2018-12-03 14:00 — Belfast, Ireland
Art at school
Worldwide, education is evolving and more attention is being given to the literary expression in schools, which was reflected in the Queen University film festival, the QFT Film Festival. But it’s not only here that art has been introduced in schools, the literary workshops that I provided at a school is also a form of art, and was the climax of my Other Words Project.
QFT Film Festival: A Northern Soul
This film was inspiring in every sense of the word. To start, a random available camera, has been used to record the film, which was edited to perfection, where necessary, in the editing stage. This serves as a motivation for anyone who would like to document something, but also as a reminder that you do not have to have the most modern and sophisticated equipment to make a film.
This film also serves as a stimulant for anyone who would like to start their own business based on their passion. Steve, the main character, has used his passion for hip-hop and rap as a method of expression, to help the primary school kids build their self-confidence and accept differences among each other. He worked hard to make his dream a reality, but he also had the support of others. ARCO, the factory where he used to work, helped him by sponsoring the bus that he needed to fulfill his dream. In addition, they also cooperated by allowing him to work flexible hours. However, this did not grant him sufficient time, so Steve has decided to quit his job and dedicate his time completely towards fulfilling his dream. A dream that almost became a nightmare at a moment in time, due to the financial burden. However, thanks to the support of coaches, who have helped him, he managed to successfully make his dream come true.
The bus, called Beats Bus, provided the desired result. Steve visited several schools, especially the ones in the poor neighborhoods, where he hosted several workshops, where kids not only got to rap or record a CD, but also experience everything related to the world of music. From the creation of the music itself to the choreography. It was nice to see that even the shy kids and the ones that felt that they were bullied, actively participated in this project and were even very verbal. This proves that art is an essential form of expression, which positively contributes to the development of kids and teens.
Literature Workshop at school
As part of my project, I chose creative writing as a subject, with an emphasis on poems. Together with a writer, which varied per workshop, I had a chance to share, provide information on my language Papiamentu, and allow the participants to reflect on their own identity and the importance of their own language, even though it’s considered a minority language, during the workshop. Each workshop had a duration of an hour and a half, where the importance of diversity was also covered.
This experience was one that words cannot describe. It was incredible to see how active and involved the kids were and more interesting was that the boys were more active during the writing and sharing part of the workshop. One cannot imagine, what a positive effect creative writing in a language class, can have on the development of a child or teen. Expressions, such as “We had fun”, are expressions that teachers haven’t heard in a while, but was one that resonated during the workshops. I was delighted to see when the children realize that creative writing can be therapeutic, but it was also delightful to hear that this activity has served as an inspiration for the teacher. Last but not least, it was amazing to see how creative a child can be once he/she is given the space to do so. But even better was the added value that these types of activities bring to the table, where the child reflects on the aspects of life in a pleasant way.