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Youth Projects


Fantastic Places

by Luisa Caldas

The goal of the project:

The goal was to meet and discuss current ecological situation. I wanted to have a conversation with my participants about ecological aspects of our daily life.

Method used:

Creative Collaborative Approach | Seven Step Configuration Analysis Towards Photography: understanding the personality behind photographs

The process of conducting the project:

My fourth workshop was called “Fantastic places”. It took place on the 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st of January, in Academia de Música de Costa Cabral. The project was made with two groups of children between 10 and 12 years old, that were divided in small groups and to whom was asked a question: What if this place was an entrance to a magical world? The main idea was to help them reconnect with their imagination, by asking them to make up imaginary places and bringing them to life by building some fantasy scenarios.

After showing them some examples of what they could make, we went outside, into the property’s garden, where the groups chose a place to work with, took a picture from it and, after we went inside again, they started gathering some ideas and wrote a small story about the place.

In the second and the third days it was time for construction. The scenarios came to life through many materials, being them natural or manufactured. Some kids were more minimal while others tried every idea they had and took advantage of every minute that was destined to this project.

On the fourth day it was time to install the works on the places that originated them. After building these “Fantastic places” all the kids gathered around each work and every group had time to share their creation, their ideas and their process with everybody else.

The last step of this voyage it to gather all the documents produced in this process – pictures and stories – and make a little publication.

Thinking about the aftermath of the activity, some kids had a really hard time navigating through the lack of instructions they faced, and this is exactly why I wanted to do this exercise with them. Even in the context of artistic subjects, I feel that kids are used to responding to directions and, nowadays, with the amount of information and visual stimuli that surrounds us, they, or we even we as a culture, do not try to create your own mind pictures of things, we don’t guess or imagine something before we get to know it through someone else’s perspective. We’re losing the access to our own creativity. So this was the time to exercise it and I hope this was the first of many opportunities they had find places beyond their every-day-life.