In September the AoC put out a call to commission some posters. Now it is fair to say a lot was learnt about the process of doing this- and we got a lot wrong in the beginning- you may have seen us put things up and take things down on social media- you know living our principle ‘It’s OK to fail’ and figuring things out as we go along.
But now what we have is a great process for the future and we have worked collaboratively with 2 artists to bring you a gift- share them digitally with friends and colleagues, print them out and put them on your walls. Catherine Wilks our Art’s Activism Lead tells you a little about the Artists and their stories.
Artist: Jamila Walker
Find out more about her work on her website here.
‘It excites me the way Camerados builds communities and brings together people who wouldn’t ordinarily engage with each other to create positivity within individuals and thus the wider world.’
In Catherine’s conversations with Jamila they talked about people being alongside one another and the challenges sometimes of mixing with people who don’t like you, who have different experiences and perspectives. The poster asks us to find ways to be alongside people- strangers, friends, Camerados.
Artist: Victoria Herriman
Find out more about her work here.
This is a short tale about what inspires me about Camerados, it is the story of the silent Camerados.
The word Camerados was not spoken, but they were Camerados in all their glory. I realise now that the 6 principles have snuck there way into my life.
I met the silent Camerados in March 2019 when I was down on my luck. I had lost my job and I was feeling a bit rubbish. I did not want to go out or do anything.
My husband was feeling bored so I suggested he go on social media and find something he could do in the community. (a word I rarely used back then). He found an event and contacted the organiser.
This was the day he started the chain of events. He did that by connecting.
After the event, my husband introduced me to the organiser. We shared our stories with each other, and some origami and she invited me to volunteer for her organisation that she had put years of work into. She knew I was struggling so invited me to help her. We were very different. We had different views on things and thought differently but we shared Values. I was not used to this. We were so different that I was shocked she wanted to spend time with me. She was the silent Camerado 1.
I started going out and helping her with her events and I started connecting with people. I even did a speech on the power of connection at the local theatre.
I was asked to do some graphics work as I had studied art. I enjoyed it and my skill was helpful to people. I was no longer Victoria the layabout, Victoria the lonely, I had purpose I became Victoria the graphic designer.
Then she connected me with Camerado 2 who helped people start their own businesses. I went to a is a coop right for you workshop that Camerado 2 was hosting and connecting with Don a web designer. We hit it off and decided our skills matched and that we should go into business together.
More powerful connecting.
Then Camerado1 and Camerado2 fell in love maybe not relevant but an important part of the story.
I did wonder how long it would be until they realised that they should not be associating with me. I was so different to them. I had a different background. I made mistakes. I messed up. I sabotaged my own happiness. I was a little bit selfish, but I could fail. I was shown compassion and introduced to the value of “we don’t fix things or people”. I could ask questions and we could disagree, and they were still there.
They made me the creative director of their organisation with almost Zero experience. They let me try, Fail and Have fun with my work. I built a portfolio. They have seen me at my worst and my best. They are still there.
Over a year later I was adding a “friends” document to the website and amongst the links was the link to Camerados.org. Where I read the principles and finally realised why. They were Camerados.
Why they did not say anything I am not quite sure. I find the principles powerful and they can be lifechanging. They were for me. I still cannot quite believe what has happened because of the silent Camerados.
In Catherine’s conversations with Victoria they talked about what makes connecting with people and being alongside one another easier, and the answers often came back to sharing cake and drinking tea.
What I love about these posters is the more I look at them the more I see. I think that working with artists has the potential to strike up so many new conversations and I really look forward to collaborating with more artists and commissioning more in the new year.
If you do print out the posters we recommend printing the design on 250gsm white card. Enjoy and share away.
Connect with Catherine our Arts & Activism lead if you would like to talk about future commissions or if you have ideas about how we can collaborate.