“To This Day” Project (Amazing Video)

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 8.59.15 AMShane Koyczan — spoken word poet, writer, and performer — was the first Canadian to win the National Poetry Slam in 2000. That success portended the recent virality of “To This Day,” an emotional and passionate exploration of bullying, victimhood, and the ongoing struggle to heal wounds so as to not be defined by them.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.02.46 AMOne of the many beautiful things about the “To This Day Project” is that it is animated by a collection of artists who created 20-second segments to accompany the poem. The result is a mosaic of visually moving interpretations of Shane’s narration. Collectively, the artistic collaboration of poet and animators create an art form that is powerful, instructive, and deeply moving. And inspiring.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.10.11 AMAs a metaphor for education, it speaks to both the need to cultivate authentic opportunities for students to leverage their strengths and share their unique voices as well as the urgency of ensuring that each and every student is — and feels — safe and valued in our learning communities.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.03.47 AMWatch below. It will move and transform you.

Want to know more?

On the To This Day Project website they write,

To This Day Project is a project based on a spoken word poem written by Shane Koyczan called “To This Day”, to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.

Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying.

Animators and motion artists brought their unique styles to 20 second segments that will thread into one fluid voice.

This collaborative volunteer effort will demonstrate what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together.

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Images: ScreenShots from the “To This Day” Video

 

Before I die I want to . . .

Before-I-Die-NOLA-Candy-Chang-wall-angled

Creating discussions and constructive conversations that lead to transformational learning necessitates we generate experiences that reframe our perspective on our world. Sometimes this can happen in surprising and spontaneous ways that build community.

Candy Chang created just such an event in her neighborhood in New Orleans when she painted an abandoned house with chalkboard paint and then stenciled “Before I die I want to . . . ” all over it. She supplied chalk and passer-bys supplied the ideas. Watch her TED Talk below and you may find yourself wanting to create a gorilla conversation in your neighborhood.

We can take a lot from this video, but perhaps one of the most important is to wonder, “Are we giving students opportunities to express their voices in way that matter to them?” Or, “What can we do more to make sure they feel like school is a reflection of their needs, interests, and desires?”

You can watch her talk on the TED site as well.

Image: Candy Chang
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