All posts by Naja Matzen

Videos from the final event in Denmark

It is time to watch movies! There have been made two videos about CICLO 2014, and now they are finally ready. CICLO was visited by Lyngby Medieskole (Lyngby Media School) during the final event at DR Koncerthuset the 21st and 22nd of May, and the visit resulted in a fine little video. The video shows the great atmosphere during the event and shoes the participating childrens fantastic enthusiasm and drive. It was two great days, which were the culmination of some of the childrens local CICLO school projects. Furthermore CICLO was visited by video artist Malwa Grabowska, who has produced a more artistic version of the event.

 

South African designer Fabian Hartzenberg joined the final weeks of CICLO.

As part of CICLO 2014’s artist exchange program, the young South African designer and design teacher Fabian Hartzenberg visited Denmark in week 20 and 21. Fabian works as Surface Design Teacher at Frank Joubert Art Centre, the South African CICLO partner. He is also a part of the Ibhabhathane project, where he teaches other teachers, and he has previously worked in the design industry and has experience in art and design education in both 2 – and 3D.

Workshop with Fabian Hartzenberg at Børnekulturhus Amar'r
Workshop with Fabian Hartzenberg at Børnekulturhus Amar’r

During his visit to Denmark Fabian has among other things shared his knowledge and creativity at Børnekulturhus Ama’r, a childrens culture center in Copenhagen. Here he worked creatively with the kids on creating original art and design projects and taught at design workshops.

Creative children at Fabians workshop in DR Koncerthuset May 21st
Creative children at Fabians workshop in DR Koncerthuset May 21st

Along with several of the other international CICLO artists, Fabian also took part in Spring Festival, a children’s culture festival in Copenhagen from May 14th – 19th, where he also taught at workshops. In collaboration with the Russian artists and the children participating in the festival, Fabian created the beautiful entrance portal for the big final CICLO event at DR Koncerthuset. The portal was made out of flags, little boxes, painted masks and puppets made of fabric and pipe cleansers.

The beautiful portal for CICLO in DR Koncerthuset
The beautiful portal for CICLO in DR Koncerthuset

At the final CICLO event in DR Koncerthuset the 21st and 22nd of May, Fabian also held design workshops, where he taught a number of Danish schoolchildren.  Here the children designed and drew their own colorful cards of South Africa.

Fabians workshop at CICLO in DR Koncarthuset May 21st
Fabians workshop at CICLO in DR Koncarthuset May 21st

Russian artists introduced Danish children to Russian music, art and puppet theatre!

In the last two weeks three Russian artists visited Denmark as part of the CICLO project. During their visit the three artist Nadia Meschankina-Awad, visual artist and educator at the Russian CICLO partner St. Petersburg city Palace of Youth Creativity (Anichkov Palace), Maria Schnyukova, actor and teacher in puppet theatre at St. Petersburg city Palace of Youth Creativity (Anichkov Palace), and Kirill Kuzmin, musician and conductor, have taught, performed and contributed to different CICLO projects across Denmark.

Nadia Meshankina-Awad's workshop at the CICLO event in DR Koncerthuset, May 21st
Nadia Meschankina-Awad’s workshop at the CICLO event in DR Koncerthuset, May 21st

First of all the three artists visited the CICLO Schools in Vejle. Here they took part of the rehearsals for the schools final performance, and improvised with the children and their Danish CICLO artist Christian Schrøder and Pernille Bach. They also took part in the schools local final performance.

Maria at Spring Festival
Maria Schnyukova at Spring Festival

In Copenhagen the three Russians helped make the children’s cultural festival, Spring Festival, 14th – 19th may, a success. Kirill performed with the festivals storyteller, Nadia took part in artistic workshops where the children created artworks from trash and Maria showed the children how to make beautiful puppets. Along with the participating children and the South African artist Fabian Hartzenberg , they also created the beautiful and colorful entrance portal for the final CICLO event at DR Koncerthuset, from painted masks and puppets made of pipe cleansers and fabric.

Nadia
Nadia Meschankina-Awad at Spring Festival

Maria, Nadia and Kirill also visited the school Peder Lykke Skole in Copenhagen and the the cultural center for children, Børnekulturhus Ama’r, where they also teached in workshops.

Kirill Kuzmin performs at the CICLO event in DR Koncerthuset, May 21st
Kirill Kuzmin performs at the CICLO event in DR Koncerthuset, May 21st

The last part og their intinerary and the culmination of the visit was the big final CICLO eve3nt at DR Koncerthuset, where all the three artist participated. Nadia Meshankina-Awad taught a creative arts workshop for school classes where the children together created a tree by cutting, pasting, drawing, decorating and painting different things such as leaves, birds and butterflies, that all became part of the final artwork. Maria Schnyukova taught a puppet theatre workshop. Here the children got in touch with their creativity and were allowed to be physical. For the children had to do both acting excercises and create puppets out of fabrics and various props. Kirill performed on stage. He played songs and made a show with different sounds with the participating children.

Children making birds at Nadia Meschankina-Awad's workshop
Children making birds at Nadia Meschankina-Awad’s workshop
Puppet Theatre wrokshop with Maria Schnyukova
Puppet Theatre wrokshop with Maria Schnyukova

 

Kasper Købke’s meaningful experience Cape Town

During the last couple of weeks, the Danish artist Kasper Heron Købke has been in Cape Town as a part of the arts educator exchange program included in the international CICLO Arts Education project. During his three week stay, Købke conducted workshops at different schools in Cape Town and at the Frank Joubert Art Centre which is a CICLO partner. The overall CICLO theme explores how arts education in schools can enable children to devise sustainable future plans for their respective ‘local hoods’.

We asked Kasper Købke a couple of questions about his work progress in South Africa and how he included the CICLO theme in his work in Cape Town.

 

How do you work with the theme ‘My hood’ in your workshops?
My approach to the theme ‘My hood’ depends on which participants I have at the workshops: if it is children at the age of 10-12, 16-17 or school teachers and how much arts experience they have. First of all, the main thing is to create a an atmosphere of confidence in which everyone without hesitation expresses exactly what they have on their minds both in spoken, written and especially visual form. To enable this, I use an ‘ice-breaker’ drawing game which, in a matter of minutes, engages everyone in drawing, laughing and pushing of limits in a comfortable environment.

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After the ‘ice-breaker’, the students and their teachers are more open and dare to express their ideas. Using this as a starting point, I explain the CICLO project and the theme ‘My Hood – Re-imagining my Future’. By bringing in experiences from similar projects I’ve worked with, I try to share how the theme can be addressed. I often use a projector showing earlier relevant work which we then discuss together. I stress that ‘My Hood’ can be addressed in both a realistic or surrealistic perspective: perhaps they want to show their dreams and wishes for their hood in the future or what they expect will happen in their hood.

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We then brainstorm on a mind map either in small groups or all together. We write or draw every thinkable or unthinkable idea and input related to ‘My Hood’ which creates many versatile associations in each individual.

In the next phase, they start to work on their actual product described in their mind map-brainstorm. Depending on their age, experience and the time I have with each group during my three weeks, their personal work is created. Some work with big A1 sheets having two and a half weeks to finish their personal work with pencils or crayons. Others do 3D works involving cutting, gluing, folding, painting and drawing while others create big joint works giving each student a little section in a large joint work depicting Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town. This allows them to show their personal touch. These are only a couple of examples on how the students and teachers work on their creations.

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How is the children affected and what does it mean for their ‘hood’?
I believe that my workshops yield a greater insight on the local hood among the children. They are encouraged to reflect on the place where they’ve presumably lived all their life which is something many of them have never done before. Especially the children coming from the poorest areas in Cape Town are showing progress. Through reflection and dialogue with their classmates and especially through their many hours of work on their own creations, the children without a doubt gain a deeper insight on their own ‘hood’ and thereby their world. By expressing their future in concrete words and images, they see things in a new perspective which, hopefully, contributes to their future possibilities of creating the life they would like to live. This might sound like big words but I’m sure that, through these activities, we contribute to the expansion of each child’s insight and perception of his or hers life and, in addition, through the learning of new concrete tools enable them to express this. Not necessarily resulting in you and me understanding the child more comprehensively but more importantly enabling the child’s self-understanding.

We have made a strong start but we have also just begun. It is crucial that we continue this work for many years to come. It is a kick-start enabling a larger and continuing process. That is why the ‘Teacher Workshops’ are crucial, as the teachers truly want to be ambassadors sharing the message about Arts Education and the concrete techniques with the children and not least with their colleagues.

 

How did they work with ‘arts education’ at the Frank Joubert Art Centre?
Among other things, Frank Joubert Art Centre holds ‘Teacher Workshops’ where teachers from Cape Town’s different schools can attend. The content can vary from workshop to workshop but it always focuses on giving the teachers some concrete input to their teaching at the schools. For example concrete tools that they can include in their teachings right away. The teachers want these workshops to be very practical, so that they can get their hands into the toolbox, so to speak, and try out different creative tools.

Last Saturday, I held one of these ‘Teacher Workshops’ where the teachers worked with specific drawing and visualization techniques which they later on will be able to use in their own teaching. When I teach teachers, I always focus on the fact that the teachers not only have to learn my techniques but that they also have to learn how to they can teach these techniques to their own students; ’Teach the Teachers to teach others’. It is my understanding that this is exactly the focal point for all the ‘Teacher Workshops’ that the Frank Joubert Art Centre holds.

This is just one of the specific activities the Frank Joubert Art Centre has in relation to arts education. Furthermore, I know that they, at least once a year, drive through South Africa and visit the most disadvantaged schools in order to teach the teachers in many different creative disciplines and techniques. This is targeted at the schools and teachers who have limited or no funds and therefore are not able to pay for at trip to receive education in the creative arts.

 

What can Danish children learn from the schoolchildren in Cape Town’s thoughts, ideas, and projects about the Hood?
The obvious, of course, is that the Danish children gain insight into the lives and education of the South African children, which is especially the case for the Danish students who actually work with a class from Cape Town by sharing a blog in the CICLO internet-school collaboration. Furthermore, I think that the Danish children will realize that all children, no matter where they live on this earth, pretty much dream about the same things. They have the same hopes and wishes as everyone else. And then the Danish children will definitely find out that the children from South Africa are intelligent, polite, hard-working, talented and extremely creative. And that they have a drive and imagination that can take them far in life if they only get the opportunities to do so. So I will definitely encourage the Danish school children to absorb as much inspiration and ingenuity as possible when they see the South African children’s mind maps, ideas and finished works. For the South African children’s reflections, dreams and creativity will definitely be able to put the Danish children’s perception of life and creativity into a different and more nuanced perspective. It has certainly done so for me.

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I believe that the CICLO project in Cape Town is fantastic, meaningful and rewarding on many levels, and it is undoubtedly just the beginning of many years of learning various drawing and visualization techniques both at the Frank Joubert Art Centre and all their cooperating schools in Cape Town.

My hope for these three weeks in Cape Town has always been just that. That I could come to Cape Town and plant a seed in each and every one of the students and teachers I have had the opportunity to teach there. A seed which would subsequently grow larger and larger and be spread to even more people over the next weeks, months and years.

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I have already received fantastic works created by both the students and the teachers which I am looking forward to show to all of you. I am especially looking forward to bring them back to Denmark and make them a concrete part of the big final event and exhibition in connection with the UNESCO Arts Education Week in May. In Cape Town, everybody are looking very much forward to see the final exhibition as well.

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