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Workshop for Kids and mentally disabled people

Written by Jukka Laine

This workshop was an attempt to get two different groups to work together. There were pupils from an elementary school and people with special needs from a local work activity center in Espoo. The place was located at the Children’s Arts Centre Pikku Aurora. The pupils were about 10-11 years old and the people with special needs were adults.

First the participants did some shadow installations together. There were four tracing papers so the shadows could be seen from both sides of the paper. In the beginning the pupils were on the other side and the people with special needs on the other side. During the workshop some pupils moved on the same side as the people with special needs. The teachers and I photographed the shadows. Technically those shadow installations are easy to do, you just need some keyring LED’s, acrylic glasses and toy animals.


The workshop was 45min long and the first 20 minutes were about shadow installations. After that I taught how to light paint. First they light painted in small groups and in the end we made light paintings where everyone was involved. I had a little projector so the photos could be seen on the wall right after ever shot. And most of the participants recognized their ow light creatures.

After the workshop teacher asked what it was like to do co-operation wit people with special needs. The pupils said that it was fun and they didn’t think that it was difficult at all. Maybe in the future we try some other co-operation: kids and old people, kids and blind people etc.

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