Maskbook Goes to High School!

Convinced that creativity can play a strong role in teaching about sustainable development, the inter-academic operation "Lycées, collégiens, franciliens, prenons notre air en main" (Students of Île-de-France, let's take the air into our hands) has chosen Maskbook to be an integral part of its project. The participatory dimension of Maskbook particularly appealed to AirParif and the Regional and Interdepartmental Direction of the Environment and Energy of Île-de-France (DRIEE), who launched this operation with the Academies of Créteil, Paris and Versailles, with the support of UN Environment, and in conjunction with many other key actors in education and environment that are committed to reducing air pollution. Select high schools, recognized for their commitment to the environment, will experience Maskbook in their establishment.

During the first full week of March, two high schools, one just outside of Paris in a small town called Limeil-Brevannes, and the other in the 18th district of Paris, contributed to the Maskbook project via mask-creation workshop. 

Guillaume Budé High School in Limeil-Brévannes, east of Paris, is known for its exemplary engagement and committment to the environment, and is recognized as the most engaged school in the region. The establishment has 42 student ecology delegates  and is participating in, this year, multiple actions and campaigns aimed at raising awareness on environmental issues, such as creating their own sustainable development week, participating in the European Week for Waste Reduction, creating a permaculture garden and participating in the inter-academic project "Lycéens, collégiens franciliens prenons notre air en main!

It was on Wednesday March 7th that close to 100 high school students, 15 and 16 year olds, enthusiastically welcomed the mask-making workshop, bringing waste they collected from home, their mask ideas and creativity and knowledge on air pollution. The Art of Change 21 team, along with professors of geography Mr. Manuel Guay and Ms. Julie Legrand, assisted students throughout the creation process, from the selection of ingredients to the portrait studio. The high school even mobilized the cinema club’s professor to partake in the event, filming the workshop and being the in situ photographer for the day.  Some incredibly creative masks were made…

"Zone 51" mask evokes the mask that we will all wear in the future...
Syrine's Mask, "The ProtectAIR".

The following Friday, March 9th, it was High School Edmond Rostand’s turn to get masked and get creative. A technical high school in the north of Paris, the workshop was organized for 20 students training for a vocation in Sanitation and Sterilization. After a presentation by the Art of Change 21 team, the group of 17 - 18 years were free to create their eco-art!

The Art of Change 21 team, in collaboration with the arts teacher Mrs. Virginie Artaud, assisted the students throughout the creation process. At first timid to explore their creativity and hesistant to be in the spotlight for the masked portrait, the students finally let the project’s positivity persuade them to feel inspired, create and have their red-carpet moment. The results were impressive!


Eco-delegate Draffar and his shiny mask...
Marietou with her mask "Let me breathe."

Both schools will prolong the Maskbook experience in thier own way: Guillaume Budé  High School is holding its own sustainable development week, from April 9 to 13, where their masked portraits will be exposed, mini workshops will be held by the student eco-delegates, and… a masked fashion show will be organized! At Edmond Rostand High School, a masked flash-mob will be organized during their Open House day.

Check out the Facebook album of the workshops here and discover the portraits online!

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