Drawing, Body, City


Related subjects or curricular areas: Science, Social Studies

24 schoolchildren, grade 4, Zamakola-Juan Delmás School, Bilbao

Teacher: Agurtzane Iturriaga

Artist: Manu Muniategiandikoetxea

Language: Basque

The project’s main theme was a curricular topic: the main systems of the human body. Art was used as a path to learning and knowledge. A side topic was brought into consideration as well: thoughts and feelings, as the intangible part of human beings. Finally, the city was chosen as setting–specifically, the district of La Peña in Bilbao. The idea was to create a theme route from our bodies to their environment, from our bodily organs to our city, with art and artists as part of the process.

First of all, the kids were asked to compare sketches of the human body to maps of Bilbao. Then, in groups, they had to make drawings illustrating the subway network, the rail system, the river and navigation, the flood of 1983, and the transformation of La Peña over the years. The drawings were brought together in a single collage where they were connected by vessels like the veins and arteries in the human body, coming in and out of a beating heart. Thus, the human body and its organs were used as a simile for the city and the society living in it. Then, the collage became a 3D map, featuring paper pulp and clay figurines, and three-dimensional vessels.

As the project unfolded, the pupils learned the value of respect, empathy, cooperation, team work, shared authorship, and group feelings. The importance of showing one’s feelings and taking the feelings of others into account was emphasized throughout the process.