Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse

Example of a proposal for antifragile artistic and cultural education.
30 July 2020. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
  6 min
 |  Download in PDF

A proposal for a video production workshop for teenagers in a movie theatre, without initial registration, which was led, through a antifragility approach, to even more success in terms of mobilization, involvement of participants and involvement of future spectators.

It didn’t go well

For the 2016 All Saints’ Day holiday, the town of Gonesse had offered a filmmaking course for teenagers at the municipal cinema, the Jacques Brel cinema. Because of the holidays and changes in the team, when I arrive on the first day, Monday morning, after some waiting, only one young person arrives. She is available just for the day only. So there’s no constituted group present. Of course, the project seems to be “falling apart”, and one can blame the lack of mobilization of the young people on the proposals made to them or the poor coordination of the teams. We can also take things differently...

JPEG - 398 kb

Back to objectives

The objectives of cultural projects are cultural democracy. Every person is important. So, I propose to this young girl to do filmmaking activities on the first day. And then I find out about the context, the neighbourhood: are there places where there are young people during school holidays? Yes, in a branch of the public library, right next door.

I go, with the person in charge of the cinema for young people, Katel Midavaine, to this small neighbourhood library, and we ask the people at the reception desk if we could do a small audiovisual activity, in the library, instead of doing it in the cinema room. Of course, it’s the holidays, the people in charge are not present... After half a day of research, finally, one person in the hierarchy takes the risk of saying yes.

Surrect the meeting through action

The next morning, I go to the library and ask the young people present to film books and tell an invented story orally. It is very enjoyable. And we realize that the young people are very keen to discover the cinema and to do a constructed activity.

JPEG - 413.4 kb

So here we are, on the second day, with a group of motivated young people. And then we made, during 4 days, short and playful productions of a large number of films. Every day, I invent new proposals, based on what happened the day before.

At the end of the week, the young people decide by themselves to make a documentary about the cinema, as if they were responsible for it themselves. This is the best we could expect in terms of appropriation! And we didn’t ask for anything.

JPEG - 258.3 kb

Method of Directing Workshops

The principle of the filmmaking workshops was to make films in sequence shot. The fact that the technical stage of editing was eliminated meant that the films could be viewed immediately and then improved. It also allowed me to propose a different technique every day: animation, documentary, fiction, voice-over, etc. And the sequence shot also encourages independent work, empowerment and therefore motivation.

JPEG - 354.6 kb

It all seemed to go very smoothly, almost naturally and effortlessly. Why did it go so smoothly? Because of my antifragile attitude: one accepts to move oneself, to reduce one’s resistance to change, to be open to the unexpected, to trust the possibilities around one, to be initiated too, to learn from the situation, i.e. to leave one’s knowing posture. And then leave everyone their own space: be attentive to their desires and give them the framework for their expression. Katel Midavaine, who is responsible for young people, is in the same spirit and has also managed the group, offering complementary plastic activities (making masks for example) and picnics on site every lunchtime. To make sure not to get exhausted, but, on the contrary, to receive people we are supervising.

Balance

JPEG - 326.7 kb
At the end of the week, a public screening was organized in the presence of the parents. A very strong, very rewarding moment. Many of the young people, who did not know the theatre, became regular spectators.

All the films made during the course

Portfolio
Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 1. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 2. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 3. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 4. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 5. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 6. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 7. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 8. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 9. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 10. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 11. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 12. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 13. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 14. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 15. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 16. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 17. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 18. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 19. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 20. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 21. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 22. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 23. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 24. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 25. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 26. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 27. © Benoît Labourdette. Cinema workshop for absent children in Gonesse - 28. © Benoît Labourdette.