As we prepared ourselves to celebrate a decade of the Inside Out Project just two months ago, we noticed that a third of all Actions around the world are created in Educational settings. The project has naturally transferred into the classroom as it allows educators to present subject matters in a playful and engaging way. Inside Out Group Actions honor diversity and boost kids and young adults self-confidence through self-expression.
So we decided to have a chat with the students behind these large scale posters. The students, aged 12 to 15, in schools located in Norway and France had a lot to say about their Group Action and the message that they stand behind.
During our conversation with a small group of middle school students from the Action titled “Environnement. Tous unis pour notre avenir.” (Environment, United for our Future), they told us that art can influence people because it provokes emotions. Art has a great influence because it doesn't need translation and transcends language barriers. With their Action they chose to talk about the environment and the importance of coming together to protect it. For their portraits, each student posed holding up a letter which they used to spell words and phrases such as “Together we fight for our future” and “the earth is worth every effort”. They expressed their excitement from speaking with the media and having the elementary school kids trying to read and understand their message.
Earlier last week, we also spoke to two different groups of students from the Action titled “Reclaiming our school”. More than a hundred students in Norway participated in the conversation about how their Action would bring them closer as a community and what they hope to get out of it. With their portraits, these middle schoolers want to connect with each other through a shared experience and show their peers that they are not alone. Some of these students chose to pose with two objects; one object that they would all share as a representation of unity, and another particular to themselves to show their individuality. Their portraits would also signal to each other that they share their feelings and understand each other’s hardship. They had many more ideas about how to show personality, emotions and community through an image. As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” when it comes to showing your true self.
While the students had a lot of fun sharing their work, we took immense pleasure in learning about young people’s experience of the Inside Out Project and answering their questions. These calls are just the beginning of a great adventure for us as we are going back to school!
If you are creating or have created an Action with your classroom, please reach out, we would love to chat about it!