A story about creativity without boundaries: "We are here and we are together"

       A story about creativity without boundaries.

On the premises of the Sunday school of St. Elisabeth Convent there is a small room. The repairs are currently being completed in this room. The walls have been painted in a pleasant shade, the floor has been covered with a carpet and comfortable pillows have sewn so that children could sit on the floor, even special and additional lighting has been added.

This room contains a toy museum and this is the very same room where lessons for a traditional Belarussian puppet called Batleika or Vertep are help. This is also going to be a place where magic will happen. This is because in this very room a special integrated visual animation club will be held and will be called “We are here and we are together”. The director the director of this new project is an artist-visual animator – Maria Ivanova.

The idea for the project was born some time ago and overtime it became possible to partially realize the dream. In the past year, children from the Sunday school as well as children with disabilities from the nearby shelter andhospital have been getting together twice a week in order to participate in this new and interesting activity. Since then, there have been several exhibitions, presentations and cartoons that have been created by this unique and diverse group of you visual artists. They have also participated in festivals and competitions. In fact, in December this particular club received an award for being the best social project during a festival-exhibition titled “SOCIDEA’15”.

 So how does this club function?

Everything starts with the creative ideas of the children together with the teachers and volunteers, who begin with creating cartoon characters for the new animation. The next step is to create the plot, drawings and a scene by scene storyboard. Finally, with the help of a special digital camera the animation is brought to life.

Some people fear things that are not normal and do not always know how to act around people who are not like everyone else. In reality everyone and especially the sick and disabled children are in need of love and need to be accepted the way they are.
According to Maria, special children are much freer in their creative train of thought. They do not have the same boundaries which allows them to be entirely unpredictable in realizing their creative potential. The opportunity to be with children from typical families allows both sides to communicate, understand each other and helps with more than just artistic development.

But what about the artists themselves?

The children truly love creating animations and working with the equipment. Creating animations allows the use of many different materials, creative techniques and methods ranging from various paints and paper to soap bubbles.

Once I had the opportunity to attend one of these creative sessions as a volunteer. Some of the children were unable to move independently which is why we had to help them move around the room in wheelchairs. But right in front of our eyes, on a special table covered with colorful glass and sand we could see the amazing landscapes, come to life and change with a single hand movement and a shift in lighting.

At the moment this project needs help because the only support it received is from volunteers. Let’s help the children to create something wonderful and magical!

Cartoons for the Little Ones from the Catalogue of St.Elisabeth Convent:

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