Stop Motion

Spoleto: with tree days and 100 children between 7 and 9 yeras of age, this April, a short work about war, peace and good has been seeded in the Italian City of Spoleto.

The crew, organized and produced valiantly by our partner La Mama International was composed by 97 kids from 2 different schools, the artist known as RE, Cecilia Rossi, Filippo Titta and Federico Bonelli, with the valiant help of Giuseppe Morgana on the spot.

Being the children divided between tho schools we repeated the same process twice with the separate groups

First clip is here:

Second clip is here:

The two short clips were arranged with a process as such:

  • the first day we gathered he two in the library G. Carducci of Spoleto, introduced ourselves, explained the process and the technique, showing some examples from famous animation films. Each one of us has contributed an example to the show, so that the examples were very different.
  • we were supposed to connect with the theme of the unit of study organised by the library and the school itself, that verted around an illustrated book by Mario Boccia titled “Sarajevo’s Florist”. The book is the story of the anonymous florist of Sarajevo market, that tries to keep living in the war but disappears in the end.
  • We decided to start from the end of the book, to allow the children to express the rebirth of life
  • Then we asked both groups, with eyes close, to find a world and a color and to keep it secret till the next day. And we made them find their pals in the dark to make groups of 3 to 5 kids.
  • The next day we made them invent characters and scenes, and each group had to use all the words each child conjured to do so.
  • RE kept tight schedule to be able to make for each group a scene in ironed plastic, one of her techniques, and the characters necessary to the action
  • In letting them come to the light box to film they expressed and animated with us their short stories.
  • As soon as they finish with animating they would gather with Cecilia to conjure a short song for the action.
  • End of the day every group of childrens sang their song with the accompaniment of Cecilia in front of the group, and they were recorded
  • the final refrain, created on the spot and sang by all kids in a final “all together” says “Caccavella caccavella vogliamo la pace e non la guerra” (small pot small pot we want peace and not war)
  • The word “caccavella” emerged from Federico’s uncoscious from his family lexicon, being a favourite of his granfather “Nonno Ico”, that used it often. Nonno Ico had survived the second world war and worked with refugees and prisoners to allow them to come home, either alive or with their remainings.
Backstage clip of day 2, with the first group
Backstage Clip at the second school, the third day

The operation left us very satisfied. The process allowed us to work with a huge amount of children exchanging inspiration and energy in a very effective fashion. The kids have learned to adapt a difficult technique to simple tools and to work together in an inclusive and expressive way. The “ironed plastic” technique as well shows an impact on the awareness of the kids for resources and waste. The use of music and text followed a scheme we use very much in post dramatic theater to generate content with adults as well.

A “bravo” to all the crew and see you next year to the Spoleto’s step animation posse from the two schools.