November, 2011 A Kids’ Guernica painting was successfully created in Costa Rica, one of the most pacifist countries in the world. ESL teacher,Ricardo Rojas coordinate the workshop at New Way High School and reported about it; We read about Wangari Maathai, the woman that created the Green Belt in Kenya and that got a Peace award also based on preserving the natural resources in Kenya and by changing the mentality about planting trees. When we read about her she had recently died, so my students wanted to make the Guernica as a tribute to her and what she represented. Costa Rica is known for its peace and the efforts on preservation of the natural resources and since we are little children we are taught to preserve nature and live in peace. This was a perfect combination of topics for the kids to paint. The only problem we had was that we didn’t have a space big enough where to make such project. We had to cut the fabric in sections and then sewed it together, but still it worked out pretty well. It was made in 4 sections and 4 kids worked on each section, but they all worked with the same theme. They painted things that are very common in Costa Rica like the Arenal Volcano (very active), fruit trees, rivers with rafting, bungee jumping, canopies, and a lot of sun. They wanted to show the world that nature was created for us to enjoy it and not to destroy it, and by keeping it untouched we can enjoy peace, which was Wangari’s dream too. They placed Wangari in the heart of the tree where she belongs. They had such a nice time even though the school they are in is not a big or spacious one, they felt free and relaxed. They all worked hard at designing, drawing, painting and cleaning. All I did was to sew it together. Then they put it as the backdrop of the stage for the Family Day and they explained the project to all the parents. Parents were impressed by it and they took a lot of pictures with their families. My kids were so proud of their effort and final outcome, and so was I.
October 30, 2011 117 students of the eighth grade created a Kids’ Guernica peace picture for their school festival on October 30 at Kubo Junior High School, Shimomatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. First, they studied Picasso’s Guernica and deepen their own images of peace. After every student made his/her own draft of the whole picture of peace, they made each piece into one huge painting. The completed painting was filled with each student’s wish for peace.
October 18, 2011 All the students of Hioka Junior High School in Kakogawa City, Hyogo Prefecture put their handprints on a Guernica size canvas and the school’s art club and calligraphy club members completed it as a huge peace painting. During their live painting, the schools international exchange club played the Korean drum to express the wish for peace. It was a good opportunity to think how art could contribute to connecting people including those in the affected areas by natural disasters in different places of Japan. More than 900 students and teachers’ handprints were appeared in the painting.
October 20, 2011 35 students of Ozu Elementray School in Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan completed a Kids' Guernica mural titled "A Step for Peace". Each student has a different image of peace but each image is united to show peace and happiness for all.
A Kids' Guernica workshop was held at Global Village International Preschool in Osaka, Japan. Here is a message from the school: Let’s make a difference together!! We, Global Village International Preschool, have the Helping Hands Week every June. During that week, children find and pursue a helpful “job” around them that they can do by themselves. Through this experience the children can not only learn the benefit of helping others, but also have the opportunity to become more aware of the children who need help both in Japan and around the world. Our school also contributes to charities through fundraising. This year Japan experienced an unprecedented disaster and the senior kindergartners raised funds to help these people affected. In addition we worked on the Kids Guernica project with the theme of uniting everyone in the world. We wish that our earth would be plentiful and peaceful in the future.
A Kids’ Guernica workshop was organized as a part by Junior Chamber in Yaizu, Shizuoka prefecture, japan as a part of its project to support children and youth. The main concept of this workshop was to recognize individual differences among participant children. They discussed a war and its causes. Atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. Sixty six years ago, Japan was in the wartime, when children could not enjoy a program to paint on a huge canvas like Kids’ Guernica. Participant children realized that today’s peaceful Japan was based on many victims of wars in the past and Japan’s commitment not to engage in war. The completed mural showed a strong message to cerebrate each difference beyond any discrimination.
August 20, 2011
Still many people are living in their temporary shelters in the northern coastal areas of Japan devasted by the giant tsunami after the catastrophic earthquakes of 3. 11. The first Kids' Guernica workshop was organized in Minami Sanriku-cho, of which coastal area was completely swallowed by the tsunami. Children painted an reconstructed image of their town.
August 20, 2011
A Kids' Guernica for the affected area of 3.11 earthquake was created by all the students of Nakateshima Elementary School in Osaka, Japan. It expresses their sympathy and support to children in the most damaged areas by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. This painting was sent to Ishinomaki City, one of the most affected areas and exhibited during an educational festival at Iinogawa Junior High School in the city. The event was organized by Renaissance of Japanese Education. Partipant students discussed what they needed now and how they could contribute to reconstruct their destroyed town.