This Arts Council funded project Recycle, Rewind and Animate involved working with mainstream and special needs children aged 5-11 to produce six animation films during an eighteen month period. Six groups of children from three different schools took part in literature, animation, music, green screen and digital media workshops. At the end of this project the children, their parents/carers and educators attended a local screening of the films at The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. Each child also received an Arts Award certificate. The project worked in partnership with artists, a musician, the Work and Play Scrapstore, the Ritzy Cinema, Arts Award, and the British Arts Council.
Two of the films were adaptations of the books titled One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia and Wangari Maathai - The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees, which describe true stories of empowered women who implement long lasting solutions to environmental issues. This has strong links with science through learning about the environment and provides positive role models. Another two of the films related to the subject of history, as the children learnt about Vincent Van Gogh (who briefly lived in Brixton) and Charlie Chaplin (who grew up in Kennington) and was based on stories written with the children − imagining a day in the life of each artist in these areas. The other two films were inspired by the children’s adapted versions of the books Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda and Hey, Little Ant; that focus on teaching mindfulness and empathy. This has strong links with PSHE through learning about self-awareness and emotional wellbeing. The workshops delivered had strong links with literature, art and design, history, music, and computing. Consent was obtained from the parents/carers, to photograph their children for use on this webpage. The six animation films created during this community arts project are available as free educational tools.
Film 1: Wangari Matthai's Trees of Hope
This film project was delivered at Stockwell Primary School during ten workshops and is an adaption of the book Wangari Maathai - The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees. This film tells the inspirational real-life story of the Kenyan woman Wangari Maathai, who founded the Green Belt Movement (which has planted over 51 million trees) and was the first environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.
Film 2: Hey, Little Ladybird
This film project was delivered through ten workshops at Corpus Christi Catholic School and is an adapted version of the book Hey, Little Ant − which addresses the relevant issues of animal rights and peer pressure.
Film 3: Olive Morris Meets Vincent Van Gogh
This children's animation film was developed through ten workshops at Stockwell Primary School and combines historical fact and fiction to tell the story of how the community leader and activist Olive Morris met the artist Vincent Van Gogh in Brixton.
Film 4: Isatou Ceesay Solves the Problem of Plastic Bag
This film project was developed through ten workshops at Corpus Christi Catholic School during the Arts Council funded project Recycle, Rewind & Animate. This short film tells the real-life story of Isatou Ceesay who found a solution to the problem of plastic bags through recycling them in The Gambia.
Film 5: Mindful Tiger, Happy Donkey
This film project was delivered at Lark Hall Centre for Autism and is an adapted version of the book Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda, which introduces children to the valuable practice of mindfulness.
Film 6: Charlie Chaplin Meets Octobot
This film project was delivered at Lark Hall Centre for Autism during ten workshops and combines historical fact and fiction to tell the story of how the comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin met the recycled superhero Octobot in South London.
The project culminated in a local screening with the children who participated and their parents/carers and educators at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. It was a heart-warming and joyful evening in which the children’s incredible artwork and the important stories of each of the films − as well as the inclusive nature of this project − were celebrated together.