My concern is the distressing changes of our world mostly because of the environmental impact of the endless consumerism and the lack of efficient political actions. For that reason, the young generation should focus attention on their soft skills in the aim to build urgently an innovative sustainable future.
Artschool.ch is a “drop of water” in the ocean of actions we should do seriously to care for our planet. I do believe that education plays a key role in changing our behaviours in order to act responsibly to protect the biodiversity. Besides, it’s high time to draft a completely new economical system based on better fairness and ethical values. The task is huge but let’s wake-up with collective initiatives now!
Jean-Luc Marchina, Swiss designer
The goal of Artschool.ch is to offer creative activities for youths in the aim to give them an opportunity to think differently, improve their soft skills and, maybe to become the (social) entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Do it yourself instead of buying ready made products
Have you ever wish to create your own robot, invention, … or to fix broken toys? Now it’s great time to discover cool professional tools to design whatever you want. With a computer, a 3D printer and a laser cutting machine, you will be ready to build your own design objects. From your concept to the reality, you will see the improvement of your product by making many prototypes before you will reach out the good one. It’s an intensive rigorous workshop.
Make healthy food & compete with the industry
Instead of eating industrial food, take the opportunity to make the best cookies or veggie burgers by your own. This workshop will guide you to experiment different ingredients to cook a delicious meal. Of course, there will be failures but it’s the normal process to find the well-balanced recipe. Moreover, you will also be encouraged to explore different ways to design the shape of your own food. Cooking delicious food is already a great achievement but to handle its presentation and to promote your product will be also a subject you are going to learn. It’s time to foster your cook skills and start a business!
Start programming & take control of your digital world
Ask your computer to calcul, draw, think, … and enjoy the scientific subjects with a different point of view. Learning computer language to interact with digital technologies will open you to an unlimited world. Definitely, the digital world is a great place to play, study and socialize. However, you must be aware of the reality behind the digital world. Like the real society, there are safety places to stay and dangerous places to run away. For that reason, this workshop will be divided in two main topics. First of all, you will start to learn computer language through video games and interact as well with the internet of things. Then, you will be guided to protect your privacy and how to act rightly regarding the law, the ethic and the environmental issues. In other words, what should you do if you lost control of your digital world.
Let’s go to the wild nature & build your team
From time to time, it’s good to switch off any mobile devices and refocus on the nature around you. Being in a natural environment will give you plenty of energy and inspiration for the next venture. This workshop will challenge you physically to reach a commun goal. You are going to build collaboratively amazing things. However, you will have to find out the best skills of your team and to coordinate with each other to win the challenge. It will be an adventurous journey to land art.
Recycling litter to light up inspiration – Egypt
The goal of the (food) industry is the mass production at the least-cost rate versus quality versus specific markets. For that reason, every day they produce millions of cheap single use packagings that end up as tonnes of litter all over the world. The among of garbage left behind is so huge thus the consequence of destroying the fragile eco-system of our planet irremediably. We should feel very concern about this issue and take actions in order to reduce dramatically the amount of rubbish and to improve the recycling process. However, the governments ought to act firmly in order to start to notice improvements in the field!
I am interested by the garbage collectors in “development countries”. The conditions of living and working are very difficult due to the lack of basic infrastructure. They recycle the rubbish manually and resell carton, aluminium, glass, plastic, etc… to the industry. The price by tonne is ever depends on the price market. Therefore the perpective to have a safety stable income is very low. For that reason, I had the idea to reuse the raw recycled litter into something more valuable than the ridiculous price per tonne the industry buys it in return. Can we create an opportunity to design a relevant product with the unlimited waste for the market? Let’s initiate a workshop and try it!
Understand the context. The workshop was led in a local community of garbage collectors in Egypt. The participants took part of this workshop with any background in art, product design and new market opportunities.
Start from scratch. It’s often good to start with a white paper. As the first step, the participants have only white papers and several colour pens. They drew what they dreamt to design.
Put in practice the theory. Related to the subject of contemporary art, the participants learnt mostly about Art Brut. The examples of self-taught creators such as Judith Scott, Dunya Hirschter had given them the perspective to imagine what it could be possible to create by recycling used things. They also learned about basic rules in business strategy.
Empower new technical skills. Using a driller for example was an unusual activity to perform. For that reason, the participants applied safety rules at work and became aware of how to use professional tools correctly.
Encourage to keep going. Asking to improve their prototypes and search for other creative solutions was not an easy task at all. To be curious and keep an open mind are important skills to go forward and to find out the best options to start a product.
Give examples for future inspirations. The participants had the chance to visit the exhibition “From Rags to Riches” initiated by Stefania Angarano, the owner of Mashrabia gallery. It was an extraordinary day to visit this unique exhibition in the garden of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Cairo. Thank to Stefania Angarano that guided my class and explained what does it mean to be an artist who design artworks by recycling scraps such as “The Camels” by Salah Abdel Karim.
“The Fishermen” by Abdulla Cangonji (1965)
Days off to discover visual arts – Albania & Kosovo
Edon (15 y.), Astrit (11 y.), Bedrin (13 y.), and Vina (4 y.) are several street children I met when I was collaborating with NGOs related to child protection. I discovered the daily difficulties when you are a street child and or when you come from ethnic minorities. Their way of living is an endless fight to find solutions to feel safe, to eat, to sleep, to earn money, … The local organisations gave me the opportunity to understand partially the complex reality of child trafficking and child labour in Albania and Kosovo. As a simple gift, I decided to give to these children a chance to discover and learn about visual arts. Therefore I implemented unique creative workshops.
Every morning, before I started the workshops, they received a frugal breakfast because nobody can learn efficiently with an empty stomach! This is one of the daily fact of the abrupt reality of street children, the hunger… Thank to all my participants who follow the lessons diligently.
Be aware of the context. The workshops had been led in Albania and Kosovo. The participants were mostly street children and from minorities. They had never visited a museum and had any knowledge in art and contemporary photography.
Explain masterpieces. I was very happy to bring my class for the first time to the National Museum of Tirana. I taught them History of Art like the famous painting “Motra Tone” by Kol Idromeno (1883).
Extend the world to contemporary artworks. The unexpected happy behaviour of this deaf and dumb street child in front of “The Head” by Perikli Culi (1995) was a pleasure to have him as a proactive participant. He was also clever to use the screen of the camera to communicate with the group.
Visit a local artist The participants had the chance to visit the atelier of Vullnet Begolli-Nuki. They asked the artist about his daily painting activities.
Lunch time is a good time to learn more. The classic silent films such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton had been screened in the aim also to explain the basic rules of shot composition and lighting in cinema. They learnt as well how a story structure is built.
Encourage to work in team and help each other. The main objective had been a photographic activity. The topic was “Tell me your daily life”. The participant learnt to work in team by sharing the cameras. After every shooting, the pictures had been showed to the group in the aim to discuss how to take better pictures.
Your comments are welcome.Feel free as well to suggest me any unusual context to teach. I like new challenges!
©2021 artschool.ch by Jean-Luc Marchina