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Showing posts from March, 2018

...and cut! Cape Town filming, day 2

A lovely way to wrap up the filming today at the primary school in Cape Town. Following yesterday’s session where we focused our imaginary migrant’s first day at school – an unfriendly, unwelcoming place – today we looked on the bright side: what would a positive, friendly school look like? Me filming on our beautiful set! After yesterday’s filming where the researcher and I had modelled a lot of ideas and techniques for the group, I was hoping that the children would get more of a chance to take the lead today. I hoped that this independence would be both in front of and behind the camera. We started off the session by discussing what they could remember from the previous day’s conversation - about what we had imagined might happen to the boy. Making a film had seemed a bit of an abstract process to them to begin with so I hoped that by refreshing their memory with their ideas, the children would see how these ideas correlated into the actual film. We then sat down to wa

Movie poster - The Arrival!

Ok, I know we are only half way through filming but I couldn’t resist making a quick poster for the movie! A lot of the work I do involves children filming or publishing their work. I think a fundamental part of developing children as authors or artists with a genuine sense of voice is that they get to see their work promoted, shared and celebrated. If you’re making a film for a real audience, then it needs to be promoted as a real movie. I wonder how much of a perception shift the impact of this has?  When you explain to a group of children that you are going to publish a book or make a film, one of the greatest challenges is convincing the children that you mean it – that their work really will get shared even if it is just locally in the school. This, I suppose, offers an insight into how they view their education. From past experiences, getting children to see themselves as authors requires an injection of confidence and when they see their work being shared publicly, I th

...and action! Cape Town filming Day 1

The film project got off to a flying start with the children at a primary school in Cape Town this afternoon. It was wonderful to be invited to work on this research project into migrant children’s perspectives on inclusion in schools. Last week, the lead researcher discussed inclusion with a group of six children from Grade 4 – a mixture of migrant and local children. To make this topic accessible, the researcher had used The Arrival by Shaun Tan: a wonderful picture book that follows the journey of a man and his family who leave their home to build a life in a new country; the story explores the challenges and surprises that await them. The book has no words and the fantastic illustrations make the book part graphic novel, part photograph album. Last week, the lead researcher worked with the children to take their own photographs around school to enable the children to identify things that showed that the school was including them (or not) in the life of the school.

Welcome to Cape Town! Research with migrant children

Cape Town is a diverse city that I have been lucky enough to visit several times over the last few years. The landscape, the people, the culture all work together to reflect the rich variety of this city and this country. As the turbulent history of South Africa would suggest, this country’s society is out of balance: staggering economic inequalities are inescapable. But this is also a city with great energy and the place bristles with creative energy and promise – a power that if encouraged and harnessed can surely help drive this country economically, culturally and socially towards a greater sense of equality. Education obviously has a large part to play in developing the talents of the next generation of South Africans, both those born here and those who travel to the cape to find work and a better life.  On this trip to Cape Town, I’ll be working alongside a researcher from the UK who is researching with young migrant children in state primary schools to explore their v