The training outlined below is a result of the project “INSART” in which a specialist in Theatre of the Oppressed (Munir Othman) and the intercultural training association (Elan Intercultural) have set themselves to adapt the methodology of artistic mediation developed by Werner Moron and Paracommand’arts the specific in their work with underprivileged youth in Paris. The training offers this youth – most of them have never had meaningful experiences with art-an immersion in artistic creation with the aim of creating a work of art after five days of workshop.
The association Elan Intercultural adapted the methodology of artistic mediation to promote a deeper reflection on cultural differences. The result is a specific training for a very specific target group (youth from 16 to 30 years) who can integrate the artistic approach-especially the Forum theater -with the intercultural perspective and the tools of non-formal education.
The morning of the first day is devoted to build a good group dynamics and appropriation of the workshop by youth. By “appropriation” we want to point out the qualitative leap that requires social and educational integration of the workshop as well as awareness of other participants, facilitators, and understanding of each other’s goals.
To encourage the exchange, we offer warm-up activities of the ‘Games for actors and non-actors’ by Augusto Boal and some fun activities related to body language. These games allow us to foster solidarity, collaboration, work and cooperation between the participants and taking individual trust (knowing fears, doubts and learn to overcome them).
Werner Moron speaks of the “active principles” of art. He was referring to the substance that is actually active in the drugs and which is responsible for their effect. According to him, art and different art forms have their own active elements. The mission of Paracommand’arts is to give people the opportunity to immerse themselves in these active principles for the effects they are getting and changing them. To meet the active principles of dance, for example, participants will usually conduct through an empirical discovery of the body, space, movement and rhythm. In the pinhole workshop, participants were first asked to create their own entire camera and then to experience the interplay of light and time that creates the image on the photosensitive paper.
For our group, the immersion in the active principles involves the acquisition of the specific language of art, namely theatre. However, to keep the metaphor, it is a learning of a language that emphasizes the spoken and lived rather than the grammar. Too much focus on technical details diverts attention from really important issues. In our workshop “Spark-Art” participants immersed in the active principles of the theatre through improvisation exercises that helped them to understand the type of theatre (Forum Theatre) introduced in the workshop: it is not an act of reading and staging texts. We work on emotions, presence, and confrontation of others looks, etc. We develop observation and practice of emotional games, you learn to identify pests or in unconscious gestures nonverbal communication elements in our communication.
The first day, participants discover the method “real journey / dream journey” developed by Werner Moron and which is the foundation of the Paracommand’arts method. Each participant receives a booklet entitled “Nations Me,” which is a personal file to fill during the workshop sessions. This book is actually a list of questions on existential matters such as the origins, idols, future projects, influences, etc. He addresses these issues in two different ways. First, in the most objective way possible, giving a detached description of the elements related to a question. The answer can be written, drawn, painted or copied from digital images, etc. In the first phase, it is to recall the objective, banal details without transforming them or interprets them, and without any creativity (“by all means, do not make art!”). Such was the instruction given by the artistic director. Once the texts are written, they are divided: participants read them, one after another, without comment, without questions.
The next step invites readers to respond again but freely turning response, this time. The “dream journey” allows to retell the story but in a way that we like, introducing a lie, a wish, a change. Again the texts are read one after another.
After the second reading, the artistic director/facilitator invites the participants to find a single word that can summarize the two texts.
Module 4: Improvisation to stage selected situations
Instead of inviting each participant to dive into an intellectual reflection of how they should stage their word, their history, participants are invited to create semi-improvised scenes: each can invite other participants to complete its stage, and ask them to play a particular role; his colleagues are to remain “available”. The other participants are instructed by the narrator who is also a director for this experiment. At the same time the participants ‘guests’ can enrich the scene with their ideas or improvisations.
To avoid the tendency to be very “realistic” and to be able to touch the deepest and most symbolic elements of the stories, the facilitator proposes to play without words. Each scene is played and watched by the rest of the participants and the facilitator asks questions and gives proposals to “clean” the unnecessary elements and thus to make the scenes more powerful.
In the practice of Paracommand’art, creating the soundtrack can be conducted in numerous ways. The common point is that the band should be created by the participants to accompany the film created in the workshop. So the goal is not to find music or even to reuse a song that the participant has invented before. The composition must be a creation for the workshop.
In this work the choice of the collaborating /speaking artist is very important. He will assist participants with the technical expertise related to the composition, the techniques that participants probably will not have. This is the artist who will record different sound crops, under the direction of the participant to create the soundtrack. In our pilot workshop, this role has been beautifully complemented by Emmanuel Louis.
Module 6 – Active principles of videos
To create their films, participants receive a small introduction to the artist’s video camera: angle, reverse angle, view, angle view, questions of light and time are treated. They discuss together the ability of the camera to make an effect. They watch and analyse together the first film to review those concepts. This implies the mobilization of a video artist too. In our workshop “Spark-Art” we worked with Ivan Gonzales, professional comedian who used to shoot movies. Therefore he was there to help participants to find answers to technical questions such as wishes expressed in non-technical and non-professional manner, the choice of filming location, solutions for a particular purpose, etc.
Module 7: Sharing and validation
In the process of Paracommand’arts, sharing and validation of the works of the participants is central. From their point of view, the quality of the work must be worthy of sharing, it has to be a separate work, not just “the work carried out as a part of a socio-artistic workshop”. The whole workshop ends at that time and the creators can share their works with the audience. In the case of films where the post production is in the hands of the artists after the workshop, this is the for the participants to take ownership of their work.
If you want to know the participants and their production and also the draft image click HERE