Exercise on drawing and thinking

1. choose your leaf, the leaf you like the more

It would be better to leave it on the plant, but if it is not comfortable for you to sit and draw close to it – I don’t know, maybe it’s raining – take it with a bit of stem and put it in water. If not, you will deal with a dying thing!

2. trace it

3. draw it with a pencil

4. using a pen, draw it either with lines or dots or other simple shapes

5. go there, close to the plant, choose the best point of view and try to copy the leaf.  Start using a   pencil. Then, ask to a friend to guess which leaf of that plant you have chosen and drawn

6. try to draw the leaf without looking at it and using  your imagine of leaf

7. colour it using one colour only and then  five different ones

These different ways to draw and think a leaf  are exercises for your mind, eyes and hands to improve the way you observe and think the world.

They can help you to change point of view and even increase your capacity to face problems.

Next exercise:  now try to draw the issue of the day from different points of view


Why do you wear skinny jeans?!

working the land

– They Gorgeous!
– B-)
– Yeah ilyk it  coz dey presrv my culture
– :-O
– Wat nw??
– Do you preserve your culture?
– Yah sure!
– Why do you wear skinny jeans? And not grass n animal skins?
– Things goes wid tym, dressin’ goes wid occsns

This whatsapp chat has followed  the picture above, which was sent by a student of the workshop. It was taken during the shooting of the first scene of  our film and it consisted in a dialogue between a mother and her daughter,  while they were working the land, in the rural tanzanian environment.
Among the main topics of the movie (food production, food security and agriculture), the future and the education of the girl, the control of the mother and the attempt of the daughter to defend her wishes are themes that have emerged naturally like in the best  improvisation sections.
Where will the argument between african tradition and skynny jeans lead us to?
…. Stay tuned!

Roots, Flowers and Spider

African Spider Flower: first steps for its portrait.

Spider Plant, Gynandropsis gynandra, Cleome Gynandra, African Spider Plant, Spiderwisp.


Indigenous Species’ Portraits

Surely you are aware that there are many different edible species and varieties all around the world, even if the usual monocultures are dominating the landscape.
What is more, these indigenous plants are often treated as weed, despite their high value, in terms of nutritional qualities, environmental conservation and  economical emancipation for farmers.

In the framework of SAFE Gardens project, we started a workshop with the Olorien Secondary School of Arusha: “Indigenous Species’ Portraits”, an artistic exploration and description of some of the most interesting local edible species.

Here we would like to introduce to you some of these plants of Tanzania and surroundings, starting with African Nightshade, African Spider Flower, Jute Mallow and Vanilla. Well, Vanilla is not an african indigenous, but we included it in our portfolio for its culinary and economical potential.

Waiting for the portraits, have a look inside our workshop!

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How do we eat? Little Cinema

Expo 2015, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life is beginning, thus the SAFE Gardens  team in Tanzania started its investigation about food habits, with a group of students from the Arusha Day Secondary School. These are 16 to 18 years old smart boys and girls, all born in Tanzania, but actually with many different cultural origins: somali, iraqi, kenyan, sudanese among the others.

The artistic research focuses on the relationship with food and food traditions, working on this kind of  questions: what do we eat? Where do we find food? Which are our stories on food? Etc.
The aim is to create a common film narrative,  thanks to the ispiration and the methodology of the spanish collective Cine sin Autor.


This is our garden today

Can we live in the forest?

By taking into consideration ourselves as human beings, organized in societies, communities and groups, how can we live happily and healthily in the “Nature”, without destroying it?

This is a really common question.

The Eden and paradises are gardens: green things (actually multicoloured living and non-living things organized together) domesticated and reconciliated with the humanity. Could the forest be our garden (or our garden a forest)?

In the forest, we collect flowers and food, water and stories. In the garden, we create spaces and meanings. Culture and nature are intercropped since the beginning, inspiring and feeding each others.

However, let’s  keep for now this story on a side.
Today is a sunny and amazing day and this is our garden, in Arusha.



Themi Living Garden, Arusha.