​History

 
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How we started

“Bornfree Art School” was established in Bangalore on 15th August in 2005, as John and Mioi put their mind together for a social change against child labour. From the day one, John and Mioi went to the streets to talk to children who were rag picking, begging, selling some stuff, and taking drugs. Those children, often sniffing toxic glues to trip somewhere and sleeping like street dogs, had nothing in their lives – no shelter, no food, no parents, no education except their survival instincts. Mioi remembered she went to a street after a street to identify them, trying to convince them to come to our school. She had to “bribe” them with ice creams, dosas and so on, talking to them for hours and hours. Most kids did not come with her instantly. Sometimes She got a call in the middle of the night, kids begging her to pick them up from the street….Oh, yes, let’s “rescue” them from the dirty streets!
Once children came from streets to Bornfree Art School, they got into what John and Mioi created through arts. The Bornfree provided them with arts as ‘entertainment through education’ and ‘education through entertainment’. Arts were tools to liberate them from drugs and stealing. Arts are so powerful that some of the children were able to leave drug addictions and focus on education. However, there were always ups and downs among them; some children harmed themselves, went out of control, and needed much psychological help. The Bornfree also operated hostels from 2005 to 2015 to give them accommodations and hand-holding support.

History of Bornfree Art School

 
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2005

January

Apr-May

Aug

Dec

  • Registration of Gondwanaland Foundation - predecessor of the Bornfree

  • Pre-Camp;10 children from each of 5 NGOs participated and 8 among them became the first students in art

  • Inauguration of Bornfree Art School

  • "Oceans of Joy" Festival

2006

Feb-March

Sep


Dec

  • "History Expedition"(HEX) traveling photo shoot *25000 photos as a record of Child Labour

  • Photo exhibition of "History Expedition "in Bangalore

  • Photo exhibition of "History Expedition" in Delhi

  • Art Camp "Childerize the World"

2007

March

May

June

July

Dec


  • "History Expedition" traveling photo shoot in Tamil Nadu

  • John and Mioi spoke as guest speakers at PEACE BOAT

  • Photo exhibition of "History Expedition" in Bangalore on World Day Against Child Labour

  • Bornfree kids submitted the HEX photos to UNICEF and the Minister of Labour(Action against Child Labour)

  • Art Camp "Childerize the World"

2008

March

Sep

Nov-Dec

  • "Shiroi Hana" performance released

  • Performed at Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War in 6 big cities of Japan

  • Peace Bycycle around 8 states in India

2009

April

  • Creation of "Che Che"

2010

Nov


  • Started shooting of "Ananda ~An ode to joy"

  • Organic Ragi Farm Project for one year

2011

July

Aug

​Oct

  • Performance of "Heiwa Zou Resha" in Chennai and Bangalore

  • Japan tour for "Heiwa Zou Resha" performance

  • Premiere show of "Ananda" in Tokyo and Hiroshima

  •   Premiere show of "Ananda" in Bangalore

2012

June
Dec

  • Dance festival "Oceans of Joy"

  • Founded the Bornfree Dance Company

2013

May
June

  • Creation of "Prophets of Peace"

  • Creation of "Rosa Mystica"

2014

Jan

​Aug

  • Creation and exhibition of Bornfree Guernica with Fukushima refugees

  • Painting Exhibition "Peace Child" with Japanese participants

  • Started shooting of a Dalit advocacy movie "Angels of Hell"

  • Painting Exhibition "Peace Child" with Japanese participants

2015

July

​Aug

  • Opened an art studio at Shankaraa Foundation

  •  10th Anniversary of Bornfree with Japanese participants

  • Constructed Camel School at the slum and started classes for the slum children

2016

Aug


​Nov

  • Sadako's Crane statue building and Peace Festival with Japanese participants at Christ School

  • Art workshops with Shakti Center in Madurai

  • Peace Bycycle to Channapatna

2017

Aug

  • Peace Festivals and workshops with Japanese participants at Gurukul School and Christ School

  • Peace Painting at Lalbagh Flower Show

2018

Aug

  • Peace Commemoration Festival and Sadako Statue workshops with Japanese participants

2019

Aug

  • Peace art workshops with Japanese participants

  • Peace Festival and Peace Dome making at Vijayanagar School

2020

July 12, 2025


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