Dramatic arts and fine arts

To have children discover how art can be an effective vehicle for promoting environmental concerns, mobilizing a group and communicating values.

• To develop children’s awareness of the role of nature in our
   lives and the damage caused by the mass production of
   consumer items
• To generate environmental awareness among children,
   showing them how we can safeguard our surroundings
   and benefit from nature without destroying it
• To develop awareness of the problems related to consumerism
   and over-consumption
• To allow participants to get acquainted and have fun
   together (socialization)
• To develop awareness of the expressive potential of the body
   and exercise the imagination

Invent a dramatic sequence that represents the mechanical aspect of work.
Recognize and appreciate a healthy environment.

Develop and use creativity
Associate gestures to emotions, feelings or sensations
Develop critical thinking
Communicate appropriately through drama
Develop a sense of identity


Activity #2A: Make a short cartoon strip

The workshop leader shows the film to the children, then asks them to comment on the changes that take place.

IMPORTANT: The leader stops the film at the point where the children (in the film) are working in the factory, and initiates a discussion about child labour.

The workshop leader can use the information backgrounder at the end of this page to create open-ended questions that help the children explore the topic of child labour.

Backgrounder: child labour

Group discussion

How did the children end up working in such a cold, impersonal place?
Is it normal for children to go to work?
In the film, can the work carried out by the children help them gain a sense of identity,
   realize their potential and become somebody? Why?

  Work plays an important role in human development. It helps us build a sense of identity, realize who we are. But only ‘meaningful’ work — work that affirms skill, fulfils lifelong ambitions or dreams and creates positive relationships — is constructive. Industrial work, which is by nature repetitive and devoid of meaning, is alienating: machines turn people into automatons, strip them of their autonomous power and restrict their natural gestures.

Do you know of any countries that use children as labourers?

  Web search
Conduct a Web search using the search term “child labour”
Example with Google
More Info
In-Terre-Actif Network: The Exploitation of Child Labour

Group discussion: exploring emotions
Do the children seem happy at the beginning?
Why are they so happy? What are they playing with?
What events occur to change their minds?
Do the children look happy at the point in the film where we left off?
But at the start, they seemed to embrace change!
   Identify your feelings — what tells that you they are not happy?
What lessons are there to be learned?

Working in groups, imagine a follow-up to the story that you express through a four-picture cartoon strip.

- A reflection period using visualization (seeing things inside your head)
- Brainstorming
- Selecting ideas from the brainstorming session
- Sketching out these ideas
- Drawing the four-picture cartoon strip

Activity review: the workshop leader plays the film a second time, including the finale. Participants are invited to compare their ‘endings’ with Frédéric Back’s.

Activity #2B: Let’s get moving!

Group discussion on the role of trees in our environment:
What roles do trees play in our environment?
     - Supplying oxygen through photosynthesis
     - Secure and retain the surrounding soil
       (prevent soil erosion)
     - Serve as a habitat for a great many living
     - Sometimes produce food — fruits and berries
        for human and/or animal consumption
     - Provide humans with an essential raw material
Can you name any objects made from wood?
   Houses, furniture, tools, paper, firewood, etc.

Transformation process
The workshop leader describes the process of transformation by which the tree becomes paper. The children can mime the tree’s transformation process with their bodies.

- I am a tree in the forest and I am growing tall
- I am cut down by a chainsaw
- I float down the river
- I enter the sawmill
- I am ground down to pulp
- I am flattened out and made into paper
- People write on me
- People crumple me up sand throw me into the recycling bin

Activity #2C: Creating a consumer item

The workshop leader shows the film to the children, bringing their attention to the mechanical aspect of assembly line work.

Group discussion
Have you ever noticed how many modern
   inventions are inspired by nature?
What do you think of when I say: A plane?
   Electricity pylons? Scuba-diving flippers?

From these examples, we can see how nature influences how we consume. We try to recreate the world, like the magician in the film.

Comment on the children’s actions.
Are their gestures spontaneous?
How would you qualify their gestures?
Is it natural for a child to make repetitive gestures?
Can anyone explain what an assembly line is?

Backgrounder: assembly lines

In groups of six, invent assembly lines that represent the transformation of an element found in nature.

- First choose a natural element, animal or plant, and decide what it is going to become.
- Then imagine the actions needed to change that element into a consumer item.
- Each participant becomes a machine that in some way transforms the chosen element.
- The transformation must occur in six stages. There should be meaning in each action — no
   pointless gestures, just actions that serve to describe the transformation process.
- At the end of one stage, the participant passes the virtual object to the next person in the line.
- Each child’s intervention differs from the last; each child keeps the preceding actions in mind. (The combination of real/imaginary and mechanical/fluid movements will have an effect on those watching the performance.)
- Create sounds for the various movements, associating one sound to each gesture and repeating the sound each time the gesture is performed.

Sketch out your ‘assembly line,’ including sounds. Each participant draws his/her idea and comments on it at the end of the group presentation.


Your suggestions:
Share your comments with us

Title of your comments: