The Youth, Art and Social Transformation was a great opportuntity for young people to connect with one another, and with their cultures

Twenty-seven artistic works, from 14 Provinces and spotlighting the talents of young people - in theater, dance, song, music, and circus - were the focus of the Salesian Social Works Artistic Festival, entitled "Youth, Art and Social Transformation."

This festival’s objective, which took place last Aug. 30 and 31, was to highlight the role of young people as agents of change, in their lives as well as in society, especially recognizing the talents of young people participating in the Social Works of America and making their full potential visible.

The festival was also attended, as commentators, by Salesians from different countries who are very familiar with the activities of the Social Works and who work as Provincials, Youth Ministry Delegates, Vicars, and members of Salesian organizations: Juan Linares (President of "Jóvenes y Desarrollo"), Fr Marcelo Farfán (ECU), Fr Manolo Cayo (PER), Fr Jorge Bastidas (VEN), Fr Francisco Lezama (URU), Fr Francisco Miranda (PAR), Fr Francisco Sánchez (ECU), Fr René Santos (CAM). Fr Gabriel Romero, Regional Councilor for America South Cone, and Fr Hugo Orozco, Regional Councilor for Interamerica, opened the event on both days.

Represenetatives from the Bolivia province perform

One of the goals of RASS is to make visible the great effort by Social Works to transform the lives of children, adolescents, and youth in vulnerable situations, and on this occasion, through art, themes such as resilience, the struggle for dreams, rights and the reduction of inequality were addressed.

During the two-day festival, each young artist shared a piece of their lives and dreams and did so by expressing themselves through the rhythms of the Colombian "champeta," the "cumbias" of various countries, Andean dances or through songs dedicated to Don Bosco, circus performances, puppets, theater, poetry, and percussion. Through art, they touched hearts and raised awareness about the social problems of young people and how much more the Salesians have to work to transform the reality of America.

The Salesian Provinces that participated in the festival were: Colombia - Medellin (COM), Venezuela (VEN), Peru (PER), Colombia - Bogota (COB), Haiti (HAI), Central America (CAM), Bolivia (BOL), Argentina North (ARN), Uruguay (URU), Paraguay (PAR), Chile (CIL), Mexico - Mexico (MEM), Ecuador (ECU) and Argentina South (ARS).

Representatvies from the Central America province perform.

"Undoubtedly, there is much artistic and transformative potential in the children, adolescents, and youth of America's social works," they write from RASS, "and the latter is fostered through the dedication, love, and patience of the educators, lay and ordained, who make it possible. As RASS, we have the great challenge of multiplying Valdocco for today's youth so that we can be a network where we relate, communicate and feel like an inclusive and transformative family that generates opportunities for integral development."

The 27 individual exhibitions and the live broadcast of the festival, from both days, are available on Youtube.

With thanks to ANS for this story