FROM WORDS TO IMAGES

Overall objectives

1. Developing skill in visual storytelling 
2. Being reconnected to one‘s environment
3. Improving linguistic skills
4. Learning new tools for self-expression

 

Recommended for


for people with migrant  background of any age and any sex

Duration

2 sessions of 2 or 3 hours

1. Introductory phase: walk through city

Specific objectives

1. Collecting mental images
2. Getting to know each other
3. Concentrate on sensations, sounds, views, smells.


 

Time frame

1.5 - 2 hours

 

Material needed

- Transport tickets

The introductory phase of this workshop consists of  a simple city tour into which you can integrate elements from the Map me happy and the Creative city crossing as well.

The important is to ask the participants to be attentive to all kinds of sensations such as sounds, smells, views, etc.

2. Discovering or re-discovering the city through Automatic writing

Material needed

- Papers or notebooks, pens
- Smartphones

 

Specific objectives

1. Dive into a topic, question through writing
2. Create with focus/creative constrains
3. Active meditation
4. Discovering through half-conscious creation

5. Creating a collection of images
6. Link concepts, feeling to images

Time frame:

25 - 30 minutes for the writing activity and 30 minutes for the photo collection.

1. Ask your participants to grab some papers or a notebook and a pen.

2. Give them the instruction, explain the framework of automatic writing: "This is an individual task. You will have 10/15 minutes to write. The focus or the title is .... "(give them a focus that is relevant for your group work and that is not very narrow, for example we used in Matera after a creative city crossing: "Findings of you in Matera"). "This activity is called automatic writing, because the base of the technique is that you should not stop writing during this activity, if you don't know what to write, write down 'I don't know what to write', and so on. When I will say: start! please start to write, and after 10 minutes I will tell you stop, at that moment you can finish your last sentence, but please do not start a new one."

stop.jpeg

3. Set your timer, start the count down and say: "Start!" after you made sure everyone understands the task and they are ready to start.
4. After 10 minutes tell: "Stop!" and really pay attention to everyone and ask them to stop, if they go on too long with writing.

5. After everyone finished writing, ask your participants to choose 5 words, that are somehow important for them in the text. Ask them to make a list of the words.


6. In pairs, the participants should create images (take photos) that somehow illustrate or represent the words from the list. Everyone compose the images him/herself, the other half of the couple supports the creation. You can ask your participants to make themselves part of the composition as well, in some of the photos (3 out of 5). It can be a body part, a whole figure, etc.


Ask the participants to share them with you the photos taken during the walk. You can use WhatsApp, mail  or any other file sharing option.

You can eventually also create a virtual gallery together  or the photos  to enhance your participants' skills in the use of digital tools.

 

Then, you can project them, print them or simply show them to the participants on your phone.

One by one, and the participants can tell the word, when their own image is being shown.

It can be also a good exercises to memorize words by linking them to images and people, therefore, it is a good language learning exercise.


Here are some examples for the words "far", "light", "old" and "visible".

3.Creative phase : From words to images
Word sculptures and Tales from words














 

Material needed

- Papers or notebooks, pens
- Smartphones

 

Specific objectives

1. Dive into a topic, question through writing
2. Create with focus/creative constrains
3. Active meditation
4. Discovering through half-conscious creation

5. Creating a collection of images
6. Link concepts, feeling to images

Time frame:

25 - 30 minutes for the writing activity and 30 minutes for the photo collection.

 

There are also two other practices that you can add to this activity  to interpret words visually.

 

The first one, called Word Sculptures, you can even use independently as an ice-breaking activity:

Ask the participants to form a circle and make a sculpture from their body, after hearing the words you say. The participants close their eyes, hear the word, make a sculpture, open their eyes to see the other sculptures, and release at the end, then the next word comes.

Here are some Word statues for the word "worried". The exercice is funny and meaningful at the same time. You use your whole body to express things and while working with a  group with mixed cultural  background, participants can discover a whole  range of body languages. 

The other creative activity that you can propose to do  with these words is the Tales writing activity.

Form small groups and review the pictures you took during the city walk and make a list of the words associated to them.

Now the groups will invent and co-write a tale each using at least 5 of the listed words.

To finish, ask them to make a small performance of it. While one of them is reading the story, the others can animate it with movements and sounds. If you have a video projector, you can also project the images corresponding to the specific words chosen just when they are heard. 

If you use set up this workshop part as a creative activity, give them more time to finalise the staging. 

 

In this case, the final visual result can be also the filmed version of these small scenes, created by another group no which you can also add some editing work and a nice layout and share them though online stories: