In the period from 7 to 20 October 2021, the “Focus Pocus Films” Production held a workshop titled “Inclusive Animation” at the premises of “Europe House” in Skopje and the Cinematheque of NorthMacedonia. The project was supported by the EU Delegation in Skopje and was implemented in cooperation with the Cinematheque of North Macedonia and MFF KineNova.
The attitude of our society towards children and people with disabilities is at a low level, programmes for the development of various skills in these people through non-formal education are rare, and, thus, the possibility for their inclusion in society is reduced to a minimum.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the surface all the weaknesses of the education system. And, while the education for typical children managed to continue online, children with disabilities seem to have been forgotten. Mentors have been prevented from coming into their homes; there is no specialized Internet platform where these children could continue their educational process, socialize, develop certain life, artistic or social skills.
Hence the need for the realization of this workshop..
The aim of the workshop was, above all, to provide a positive inclusive environment for, introduction and socializing of children with disabilities and typical children. Art is not a privilege, but a right of the children with disabilities. Therefore, through skills and knowledge that are absent from the regular school curricula, we want to create new opportunities for creative expression, development of tolerance and understanding among children.
The workshop was divided into four sessions, two sessions per week. The activities that were held with physical presence took place at Europe House and at the Cinematheque of North Macedonia, while one session was held online. Of particular importance for the project was the creation of a habit among children with disabilities to communicate online communication, and their acquainting with the digital communication and animation tools.
The team that was directly involved in all the phases of the workshop was composed of animators and special educators.
The technique the children learned was called “Collage Stop Animation”.
This is an intuitive animation technique that can be carried out through a more abstract
approach, i.e. no special prior preparation is required in terms of art education. The use of this technique and the work with the mentors not only developed their creativity and love for arts and the creative industries, but also helped in raising their self-confidence
The material prepared by all participants in the sessions was edited into one piece by the mentors and this final product was presented before the participants in the last session in the form of a movie screening.
The video, which was used as its background the music for the song “Ram para ram” by the “Superhiks” band, will be given to the band to use as their official video. In this way, the project will reach the wider population, and the participants will see that they are part of an important project, which they managed to complete with their own efforts, through an interesting and fun process.
The Inclusive Animation project for children with disabilities, through an animated film workshop, takes on a broader context. Although a workshop takes place over a limited period of time and creates an end product – an animation – its impact does not end there. On the contrary, it provides room for writing a long-term story. The product in the form of a video will not only be shown to the participants and their loved ones, but shall have its premiere before the broader public, with the aim of raising collective awareness.