Variation 3: Collage
· paper and/or card
· a pile of 'un-needed' objects, e.g.,
flowers, feathers, leaves, twigs, silver foil, from collection of cigarette
cartons, string, magazine and newspaper pictures, fabric.
1. Ask the participants to choose materials from the pile or from
whatever they find around them and glue them onto the paper to make a picture.
They might want to try making a three-dimensional collage by using a card.
2. Allow 30 minutes.
3. Then follow steps 3-5 in the main method.
You can also ask participants to work in small groups to discuss
their different perspectives on a theme, and put these together in one picture.
This works particularly well with collage, as this medium can combine different
elements. Stress that everyone should participate.
· A visual record of the perspectives of the participants
· The participants learn basic art and printing skills that
they can use for information sharing and advocacy materials or for decoration in
their own communities and homes.
· Effective in drawing out the perspectives of even the
quieter participants, particularly if individual pictures are made.
· Effective in encouraging reflection.
· A practical activity that provides a break and 'wakes up'
· If you take photos of these pictures, the photos can
communicate visually the content of the training, e.g., to show to potential
participants, funding agencies, etc.
· It is hard to communicate complex perspectives in one
drawing. This can lead to misleading pictures or pictures that fall back on
· Variations 1-3 take up quite a lot of time - including
clearing up time - and participants can get very absorbed in their work - so
these are unsuitable if you are simply looking for a quick energizer or 'scene
· Some participants may be very self-conscious about
producing pictures. It is best to sound out participants during pre-training
discussions on what they are willing to try, particularly if art is going to be
a large component of the training. The following 'starter activity' can help
build people's confidence.
Inexperienced artists may find a blank piece of paper fills them
with dread; here is a way to get over this:
· Prepare sheets of paper, each with a small
piece or 'starter' torn from a magazine stuck on it (in any position). The
starter piece should be abstract, rather than showing any recognisable form.
Offer a choice of starter papers to the participants and ask them to create
their own picture around the starter piece, using any of the materials
At an art and printing workshop in Baguio City, Philippines,
participants were asked as a 'getting to know each other' exercise to draw a
picture of an object that symbolized themselves. For example, a fisherfolk drew
a bed and explained that was because he liked to have time on his own to
daydream; another man drew a hammer as that was port of his work; a young man
drew a picture of flowers because he said he was romantic; a woman farmer drew a
river with many bends symbolizing her life journey, and an urban woman drew a
wilted flower as she felt that just as the flower faded because it did not have
enough water, so she had also faded because she had not had enough love and
This exercise requires some soul bearing and can produce emotional
responses. The woman who drew the wilting flower began to cry as she was
describing this. Also the young man who drew the flowers came in for some
teasing from the other men and the women. If this kind of exercise is done, it
is best to discuss first how each other's expressions should be treated in
confidence and respect. Also, if things do get emotional, you may need to
talk this through with the group before moving on, or perhaps have a one-on-one
chat with the person involved, while the others carry on with the activity. Ask
him or her: 'How did you feel about the exercise?'. 'Are you OK now?. 'Is there
anything else you want to talk about now?'
At a gender workshop in Baguio City, Nortern Philippines,
participants produced collages by group, on the theme of what they perceived as
the main problems for their communities.
A group of vegetable vendors did a three-dimensional collage of a
man hitting a woman, by using rolled up Manila paper glued to a large piece of
paper to represent their bodies. They used purple leaves to show the woman's
bruised eyes, and star-shaped silver foil to symbolize the punching.
A group of farmers showed the effect of drought by having one side
of the picture lush with leaves and the other with just bare sticks and the
words DRY cut from a magazine.
Another group of farmers stuck a fish bone in a river made of blue
paper, and used a cigarette end as a smoking factory chimney, with the
background paper burnt brown, to show a polluted environment.
A group of fishers stuck cutouts of people on to a
three-dimensional base made of magazine pictures of food to show the importance
In the two examples above, art played a major part in the
workshops, and so artists from local arts guild acted as facilitators in
partnership with the NGO facilitators. This gave the artist a chance to do
outreach work in the communities. Because of the friendships formed, a
community-based organization in Ifugao is now trying to set up its own arts
guild. Perhaps you can network with local arts groups to enhance your trainings.
During waste management trainings in Samar, Philippines,
participants were asked to draw their answer to the following question:
'What is waste to me? Why is it waste to me and where does it come
Making pictures has also been used as a visioning tool,
representing how the participants would like their natural environment to be in
the future. An action plan can be made from the group's visions.