Before Amsterdam – Helen

I found out about the Art of Change-making course in February, when I received an e-mail from Jessica Carson inviting past participants from the Arts, Participation and Development course that she runs to attend.

I immediately texted my friend Claire. We had both completed the course and it has laid the foundations for the work we do now. The Arts, Participation and Development programme teaches how to connect creative methods with social change at a local and global level, and Claire and I now work together facilitating young people in art projects that connect them to the wider community. We had a bit of a laugh when I sent a text telling her about this “awful” course in Amsterdam. She wrote back saying how much she’d hate to go and the correspondence continued in the same vein…all completely insincere of course, we knew the Art  of Change-making was for us!

We had about a week to apply and felt, if our application was to be noticed it would have to stand out. We discussed our answers to the three important questions:

What excites you about exploring the Art of Change-making for an extended period of ten days with forty people from around the world in Amsterdam?
What passions, questions and motivations do you bring to the Art of Change-making?
What would help you take forward your visions for change?

Then, we set to creating a stop-motion animation, drawing and writing the details that we wanted to bring to life. We took hundreds of photographs, moving every individual piece slightly with every photograph taken and imported them to iMovie. We had recently discovered the song Bathtime in Clerkenwell (that’s also a great animated video, I’d recommend watching it), which had become the theme tune to our task. It was obvious to us that it should be the soundtrack to our video and we were ecstatic (no exaggeration) when our video stills fitted perfectly in with the song!

We spent about two days creating the animation and uploaded it to YouTube with minuted to go before the application deadline. You can imagine our delight when we got the acceptance email. We were going to Amsterdam!

Here’s the video…


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