Co-creative drawn story

Drawings of the past, drawings of today: Wars as seen by children.

April-May 2023: contact between Idoia Orbe from the Gernika Peace Museum and the head of studies at the Allende Salazar school to prepare the work.

June 2023: awareness-raising work by Idoia Orbe from the Gernika Peace Museum with the children in the 5th and 6th grade classes.

In the following session, participants work in groups and present their plasticine drawing in class to the other groups.

Allende Salazar Primary School in Gernika-Lumo. Levels: 5th and 6th year of primary education, 8 classrooms.

The Co-creative Drawn Story workshop, carried out as part of the European project Rememchild in which the Gernika Peace Museum is a partner, aims to recover the experiences and memories of children during European wars, particularly in World War II and the post-war period. The pupils, divided into groups, explore the memory of the bombing of Gernika – and its memory over time – through the testimonies of various people.

The methodology used was as follows:

  1. Viewing of a video from the 1930s. In this way, the children can better situate the period in which their great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers lived.
  2. Next step: a phase of reflection and joint participation in which they discuss how they imagined that period and how their vision of the period has changed.
  3. The next exercise involves listening to one or more testimonies of survivors of the bombing of Gernika. The testimonies belong to very old people (recordings from 2017) who offer their experience of that fateful day.
  4. In groups of 4-5 people, the pupils recreate and shape scenes from the period and the testimonies using plasticine.
  5. Finally, each group explains the recreated scene to the rest of the class.

The material used was mainly plasticine, but the groups were provided with other types of materials, often disposable, which they could reuse to recreate the scene. Empty coffee capsules, toothpicks, coloured paper, string, straws and many other objects were used in the scenes.

In this way, as well as bringing to life the experiences of these people, they were also aware of the differences that separate that generation of the testimonies from the present generation, in terms of the number of objects and possessions, as well as materials of a single use compared to the multiple uses of objects a century ago.

Each classroom listened to some testimonies that each group captured in their own way, joining a fine thread between several generations that unites people who were children in the 30s of the 20th century with children in 2023. During the group explanations, the diversity of visions of the same event or situation was clearly seen.