Building Blocks kicked off this youth month with yet another bootcamp. In the year that marks the 44th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto student uprising that echoed the voices of thousands of youth voices, the students rose to the challenge once again.
The third student bootcamp for 2020 kicked off on the winter’s afternoon of 8 June and ran through to 12 June 2020. No one could have imagined the meanders and plot twists of the year 2020. South Africa was In the third month of a national lockdown due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the influenza epidemic that has swept across the world.
In this instance COVID-19 does not exist in isolation, it features as the backdrop of heightening tensions across the world which have marked the insurgence of international protests.
The tensions began with the murder of George Floyd who died at the hands of a white police office in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Derek Chauvin, the police officer, pressed his knee Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd begged for mercy, repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” Crowds could be heard petitioning with the officer in the background in the incident that was all recorded on camera.
Back home in South Africa, there have been tensions between deployed military forced and citizens which have had fatal consequences. Gender based crimes have increased in scale and brutality as the war against women and queer bodies continues. People have taken to the streets to demonstrate in their numbers, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The noise surrounding the world has led to the need for a urgent, nuanced and sustainable solutions to a multifaceted problems. Bearing the weight and complexity of all issued, Building Blocks inducted a cohort of students to solve for the problems at hand and create a platform for collaborative ideation.
The solutions ranged from alert devices, digital apps and social media campaigns. These were demonstrated via an online market day that welcomed the public for comment and assessment.
Congratulations to the Building Blocks Online Bootcamp Class of June 2020. You have demonstrated brilliance in a time of chaos and reinforced the notion that during the most crucial moments in society, the platitudes remain true.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”Marianne Williamson