My Father and the Monkey

Kids workshop

The first event in the run-up to our exhibition … of bread, wine, cars, security and peace was an evening of performances with artist Sylvia Palacios Whitman (*1941), which we organized in cooperation with the Burgtheater in November 2019.

Sylvia often uses sketches to develop her performances in which she creates poetic and humorous, wondrous imagery with simple materials. Visit to the Monkey and Other Childhood Stories began as a personal exercise with illustrative drawings to help her remember her childhood in Chile in the 1940s. Sylvia told her friends about these drawings, adding lively anecdotes from earlier days. A friend eventually encouraged her to make a performance that merged her drawings and storytelling. This led to the performance Sylvia presented last year in Vienna.

Sylvia describes her work method as follows: “I do these drawings to try to remember exactly how it was, the faces, the spaces et cetera, when I was a child. The only way for me to do it is to draw it – in a simple childish way. It goes with exactly what happens.”

But what happened here? Have a close look at the picture! How did this scene come about? What happened before? Who are these people in the drawing anyhow? And how could the story continue?

Download one of our comic templates, print it out, and draw how you imagine the story goes on!

Download comic template #1Download comic template #2

You are going to need:

• a pencil
• colored pencils, crayons, or watercolors to paint with

Once you are finished with your picture story, maybe you are also interested to learn how the story My Father and the Monkey turned out for Sylvia. Download the booklet from our exhibition via this link and have a look at page 99.

On pages 94 to 99 in the booklet, you can also find other stories and childhood memories that Sylvia captured. We wish you a lot of fun drawing and reading the stories!