The Otesha Project – Pedaling and Performing for Sustainablity

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Collaborators

“Aspiring to be the catalyst for positive change in young people’s lives, ten passionate volunteers are pedaling and performing their way from Melbourne to Canberra to engage with youth, through theatre and workshops, about the critical role that responsible consumer choices have on creating a more equal and sustainable planet. …”

What an impressive and inspiring example of arts in action! Otesha uses art and media to teach teenagers about sustainability.  By being the “change they want to see in the world” the project volunteers are  individuals whose own personal actions and choices are an example of sustainable living that young people and the community at large can learn from.  Co-Director of the Otesha project  Vanessa Hewson shares the goals and vision of the Otesha Project:

 “Over the last eleven years, The Otesha Project has endeavored to: further develop awareness about the environmental and social impacts of the products and resources we consume; increase the number of responsible consumer choices made by young Australians; and increase the number of young role models and sustainability advocates in Australia. We believe that significant change can be achieved through individual action and we aim to encourage young people to ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’.

As ten individuals we realise that we can’t change the world, instead we’ve committed changing ourselves and, it is to be hoped, be the catalyst for change in others. We believe that the problem is not that people don’t want to change, but that they don’t understand why change is needed or that they feel overwhelmed by the size of the problems and can’t easily see ways to be part of the solutions. Therefore, we see an urgent need for educational programs that shift attitudes about the impacts of our daily consumer choices, build positive social norms, and reduce the perceived barriers around taking action on sustainability issues. We believe that young people can be powerful and influential change makers but need to feel empowered to do so. ”

Bike Performing Tours

The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability hosts annual Bicycle Performing Tours visiting schools throughout parts of Australia to inspire, educate, and engage youth about sustainable consumption.

Teams of 15 – 20 amazing, motivated people travel by bike to present a theatre performance and workshops while living in a collective bike community for eight weeks. Using theatre, multimedia and interactive workshops, the school presentation provides a unique approach to understanding environmental and social justice issues.

Using a consensus model for decision-making, tour members work together to design workshops, coordinate presentations, source accomodation, cook food, solicit media opportunities and connect with local community members.

School Performances

The Otesha Project (Aus) visits schools along the routes of their Bicycle Performing Tours to present their sustainability-themed performance.

Using theatre, multimedia and interactive workshops, Otesha provides a unique approach to understanding environmental and social justice issues. All performances are followed by workshops on various topics around environmental and social justice issues.

How to Support Otesha..

Arts in Action is proud to support the Otesha Project through donation and as a Collaborator at the screening event Manufactured Landscapes, where the short documentary about the 2009 Victorian Loop Bike Performing Tour will be screened during the “Difference Makers” segment of the evening.

Join the launch of Arts in Action with a screening of Manufactured Landscapes an award winning documentary film about the work of photographer and 2005 TED Prize winner Edward Burtynsky. A camera drive in support of the 1 camera 1000smiles project will also be held on the night, so please bring along any old unused cameras and photographic equipment which will be donated to the kids camera project. The Good Brew Company will be supplying beer, cider and/or wine brewed with a minimun carbon footprint. All inclusive, so come along bring your old cameras and toast the opening of Arts in Action with a good brew! Or if a Good Brew is not your cup of tea, then enjoy a STREAT coffee instead! Get your tickets at Greentix

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