Exploring the [un]known
In Malmö, Sweden,two visual artists and two third grade classes at Kirsebergsskolan (Kirseberg elementary school) are participating in the Crearte project together with their teachers. Together with the artists the children will be exploring the present (the well known) and the future (the unknown). Is it possible to see new things in the well known? Does two persons watching the same thing actually see the same? What will the future be like? What will our city look like in the future?
The two artists have planned the project together with the two teachers. Since the children are learning about different kind of creation stories this fall, from the Bing Bang theory to creation stories in different religions and cultures, the idea is to build on this and focus on the future.
The project will result in a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years by the future third graders at Kirsebergsskolan together with the children that are participating in the project this year. The content of the capsules will be worked out by the children together with the artists and teachers during the six sessions. The process is open-ended and the result will be determiner by the process rather than the otherway around. The artists strive to work with the classes in the sameway as they work them selves, through exploration and asking questions.
The project consists of six sessions with each class. Each session is about half a school day and the sessions are hold once a week. After each session the artists compile what the children have been discussing and then base the next session on that. Every session starts with a small recap of what happened last time, so that the children can easily follow the whole process, and feel that they are actively influencing the project.
Through discussions in the classroom and by asking questions the artists are encouraging the children to take part in a dialogue and making themselves heard. In this way the children are inspired to speak for themselves, listen to others, take responsibility for the completion of a process and to try different creative techniques.
The children were given booklets at the beginning of the project, to use as explorer books. They were encouraged to bring the booklets with them everywhere and to take them home with them. They can write and draw freely in the booklets.
Since the process is open-ended and each sessions is based on the former session the content of the time capsule is very different in the two classrooms.
One class explored their schoolyard with the help of pieces of withe paper with a rectangular hole in the middle, in order to be able to screen what they wanted to see. Then they painted what they saw. They also made a map of their neighborhood in clay, which they painted. Then they took pictures of their map and their paintings which will together with pages from their explorer books be compiled into a book.
The other class explored their schoolyard with the help of white paper and pencils. The papers where placed on an interesting surface and then the children used the pencils to rub on the papers and different patterns surfaced. These papers were then used to cover a shell made of papier maché, as a picture of what the schoolyard looked like. This class also made a map of their neighborhood, using sharpies and white paper. The map was then taped together and put in the papier maché shell.
Finally the map and the book will be placed in a glass container made by the local glazier in Kirseberg and taken to the local library, where it will be stored in their archive until it is time to open it in 2066.