The Spirit of Play
A project about self learning on craft for low income families
Project journal: https://thespiritofplay.tumblr.com
The spirit of play is both a character and a guide book. It’s a result of a 5weeks field project in the Narikuravara Community in Puducherry, South India together with Marta Woszczyna. We cooperated with a local NGO, Samugam. The project involved practical workshops with local children (adults and volunteers) from . In order to give solution to self and peer learning activities possibilities for local children, and integrated it with play.
To respect people’s own wills and their own unique identities, we set our framework based on the situations and people preferences in place and time.
Creative workshops and play are easy way for communication but also to break the ice. In the learing discussion, we found out practical skill from making stuff to builing houses are more important for the children; in the map drawing section, the children paid extra attaction on the farms/woods areas, we found out plants are so insprired for their daily life.
We analysed after each workshops, and finalised the weaving technique teaching section for them to make either play things, handy tools or big structures.
Transformation and interpretation
With using of local materials, we thought of applying participatory craft activities to foster playfulness in daily life situations. The craft activities are not the final solution, but a self-help process for the locals to develop their own solution.
After we weave some 'basket-like' forms, children started to interact with them and apply the way they like to use it. Some used them as a container for kitten, or carried as a hurting tool bags, and even turn it upside down as a hat or animal face mask.
The crafting guide can be used as an additional learning activities to existing educational program. By practically engage children and create the spirit of play together, the activities provide wider choice of what children (and adults) could do base on locally available resources. At the same time, could also be a humanistic approach for NGOs to open up the discussions on certain local issues (e.g tradition, needs, hygiene, public space ownership, vocational skill practice...etc). and an open way to understand ethnic group, from social behaviors, traditions, needs, to specific interests.
Unlimited forms of the spirit of play
The spirit of play is a character represents a playful way to understanding. It can be transformed into different forms base on the creator’s imagination and locally available materials, it can be a play character, a game tool, a theatre costume, a playground sculpture, a container or a container.
The pictures below are showing some variation example of the spirit of play which we have made mostly with locally find materials in the nature.