My world in this world

Proposed by:

Finding your place in the world also comprises the idea of an inside-out world.

This inside-out world not only shows things in their inverted form, but also how these really are, by discussing the meanings that make them that way.

Info about the activity:
Activity type:
workshop, lesson, screening
Target group:
Number of meetings:
6 hours

The class observes and analyses the painting Time – Past and Present by Paula Rego. This should lead to a debate about how the inner and outer worlds are interconnected, and how this mechanism forms the bonds of a community. The students watch the film Aniki Bóbó, by Manoel de Oliveira and then, inspired by Paula Rego’s work, students make their own self-portraits. These self-portriats seek to get students to know themselves and make themselves known to each other. Children should discover how they are alike and different and how all of this coexists, forming a small community, also known as the classroom.

Workshop description:

  1. Students work together to analyse Paula Rego’s painting. They are asked questions such as: What do we see? How old are the characters? What are they doing? What are they looking at? What are they feeling? Where are they? Do the paintings on the wall have any similarities between them? What do we see beyond the door? Where do we look from?
  2. We ask the children if they have ever gazed into the infinite like the man in blue and to what extent they have felt isolated from everything, when entering their own inner world like the girl drawing.
  3. They are asked to draw a picture in which they represent themselves in this inner world, away from everything, like the man in blue.
  4. Afterwards they will cut and paste this self-representation onto a new sheet of paper, where they will draw and paint:
  • A common space where their family gathers
  • A fear
  • A wish
  • A door to a place where they would like to live
  • A window, just like they perceive it at home

To draw attention and to develop the children’s habilities of analysis, reflection and expression.

To establish a parallel between the way they looked at a painting and the way they looked at a film sequence, still or shot.

To understand these works of art, or artistic making, as an expression of the inner world and an observation of the visible world.

To help discovering and expressing the inner world and how this world is linked to the visible world.


Observation and collective analysis of the painting.

Screening of the film and its excerpts. Group conversation.

Creation of a self-portrait, inspired by the painting and the film, with elements from each person’s inner world and the world around them.

This shall be a self-portrait that not only shall represent the body or the face, but also one’s own inner world, finding ways of revealing what is inside. This shall understand that this inner world is always articulated with the outer world.

Useful material

Activity - My world in this world
Step-by-step presentation

Related Path