to improve the relationship between people and materials, in design. There is hardly any waste if you work along with the natural properties of materials, instead of just pushing them into a machine to press it into shape. Maria showed us crisp ice crystals and the bubbling waters of cymatics: wave-phenomenons in liquids and emulsions. She suspects a direct connection between consciousness and matter. In all these presentations we could see just how fruitful a good balance between ourselves and the material world (including our bodies) can be.