Canada to Colombia: a Cross-Continental Collaboration
Today's blog is the culmination of a really beautiful story of artistic coordination across languages and cultures, with the end goal of helping to spread the word about climate change and 350 through drawing and animation. Read Canadian Professor John Graham's description of the project below, and check out the animations as well!
While I was attending a 2008 summer self-directed residency at the Banff Centre in Canada, I met a Colombian filmmaker Eduardo Carrillo who suggested that his animation students of the University of the Andies in Bogota, Colombia and my Red Deer College drawing students of Alberta, Canada do an intercultural collaboration project. After being very moved by hearing Bill McKibben speak at the Banff Centre, I immediately decided that we should collectively assist 350.org in tackling the global warming issue.
During the 350 project, both the drawing and animation groups were very excited to meet and interact during a live intercontinental web conference. Even with the language obstacles, the exchange of information and ideas amongst the drawing students and animation students was spontaneous, candid, informative and friendly. During the development of the project, the RDC drawing students learned how to visualize and realize their 350 concepts as one-minute time-based motion pictures. They soon realized the challenges and complexity of how to shape their projects into potent forms of idea sharing and storytelling. Group brainstorming sessions and exhanges on the project blog site enriched the process. During the several in-progress critiques, the RDC students received valuable feedback from many sources. Students in both of the groups took remarkably personalized approaches in what they wanted to visually communicate.
The screening of the completed drawing/animation collaborations in the final drawing class yielded many exotic, unexpected and pleasant surprises and an impressive range of approaches. We all clearly noticed how each project had acquired a very different visual look and creative stance regarding the incredibly important and timely issue of global warming. The collaboration was a unique learning experience for all. I am grateful to all those that assisted in the realization of this complex project and that RDC was so supportive of this exciting project.