SESSION: WHO ARE WE?
During the first session, each child was asked to draw the face of the friend sitting next to them. The motive of the session was to see how the child was able to observe, draw and look at minute details without resorting to copying any cartoon character or book illustration available at the venue.
The children were also meant to interact with their co-learners and find out their favourite things/comon interets through verbal exchange, which subsequently became visual additions to the backdrop of the face drawn. The children had to utilize the entire space available on the sheet- a concept that was received as new and challenging.
Post this experience, fostering a friendly environment- where the young learners feel free enough to express without any inhibition and enjoy the process without the fear of being judged- became a concern for educators and other volunteers in the sessions to come. Discussions and interactions with Nilanjana and the other educators/volunteers from CFAR team as well as chats with their friends helped them see their own work in a different light. The incessant queries in the direction of ‘What, Why or Why not, How’ were meaningfully engaged with and encouraged. Nilanjana observed that it was not uncommon for young learners to think of naturalistic renditions of objects and figures as the only way of drawing. Anything with a photographic finish attracts the eye as ‘real’ and by extension, ‘valid’.
Drawing from her observations in different settings including schools, workshops in museums, hobby classes etc., Nilanjana believes that this kind of opinion further reinforces notion of right-wrong, good-bad, thereby precluding the children from developing an alternative sense of the world through their work . Thus, enjoying the process, actively participating, appreciating minute details and to be able to look at and freely discuss each other’s work were constantly encouraged. This develops amongst the children a sense of ownership and by extension, appreciation for their own work.