Posted 1 month ago

Goodbye Tumblr.

We’ll keep our spot here, but for now we’re consolidating and won’t be posting here for the foreseeable future (but I know you’ll leave our posts here as an archive won’t you).

There’s good reasons to stay with the creative, exploratory community here on Tumblr, but for now, we’re putting our energy into focusing on what we do best:

Getting quality short films into the hands of life long learners.

We’ll super-charge our ongoing social interactions here:

Twitter for short stuff

Facebook for broader social stuff

YouTube for video stuff

And our site for the core of what we do

campfire.org.au

Thanks for your great platform, your support, your love :)

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Go well!

Posted 9 months ago
4 great sentence-starters for honest discussion
What an inspiration!Seeing about 25 Grade 2 & 3 children (aged 7 - 9) deeply engaged in thinking and talking about big philosophical ideas for over an hour. One child at a time sharing deep thoughts, carefully listening to each other and asking each other questions. The teacher was almost out of the scene as an observer like us.
This was an observation session I attended after presenting my own work for Campfire at the recent VAPS conference. What a treat it was! How priceless to hear such young minds at work, respectfully engaging with each other, teasing out big ideas.

One boy shared his thoughts, “building on Laura’s idea, I think that…”
Later, the conversation turned in a new direction when another child asked, “Reuben, what makes you say that?”
There’s a lot that can be said about how the skilled teacher so successfully ran this community of enquiry, but at its core there were clearly some well-established tools and techniques for good listening and thinking skills.
These four sentence-starters were up on the wall as a handy reminder:
I agree because…
I disagree because…
What makes you say that?
Building on that idea I think…
These are surely sentence-starters we could all do with applying a little more in our adult lives with whoever we’re engaging with!
Thanks Brunswick East Primary School for allowing us to watch your intelligent young students, and VAPS for making it possible.

Campfire is about promoting honest discussion and sharing life’s insights.

4 great sentence-starters for honest discussion

What an inspiration!
Seeing about 25 Grade 2 & 3 children (aged 7 - 9) deeply engaged in thinking and talking about big philosophical ideas for over an hour. One child at a time sharing deep thoughts, carefully listening to each other and asking each other questions. The teacher was almost out of the scene as an observer like us.

This was an observation session I attended after presenting my own work for Campfire at the recent VAPS conference. What a treat it was! How priceless to hear such young minds at work, respectfully engaging with each other, teasing out big ideas.

One boy shared his thoughts, “building on Laura’s idea, I think that…”

Later, the conversation turned in a new direction when another child asked, “Reuben, what makes you say that?”

There’s a lot that can be said about how the skilled teacher so successfully ran this community of enquiry, but at its core there were clearly some well-established tools and techniques for good listening and thinking skills.

These four sentence-starters were up on the wall as a handy reminder:

  • I agree because…
  • I disagree because…
  • What makes you say that?
  • Building on that idea I think…

These are surely sentence-starters we could all do with applying a little more in our adult lives with whoever we’re engaging with!

Thanks Brunswick East Primary School for allowing us to watch your intelligent young students, and VAPS for making it possible.

Campfire is about promoting honest discussion and sharing life’s insights.

Posted 11 months ago

Graphic Music

What is the symbolic, textual language of music? How do diverse individuals interpret a musical score to create a unified whole? All languages evolve - can the symbols that we interpret via musical performance evolve as well? How do we, as a group of individual performance musicians, interpret a new, unprecedented language?

Graphic Music charts the musicians’ experience of bringing to performance a musical text that would traditionally be seen as art - not a clef or note in sight. The percussionists interpret colours and shapes, and incorporate them into their performance via coloured light playing with the shapes of a Percy Grainger score imprinted on the wall of the Recital Centre in Melbourne. The text, the score, the musical symbols, are the performance.  

N.B. Younger music and/or art students might find this material inaccessible.

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Download Fireside Notes for Teachers

Filmmaker: William Head

Year: 2009

Duration: 7:15

Posted 11 months ago

The Butcher’s Wife

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The Butcher’s Wife

Note: This film contains very confronting material, and should be shown with caution. (Suits Year11+)

What makes women stay with husbands who abuse them? What goes on in their hearts and minds while their bodies are being broken? What role do children play in these relationships - do the women stay for the financial security they will have, or do they leave in order to protect them? How far are the women willing to go? Where is their breaking point, if they have one?

This moving film depicts a mother talking to her daughter (who is behind the camera) about her life with a violent husband. The love and safety felt between the two women gives the film a touching authenticity and power, which students should be able to relate to. The mother feels safe telling her story to her daughter, so she tells it. Perhaps a question to ask is, would her story stay unspoken without that security? It is, however, a story of strength and hope, where the bond between mother and child can help overcome even the most challenging hardships.

Download Fireside Notes for teachers

Filmmaker: Kylie Plunkett

Year: 2008

Duration: 10:58

– AO

Posted 1 year ago

My Green Friday: Perception and synaesthesia

 

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This film gives insights into the experiences of three young people with synaesthesia. What is synaesthesia? It is basically the mixing of senses - people with the condition can see sounds, letters and numbers as colours, they can taste colours and sounds, and other combinations. They often mention being unaware of their synaesthesia until late adolescence, when they stumble upon the information, or those around them notice that they perceive the world differently!

This film could be a wonderful introduction in the topic of Brain and Behaviour in Psychology. How does our unique biochemistry shape our perceptions? What can we learn from each other?

Filmmaker: Kirrilly Brentnall

Year: 2012

Duration: 9:42

Download teacher notes

 

Posted 1 year ago

White Paper animated film

“White Paper” is a simple yet striking animation from Iranian animator Seyed Pourmohseni.

 

In the world of White Paper, grey people inhabit grey houses, and it rains frequently! Every house has a coloured child, and in the course of the film these children learn self-acceptance, open-mindedness and compassion, cooperation, and a positive perspective. What effect does their journey have on their grey world?

 

This animation is suitable for all ages, but especially for younger children. The symbolism is easily accessible and will provide fertile ground for discussions about racism, self-acceptance, and compassion.

 

The film is dedicated “to all coloured people”.

Dir. Seyed Mohsed Pourmohseni, Iran, 2010. Duration 3:17 min. 

Download Fireside Notes for teachers

Posted 1 year ago

Showcase Animation Festival: Face to Face

Part of the Animation Showcase, Face to Face is an animated documentary by Sarah Firth, part of the Face to Face Project she completed as an artist in residency program in Springvale.

face to face

Face to Face focus is a class of primary-aged children talking about race, religion, friendship and life in Australia. The children are candid, thoughtful and offer a diversity of opinions and experience. 

As a documentary, the audio is presented with engaging, bright animation that captures a variation of expressions within its simple lines. 

Dir. Sarah Firth, Australia, 2013. Duration 10:12 min. 

Download Fireside Notes for teachers

Posted 1 year ago

Digesting slowly

Amongst all the moving stories and reflections on yesterday’s Anzac Day, I was most taken by a radio interview with war artist, Jon Cattapan.

Jon highlighted the value of working with a slow medium in a fast age.

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You’re in competition with all sorts of rapid media and my feeling as a painter is that you should use the materiality and the purpose of painting itself. It’s a medium that’s made slowly, it can be digested slowly, it can be beautiful at the same time as having a message to deliver.

I think the same could be said for films made with a deep respect for time. Even short films. Many take weeks, months and even years to create. Quality art takes time.

In our fast classrooms, catering for our attention-deficient students, surely there also needs to be the space for digesting slowly. Quality learning takes time.

For me it was a simple reminder that we all need more patience. Patience on so many levels.

Posted 1 year ago

"Free lunch" analysis

Who DOESN’T like a free new online tool?! But there are traps.

The whole reason we set Campfire up as a social enterprise was so we could keep going beyond the ‘this is a good idea’ stage. Here’s some thoughtful analysis about the traps of ‘free lunch’ services by Cameron Hocking — and how to work your way through the maze of what to invest your time in.

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From Bright Ideas - State Library of Victoria Blog

Posted 1 year ago

The Good Life Festival: Rock & Roll is Only Thing That Makes Me Feel Good

A change of pace, this music video for The Vasco Era’s "Rock & Roll is The Only Thing that makes Me Feel Good"   by PLOT Media can start discussions on the search for an authentic meaning for one’s life and the need for something to make it all worthwhile.

Rock & Roll

Beset by creepy crawlies, garbage and egg pelting and having his face scrawled with permanent marker, a young man staggers through a day with blase detachment, waiting for a gig that night.

D. Dan Koerner, Australia, 2011. Running time 3:02 min.

Teaching notes by Lisa Tribuzio.

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