Behind the Blackboard is a socially engaged project comprising ”transition workshops” held in elementary and secondary schools with 11-16 year old youths in different countries. The workshops aims to provide the youths creative space and means to envision their own immediate environments better and to transform that vision into reality.
In the workshops the participating youths study and analyze problems inside their school communities, develop solutions for the problems and implement the solutions into practice. Each workshop process is recorded and edited to an individual video documentary to be used by the schools and in public presentations of the project.
This far the project has been implemented in Helsinki City Kaisaniemi- and Keinutie Primary Schools in Helsinki, Finland 2015; Ambition Ideal School & College in Chittagong, Bangladesh 2016; Shree Rajeshwori Higher Secondary School in Sipapokhare, Sindhupalchowk and Dibya Joyti English Medium School in Bungmati, Lalitpur, Nepal 2017.
For example in the Keinutie Primary School in Helsinki the youths developed an intervention which gave visibility to the communal problems youths face in everyday school life. On May Day the youths distributed one thousand balloons printed with slogans about problems in their school first to their school community, and later in Helsinki University Metro Station to citizens on their way to May Day events.
In Bangladesh the youths wanted to increase positive interaction between the students in their school and designed and built a student´s social space and library for their student community. In Nepal, where the youths were studying in a temporary tin shelter school after Nepal´s 2015 earthquake, the students suffered from bad sound proofing of the shelter. For solution the youths designed and built new sound proofing for the shelter school using local techniques and natural materials.
JP Kaljonen, Lauri Ståhlberg (Helsinki productions); JP Kaljonen, Abu Naser Robii (Chittagong production); JP Kaljonen, Abu Naser Robii, Rabin Maharjan, Muna Bhadel (Sipapokhare and Bungamati productions), Socially engaged art project / 3 x 1-channel video installations (30 min), Finland, Bangladesh, Nepal 2015-.