Twenty-two middle school children (12 in Tijuana and 10 in San Diego) learned and applied the technique of “model animation” to produce short animated films about the lives of children on “the other side of the border.” With the support and supervision of trained visual artists, graduate students, and educators, children of each city discussed the ways they think about and represent the “other side.”
HTMMA students worked under the guidance of two French experts, Sébastien Water and Guilles Coirier, from the independent film company L’Espace du Mounton à Plume. Roland Michon from the University of Rennes 2 in France, Zoe Randall from HTMMA, and Adriana Trujillo from YonkeArt in Tijuana also facilitated the workshops.
This project connected our students to art and international issues. It was a pleasure to see my students engaged in dialogue about the U.S. and Mexico with SDSU grad students and Mexican and French visual artists, while creating a beautifully crafted animation film. The opportunity to learn animation from a French artist, translate French daily to my students, and interact with a diverse group of artists was a real dream. A documentary about their views of the border is being produced, and their animation films will be celebrated in France at international film festivals and used as pedagogical tools at SDSU and other venues. It has changed my life and my students’ lives forever to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
I thought this film was just for fun, and I didn’t know French animators were coming. I thought it was only going to take a week, but it took a month, and a month went by very fast. The first time I crossed the border was when we saw the second premiere of our movie in Tijuana. I was kind of scared and nervous because I didn’t know what was going to happen. But once I got there and stayed awhile, I got comfortable and thought it was a good experience. I got to learn animation and meet new people like never before.
—Josiah Terronez, 6th grade, HTMMA