Pecha Kucha, Assembly, 05.11.11

For years I’ve seen Pecha Kucha marketed around Cape Town but when I last researched it, I thought it said something about short films. Even though I’d studies films, I don’t know, I just had a feeling it’d be boring or not worth checking out. I know this is a totally ignorant thing to think – how would you know if you don’t experience it? I’ve always kept this in mind.

10 days, once again Pecha Kucha popped up in my Twitter feed. This time I decided to revisit the information and it said, “Informal & inspirational presentations (20X20sec slides) about interesting ideas, people’s passions, etc…” And for some reason this struck a chord with me this time. Perhaps it’s because I myself have recently given a speech to inspire others, I’m looking for inspiration myself.

So last week Tuesday I arrived at the free event at the Assembly. I naively thought I’d be held in the Annex but to my surprise the main “dance floor” was packed out. There was barely a seat in the house! The crowd was also not the usual Assembly late night sort but rather 30 – 50s, all seemingly “creative” marketing, PR, social media, advertising types. Coming from the entertainment industry myself, I find these types rather fascinating. I don’t consider myself an artist but compared to this lot, I certainly am different.

The evening started with a gentleman thanking the sponsors and teaching the audience about Pecha Kucha all over the world. This was very interesting as I did not know it was such a global concept. He then introduced an excitable Canadian man, whose passion for the evening shone through. He warmly welcomed the audience and shared information about the event, how we can make a difference, he was sweet but I did find him a little silly over about talking on the microphone – no harm done, the audience was enjoying it and that’s all that matters. I could only stay for the first half so I was probably anxious to get the night under way!

The first speaker was Jonathan Warncke who spoke of how modern technology is propelling creativity into the next level. There’s no excuse not to be creative with so much inexpensive technology and ideas at our finger tips – that’s what I gathered from the speech any way! “If you start a blog, don’t worry if someone will or won’t like it. There’re 7 billion people on the planet, someone will like it.” “Create something, even if no one accepts it, it’s a lot more than others do on the planet.” type stuff!

Next up was Louise Coetzer and Oscar speaking about the Freedom of Movement project, how dance and movement develops society as a whole and how to make movement more accessible to the masses as a creative art. They showed beautiful slides of dancers and the joy of movement campaign. Although they were under confident as speakers, I enjoyed hearing about their project none the less. I do believe the arts are as valuable as sport – it develops humans self esteem, motivation, ability to work in a team therefore create unity, etc.

Third was Mark Berger who spoke about systems in the universe being similar to systems in the body. There are systems chugging away all day and all night externally, in the universe, and internally within our bodies. This gives us macro and micro perspective as living organisms. He had some beautiful slides but then again, I’ve always liked the night sky šŸ™‚

Niki Chapman from Generation Now was the forth speaker who passionately spoke of theĀ depletionĀ of animals and eco-systems on our earth. Initially I felt the audience had a, ‘Ya ya, animals, animals’ attitude but when she got into relative statistics, everyone sat up. She asked the question, what must change? She said there are only 3500 black rhinos left in the wild, 15 000 white rhinos, 8 – 10 000 cheatas in the wild and 100 million sharks are killed each year. WOW. Niki spoke of supporting projects that combat poaching and fund environmental projects. I love animals so I enjoyed this, plus she wore a cap with a rhino horn on that looked flipping hilarious! Love a person that uses humour with passion!

Jade De Waal, Master Chef reality star, completed the first half. She spoke about her passion for cooking and her project called Food Jamming which she started before entering the reality show. Food Jamming started when she began cooking in her college dorm room and later grew to include family and friends whereby every one gathers and learns to cook, etc. Ā This was later combined with music from Dank and Mr Sakitumi. Food and jamming = food jamming. Her passion for her project came through in her quirky accent and excitement for sharing, it was very enjoyable.

Unfortunately I had to leave at this stage but it was a really enjoyable night. Congratulations to all the featured speakers. I’m sorry I missed the other half and would definitely recommend you check it out. The next one is in Feb next year, 2013, visit theĀ Ā Pecha Kucha website for more information.

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