Week 1, Day 5:
I started the day by showing examples of work that others have done in the Beehive style, to show a diversity of styles and media that might inspire the students. I showed the “Missouri Exhibit” from Washington State University in St Louis, the“Levante” mural made by youth sponsored by Student Action with Farmworkers , and “Another Detroit is Happening” screen-printed mural series. I also showed Picasso’s “Guernica” to show students that it is not always necessary for drawings to be realistic to communicate powerful stories, and also that one is very interesting to discuss the qualities of pictures without colors.
We played “Yes, and…” which is a rudimentary improvisational theater game. It is very simple, one person suggests, “Hey, I think that we should…[anything]” and a partner says “Yes, and…” building on prior suggestions and then passing back again. Usually this game turns funny pretty easily (no need to go more than 2 minutes), and when coupled with a short session of “No, but…” (where they must always suggest something opposing/unrelated to partners idea), it easily drives home the point that effective collaboration is all about saying yes, building together, and appreciating others’ contributions.
And then the 3 groups had a big open-ended ideation session for the entire second half of the day, deciding together what their topic would be. This was very interesting to observe, each group worked through it a little differently, encountering different kinds of interpersonal dynamics and different challenges. This part was a struggle for some, and made it clear that this task we were embarking on would be very challenging. But overall the students seemed ready for it, excited to get to the next steps of conceptualization and production.
They reported to each other about their processes and chosen topics. Here they are listed, if you click on one of these it will take you to the blogs that were made by someone in each group. Each blog has a different feel, sometimes meant only for internal note recording (ie Cauvery group), sometimes meant to be a public part of the art work (ie Tibet group). These were works in progress throughout the course, they may be briefly interesting now, but I am also going to link to them again later.
We had a long weekend ahead of us (school was closed the following Monday), so I gave them some weekend homework to make lists of story sources and other research, to at least think about the media they would like to work with, and to begin sharing and communicating among themselves via email, facebook, whatsapp, etc.