Tabadul: First Neighborhood Forum Reflections

Posted On:
17 December, 2016
NewsSchool Partnerships

SO MUCH student celebration! It was awesome to have so many ways to celebrate our students and to give them ways to connect with each other as Philly kids. Students don’t get many opportunities to interact with students from other schools, that was a really special part of the event. – Palumbo teacher Colleen Lawson-Thornton

On December 9, 2016, taking tabadul – exchange to the city level, students come together to jointly share and engage with their artwork on culture and identity in different neighborhoods. As the the forums are open to the public, we were joined by community members, a representative from Barra Foundation, one of the main funders of the project, and PhillyCam students. Colleen’s students were MC’s and curated the interactive photography exhibit.

Students from Palumbo’s Philly Youth Poetry Movement performed their profound spoken word. One pair shared their spoken word on the influence of detective shows and another group of three girls performed their spoken word about the complexity of how others respond to their identity as too African in America and too American in Africa. Kayla Hunt from NEHS performed “Mirror Facing the Mirror”, Jacob presented “Or”, students from the Tabadul class shared some of their poems on Place. This was followed by an interactive photography exhibit, which participants were asked to engage with the photos using guiding questions. Fireball Printing made this possible by printing NEHS student photos for free. At the same time Jacob Winterstein has participants write a line responding to This is where… tacking it to a map of Philadelphia and connecting it with someone else’s experience. For Colleen, “This event gave me a reminder of what complex people my students are. I enjoyed seeing their photography and being able to get a glimpse and how they view the world and how they want the world to view them through their pictures.”

The evening culminated with an array of cultural foods reflective of the South Philly neighborhood around Palumbo. All food was generously donated from these food establishments: Sansom Kabob House, Talluto’s, Blue Corn, Al-Zaytouna, Taffet’s, Quetzally and Las Llomas. Don’t forget to check them out and tell them you tasted or heard about them from Al-Bustan’s Tabadul Project! #TabadulPHL