Within the framework of the I_AM project: “Inclusive education using Animation and Multimedia”, Animasyros in collaboration with IMEEGEE created a short animated educational video called “The Suitcase”. The video was projected for the first time in Greece on December 11, on World Disability Day and it used the teaching staff as an example to familiarize students with the concept of inclusion and arouse their interest. It is good practice for films of this type to be used as tools to create a school-friendly, inclusive environment. This educational video was made in collaboration with special education staff and parents of children with special educational needs. A young person with a disability also participated and contributed significantly as a role model to the result.
The protagonist does not have a specific identity and can be any student, who is on the way to school. He goes to school by train carrying a suitcase, which initially symbolizes the “weight” he feels due to his / her disability. During the trip he/she meets other passengers, who have their own experiences or ‘suitcases’, for example, one passenger wears a cochlear implant/headphones, another has difficulty seeing, etc. With these people, the protagonist meets, and shares emotions and experiences and so the weight of the suitcases slowly decreases.
At the end of the journey, the protagonist arrives at the school where children’s voices are heard. All students leave their suitcases outside the school because inside the school they are all equal but also different.
This video gives rise to many discussions as it contains many symbolisms about what difference means, how the existing ‘weight’ is shared and how obstacles can be overcome inside and outside the classroom.