Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The first Arts camp in Laos

The camp thing follows me since I am in Asia, but I called a bit for it, since I organized quite a few events, Barcamps and a Filmcamp. And I always advocated to use the Camp-Concept for other industries, for example Art. Now the dream came true to have an Arts Camp in Laos. Kelly and "Defago" Air, two good old friends from Laos, organized it.

The event was hold at a software company, mainly because it was available since Air works there. There was basically one room for all the talks, although more meeting rooms were available upstairs. Beside me and Kelly there were no other western foreigners, what is a good thing. All talks  - maybe not Kelly's - were held in Lao.

Because of the language barrier I left during the break, but for me it was more important to see if and how it worked. And the camp did very well: Full house, more tan 60 people showed up, the room was overcrowded. Sessions were about Drawing Hacks, Anime and Comics, How to do digital Art, and Graffiti. The latter was a talk and a workshop later, so people had something to physically do - something I always missed at the Barcamps.

It proved again that people can organize something by their own if you just let them. The Barcamp concept says that as long as infrastructure, in particular a venue, is the secured, the rest will follow. People are eager to learn from each other it is in the human nature. Traditional education systems oppressing it by having teachers who teach instead of sharing their knowledge.

If people from a certain profession come together, everyone has something to share. That is the fundamental principle of Camps, and it works well all over the world, and in Asia as well. Organizers just have to believe in it and step back as much as they can.

Arts Camp in Laos was probably the first one in South-East Asia, and they can be proud of it. They started something, and I can only hope that the big outcome makes it easier for a bigger Arts Camp next year, with more artists joining it.

Well done guys!!

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