Exhibition - workshops

Flexibles dates in the Fall 2020




The Institut Français, the French Embassy and Alliance Française de Toronto invite you to dive into the magical world of "Machine à Bulles".


Flexibles dates in the fall

From 5 to 16 years old

80 minutes


For this Year of the Comic, the “Machines à Bulles” exhibition showcases innovative forms of comics through 24 works illustrating the new reading experiences offered by digital technology.

The Digital allows to blur the lines between all disciplines and to rethink the relationship between authors and readers.


These new types of narratives and ways of reading open new literary creation opportunities and change the relationship to the book, the paper format and the digital “machines”.


Please find all the information regarding the 4 workshops available:


- The great story of the infinite drawing 

Age: 5-12 y.o

Duration: 1h15



The infinite drawing is a great fresco drawn by a bedridden artist. Like her, the kids will learn how to create art out of boredom.



Developing creativity and imagination / producing a fresco. 


How does it work?

(30 min) Presentation of the infinite drawing: how did the artist get the idea, how she did it. The kids are invited to identify as many elements as they can in the drawing, explaining what it means to them and what they think about the artwork.  

(15 min) The kids have to imagine: if they could not move out of their beds (a comparaison can also be made with lockdown) and they were bored, without their friends, what would they do? How about drawing a fresco? They have to think about what they like to do when they are bored and with whom. They can even, like Olly Goldman, let their imagination go wild and think about what they want to do later in life, which legendary creatures they would like to meet… In art, there is no limit!

(30 min) Once they have numerous ideas, they draw them on a white sheet of paper in the same style as Olly Goldman, by superimposing the drawings on each other. If they still have time, they can also add colour to the fresco. To be noted: a collective fresco is possible, though an individual fresco for each kid is rather recommended for practical purposes. 


Workshop’s alternative

For the youngest kids, drawing might be an issue. In this case, it is also possible to pre-cut drawings, coming from Olly Goldman’s pictures bank. The kids can take the ones they like most and mix them with their drawings. Then they can colour their work. 


After the workshop

Once the fresco is done, they can take it at home or the school can exhibit them in its corridors. The school can also communicate on social media about the workshop and the final artworks in order to stay in the spirit of the Olly Goldman’s Instagram fresco. 



  • White paper sheets  
  • Drawing material: pencils, erasers, felt pens, coloured pencils…  
  • For the alternative: pre-cut drawings by Olly Goldman 

- Panama Al Brown

Age : 13-16 y.o

Duration: 1h30 min 



Panama Al Brown traces the exceptional life story of a boxing champion. Passionnated about jazz, acclaimed on the ring even though he hated to fight because of health issues, suffering from racism and a homosexual, his story is told through a journalist’s investigation. He discovers Al Brown while covering a speech of Jean Cocteau, a great friend of the boxer. The students will imagine the poem Jean Cocteau could have written in tribute of his friend. By doing that, they will fully understand the great moments of the life of Panama Al Brown and the challenges he met throughout his life and career. From this workshop will emerge a reflection on highly contemporary issues: racism, homophobia, immigration but also the sport world. . 



Thinking about racism and other social issues throughout history / poetry / history / writing / teamwork


How does it work? 

(optional) Before the workshop: studying the poems of Jean Cocteau is advised in literature class in order to fully understand how to write contemporary poetry. 

(30 min to 1h - at home) The students must first read the online comic Panama Al Brown. This first step can be done at school or at home. As they read, they must try to identify the great challenges faced by Panama Al Brown and bring out the main topics of the comic (racism, sport, music, travels, homosexuality, resilience, sickness…)

(1h) Once these topics have been identified, the students get in small groups of 2 or 3 and write a poem on Panama Al Brown. The poem must be written in the style of Jean Cocteau, imagining how the writer could have paid tribute to his friend. The students are free to focus on one element of his life, but they are invited to mix as much as they can the different topics in order to show the diversity of his life. The poems are read in class. 

(30 min) Then the students gather together to reflect upon whether or not the issues faced by Panama Al Brown are still contemporary social challenges. Bringing up the Black LIves Matter movement would be particularly relevant and interesting. Here are some possible questions:

  • Do you think that the matter of racism has evolved since Panama Al Brown and why? 
  • Have you ever witnessed or experienced acts of racism? 
  • How can we fight against racial discimination on a daily basis? 
  • Is racism only against Black people? 


After the workshop

The poems can be exhibited in the school. 



  • No required material but laptops and/ or paper sheets and pencils. 

- Manger vers le futur - Eat towards the future

Age : 12-16 y.o

Duration: 1h20



Throughout the evolution of the annual dinners between 4 friends, Manger vers le futur (Eat towards the future) analyses our contemporary feeding and producing practices and wonders about the one of tomorrow. The online, easy-to-read comic comes with scientific studies and presentations to learn more about each alternative the characters are talking about. The work invites you to a reflection upon ecology and our consumption habits. It resonates with accuracy with the current environmental debates. This debate-workshop will enable the students to question their own feeding habits and to better understand their impact on the ecosystem. 



Reflection upon the ecology, the current feeding and production practices / argumentation / teamwork  


How does it work? 

(30 min to 1h- at home) The students first read the comic (to be noted: some dialogues include some swear words). 

(30 min) In class, they identify the different feeding practices of the characters, their strengths (gastronomy, positive environmental impact…) and weaknesses (pollution, dietary deficiency…). 

(30 min) They are then randomly assigned to different groups and each group has to defend one of the identified feeding habits : omnivorous, lab created food, vegetarian, vegan. Like the characters, they have to first establish their arguments then defend their position against the other groups by using the knowledge acquired while reading the comic. By not necessarily defending their personal opinion, but rather the one assigned to the group, the students will better exercise the art of argumentation. 

(20 min) Each group will then create a balanced and healthy menu for one day in 2050, taking into accounts all the elements of the comic and the debate. If there is more time, they can create the whole week menu for a school, in order to fully understand how hard it can get to establish diversified and balanced menus.  


After the workshop

Presentations exploring deeper the comic topics could be interesting to go further into the reflection. For instance: “can you live without eating meat?”, “the lab-created food”, “organic agriculture”, “permaculture”... 

The documentary Demain (Tomorrow), 2015 would also be great to go further as it explores the matter of the consumption and feeding habits of the close future. It would be an excellent addition to think about these issues.  



  • No required material but laptops and/ or paper sheets and pencils. 

- Le portrait d’Esther - Esther's portrait

Age : 14-18 y.o

Duration: 1h30



Esther’s portrait dives into the story of a family. Through 3 generations of women and a painting, the comic explores the matter of spoliation of Jewish property by the Naziw during the Second World war, Resistance and the role of Art. The students will think about these topics by wondering about how they would have reacted in the same situation. 



History / Art / Argumentation / Teamwork


How does it work? 

(1h - at home) The students read the comic. 

(20 min) In class, together, they explain what they thought about the comic then identify the main elements at stake in the comic: spoliation and restitution of Jewish property, collaboration, Resistance, legacy...

(25 min) They divide into groups of 4 or 5 to reflect upon each topic. Either the students have identified relevant topic and choose to work on them, or here are some ideas: 

  • Would I have joined the Resistance?
  • What is the role of Art in our daily life and our culture? Is it worth risking one’s life to protect it? 
  • Can the descendants of a collaborator be held responsible for his/her actions? Should they restitute the stolen property? 

(45 min) Each group makes a presentation on its topic and their conclusion (5 to 10 min). Each presentation is followed by a short debate with the whole class. 


After the workshop

To go further on the role of Art, studying the concept of “degenerate art” (as mentioned in the comic) would be very interesting in History or Art class. Linking the reflection with the contemporary destruction of artworks or world heritage sites (such as Palmyre being destroyed by ISIS) would be especially relevant. 



  • No required material but laptops and/ or paper sheets and pencils. 



To simply organize your Field Trip, please contact us directly at

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If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our team

416 922 2014 ext 37