Lakshmi Karunakaran and Anna Okrasko

Children of Dust.
Stories of children from closed mines

Lakshmi Karunakaran

Director/ Educator, is an art-based educator and communication professional based in Bangalore, India. She graduated from Visvesvaraya Technological University and Lakshmi Karunakaran started her career as a telecom engineer but soon shifted gears to work first as a communication specialist and later as an educator. She decided to move to the social sector and work with children and arts, she relocated to Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka state, South India where she lived and worked with government run primary schools for over a year. This inspired her to use art as a medium for education and she now works with Government schools in urban/rural areas, and in alternate and remedial schools. She also works with children experiencing social exclusion (e.g. children of waste workers). In collaboration with pedagogues she prepares them for further education. She currently works at Radio Active 90.4 MHz, Bangalore's first community radio station, as a consultant. She produces shows on gender minorities, child rights, inclusivity, arts and education. Lakshmi's interest in film and documenting childhood led her to create two short films 'Taboo or Not' and 'After the Revolution'.

Anna Okrasko

Visual artist, educator and volunteer. She was born in Warsaw and currently lives in Berlin. She graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. She has worked in Poland, the Netherlands and Germany. For several years, she has been dealing with subjects of contemporary transmigration. Her works explore the political dimension of (auto) biography and notions of identity, displacement or belonging. As an artist, she is also interested in the changes taking place in local communities and their environment. She has been observing this process for several years, while making artworks related to the city of Bytom. Since 2016, Anna Okrasko has been working as an educator in intercultural youth exchange initiatives. She combines political education focused on democracy and participation and the pedagogy of perception with her experience and skills in the field of visual arts. Within the framework of her art projects and her volunteer work, Okrasko has been taking up such topics as: migration, tolerance, democratic public space, belonging and identity. She conducts workshops for young people, combining language animation, intercultural communication and democratic training with visual arts (photography, film, painting, collage and sculpture), which support participative and inclusive processes.

The Children of Dust project is realized in frames of bilateral collaboration between Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Akademie Schloss Solitude and and thanks to the organizational support of Kronika Centre for Contemporar
This project is co-financed by Akademie Schloss Solitude and the City of Warsaw.