Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
TGS SPENT A WEEKEND up in the mountains of rural northern Thailand, assisting a hill tribe village in creating a space for their young children attending school. We were tasked with 3 projects on the school property during our 2.5 day stay.
Project #1: Fish Pond/Cement Slab
Students worked together to dig a large enough hole to create a fish pond that will help to promote sustainability within the community, as they usually go to the river daily to fish. A pond will allow them to maintain the fish longer and help teach the children responsibility. The dirt was repurposed to make the ground level with the outside of the building where we laid cement.
Project #2: Bamboo Fence
Another group lugged over large bundles of bamboo and spread out along a barbed wire fence. The bamboo has been cut into thin lengths and pieces were woven in and out of the barbed wire to create a fence that was more pleasing to the eye – not to mention a little safer. As TGS took to making the fence, local children came out and started helping by handing bamboo to us, some weaving pieces themselves.
Project #3: Boys and Girls Bathroom
The new toilets for the school already had the wood beams erected. Students got to work mixing cement and laying bricks to create walls around the space and close it in. There were numerous local people helping keep the brickwork level and in line, while giving tips about how to mix cement and the right amount to lay out to keep the bricks together. Groups switched from task to task every hour or so, and there were plenty of breaks for shade, snacks, and water.
Photography by Joann McPike and Lindsay Clark