School Walls Covered in Graffiti!

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Teacher, Carole Ly, explains why she applied for a PTA Kermesse Grant to fund a graffiti project……
The idea came about as a way to support our exploration of the concept that ‘Art expresses human emotions and experiences.’
The 3 lines of inquiry were:
  • Human experience can be communicated through arts.
  • Art can bring out different emotions.
  • There are many forms of artistic expression.
The children had to identify and experience an artistic journey throughout the unit, in order to understand why art was born and why it still persists through time. Their own journey had to start with their own messages, identifying what mattered to them so much that they wanted to talk about it to the rest of the world, artistically. For this project to kick off efficiently, we needed to provide them with an artistic media that they had no experience with and that would arouse their enthusiasm. Street art came naturally to us, as the children are very interested in this contemporary form of art. It has the advantage to be appealing and exciting to them, whilst being more difficult to handle than it seems. Also, the children had a very large area to express themselves, which was also unusual to them. The idea was to really encourage their creativity and move as far as possible from a “lesson” so that they felt free to express themselves.
They found it hard of course, but most of them applied their perseverance and really stuck to their mission, which very quickly became actually personal: express their emotion and experience.
The panels are now in the cafeteria for all to see.

Here is what some of the Year 5 participants had to say about their experience –

“Before we started the unit, I knew a couple of things about graffiti. For example : it was a way to express your feelings in art ; it could be both legal or not. Finally, I knew that graffiti was used by street artists – I really wanted to meet one and I finally did.

I wanted to express how hunger is killing most of the population because some people can’t afford to buy food, so I decided to do  that topic. Being hungry is not really a problem for us, because we can just  walk into the kitchen and get ourselves a snack. But for people who don’t have a kitchen, it’s rather hard.I drew a giant bowl of soup to represent all the food we have, and a girl diving into it , to represent how much we eat a day.

I was so excited when I heard that I would finally get to meet a graffiti artist and when they said we would get to do some ourselves I couldn’t wait till the day we would get to do it ! When we started it got a little hard, but then Mrs Ly  came and helped, it worked I was satisfied with my picture!  Were you?  I was not that happy  when i realized that my picture got covered by a name and you couldn’t  see my picture , but then I cheered up when i heard that my friends picture’s had  not been covered.”

Ines, 5LA

“I used to think that doing graffiti was just taking cans full of spray paint to write illegal stuff in metros or under bridges.I already knew that it was to express anger, but it turned out, not only. I learnt that you could also do graffiti legally. You can do graffiti to express other emotions( like: joy, love, hate, rage, embarrassment, etc).But now I know that graffiti can be an actual piece of art! I mean, isn’t that awesome?!!!

I wanted to express my anger about climate change, but it was not easy. I thought I could do it in no time, but I was wrong! I learnt to never underestimate people. Especially all of the people who do graffiti, like this guy called Baro. They are making awesome things right now, and I take them for an example. 

Creating a graffiti was really fun! But it was not easy at all. When we arrived, I was thinking it was going to be finished in no-time, but when we started…We were all struggling. I tried, and to be honest, I put it on the list of the hardest things to do. But it was a very good experience and I am proud of it!”

Mariame Marly Balde, 5LA

By: Carole Ly, Class 5 Teacher

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