Workshop “Waiting Room” was realized for the occasion of the exhibition “Waiting for people, machines and the City” by artists Nadia Mustapić and Toni Mestrovic. The aim of the workshop was to remind of the importance of rail and traffic for the city of Rijeka and see the results of the work of artists we met in August 2014, when their work was in its infancy.
Day workshop was held in the main city station, where we recalled the details of what we learned in the Summer School “By Railway …”. The children told us when was railroad created, who was working on the railway and what it meant. Then we recalled what the artists Nadia and Toni said about their work during our last visit.
During our workshop we applied the methods that we used during the preparations for the movie “Take Over Benčić”. In order for the children to create a deeper connection with the train station space itself, which is nowadays rarely visited, we used two games – role play and sound/movement game.
Role play game was applied through the conversation with the children, by having them list the occupations related to railways and explain their meaning so everyone would be clear on the roles of each occupation. Then the children are instructed to choose a profession and to also develop a character of the professional. Going through this process paints a real picture of those professionals to the children because they invent their name, financial situation and personal details. Through this exercise kids gained an understanding that all people do not earn the same money, or that not all of them have families and that it’s not easy when a job someone works their entire life is diminishing.
The sound/movement game is interesting and dynamic for children. Through this game the become conscious of their environment and learn about teamwork. This time the children were divided into two groups. One group has developed a sound that we hear at the railway station, while the second group movement that evoked the atmosphere of the railway station. Then the groups merged into a single unit. In order to connect with the work of the artists we talked about what it means to wait and in what contexts can we connect it to the railway station. To prepare for that discussion the children wrote down their definition of waiting.
After we were joined by the artists and helped them set up their work. Children had the opportunity to see what goes on behind a multimedia site-specific installation / exhibition. This part of the workshop was led by Mary Kajapi in collaboration with artists. After the children looked at the installation they had a conversation with Nadia Mustapić, who responded to all their questions, and then the children took their parents through the exhibition.