Papier-Mâché Mache Dolls: Life Memoir

Sweet Memories 

1965 Christmas…

I came down the stairs rushing to open my Christmas’ gift. Laying down underneath the tree,  small box laced up was waiting for me. I rushed to pick it anxious to see the content. A black doll with jet burgundy hair color was waiting for me.  I felt in love at first site!

Each  doll I make has it own story! My goal is to recreate my personal journey, a kind of memoir dealing about  my life’s encounters. Mostly of my stories have a happy ending. The sad ones, I keep dearly encrusted in  my heart. I’ve been waiting for the time that I’d able to create art. Because, it  comes handy to sudden the spirits and accept our fate.

As a storyteller, I share ideias, illusions, realities and images.  Having a doll without a face, leave space for everybody’s imagination. Many different dolls through history have had no features. It is  a part of my world beyond the borders between race, age, nationality  and stereotypes.

Meet Kabila & Olivia: Guess who are them? Young fresh pearls setting a part from the immense Atlantic Ocean.

Kabila represents all the dynamic, and sweet children that I met once in Soweto in 1996. They sang and danced to greet us at the Annual Teacher’s Convention! Through their powerful  voice and charismatic demeanor I travel back home to Olivia.

Where is she? I missed her dearly!

My dearest classmate at junior high school in Rio. Sometimes we’d take together the long way back  home from school. By foot, therefore we’d be saving money tô buy sweet snacks in the school cafeteria.

We’re inseparable in school, but she never invited me to her house, on the hills!

Vic Sanz@(Miriam)

Dois de Julho School

Lovely Time Teaching Elementary School in Rio de Janeiro: Young and Passionate Teacher

Young and Passionate Teacher

My first job as a teacher,  in the  80’s turned out to be a challenge. I was assigned to a school located in one of the poorest communities in the city. The inner city population in my country lacks the basic needs to make trough the day.  Building school for the poor is not the government priority !

As a result violence, crime, drug abuse and trafficking  is rampant in the poorest communities, and students tend to challenge and disrespect teachers.

The school situation that I was assigned to work  was a messy! It was neither satisfactory even for its population. At the end of school year, a week before Christmas everybody start to pack to leave permanently. Until today there are no choices, either we strike for months or quit the job.

Unfortunately, I found an unfriendly environment lacking of furniture, books, and basic stuff to run a school program.  The new staff and the parents association united to rebuild the school. All  efforts we made came through, and our children were eager to learn.

One day something tragic happened! The police raided de favela, shooting the trafficking gang! Unfortunately, a bullet hit one of our student in the head.It was a tragedy! After the incident I request to be assigned to another school.

I moved to a nearby school, in a better neighborhood which served mostly kids from different communities. It was painted pink and red to pay homage to the fireman squad. I lived in a housing project a few blocks away from my new school.

On my first day of work, I fell in love with my new school! The kids most in need of quality time were well behaved. A place where teacher’s dedication were really appreaciated.

I was welcomed by staff members and the principal. It was a lifetime experience which left an undeniable mark on my life. Over the years, school’s polices had changed. Nowadays, teacher have more choices of materials and less input over decision make.

Joyful, I embraced the task willing to help every child. I guess I did well as a teacher! Recently a former student contacted me and we spoke briefly!  To my pleasure she also became  a teacher !

Vic Sanz @(Miriam)