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Some thoughts written down…mixing-up the readings and related responses…no editing on purpose as I want to keep them as thoughts…some visual inputs…hope it flows!
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Within the Shades of Noir material, I could include a variety of links and resources to instigate further critical thinking, to show the processes of current debates in higher education, and to also cross-connect with different media art outputs for a more inclusive conversation. The balance with ethics, action, impact in academic steps both from staff and students. I find particularly relevant the connection with the various artistic practices, as well as the connection with social concerns from a macro to micro lens. On a couple of students’ projects this year, I have engaged with the Soul of a Nation exhibition at Tate Modern (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/soul-nation-art-age-black-power) and this created very interesting discussion not only of the subject but also on a wide variety of artistic media practices and responses to consider. It underlined the importance of social justice education in higher education but in the wider society too, showing how art and design can create effective discussions and underline different voices. I believe more resources and outputs, especially with creative communication, should be available to the wider public too, in order to create different exchanges.
And these exchanges (also reading Tapper’s article http://www.abrahamsvision.org/files/A_Pedagogy_of_Social_Justice_Education_A__Hahn_Tapper.pdf) are key elements for shaping a social justice education model and methods. They can be a way to impact the university scenario, flowing between staff and students recruitment and creative critical practices, as well as being explicit in identifying the disparities and working towards a more balanced system and programme. This can be achieved in my own individual practice with my students and exchanges with colleagues, but it also needs a more larger cross-institutional action in order to affect guidelines and programmes’ roots. And also, perhaps we should work more with outreach and public engagement programmes, allowing open access and open data outputs outside the university setting too.
This might mean, create participatory art collaboration with grass root communities and/or libraries, offsite art installations, pop-up exhibitions, talks, street workshops, etc. And this could engage with Freire’s inputs on Pedagogy of the Oppressed, when we should then look at investigating further the structure of the roles, of the techniques, of the approaches we choose as practitioners. How can we empower more different voice and learn from it? What is the process of positive social change if we don’t put our own role and system into question?
And so here I connect to The Room of Silence film (https://vimeo.com/161259012) where I find very interesting to see a collective response through different students’ voices into how higher education (with a specific case study here, but I believe we could enlarge to many institutions) faces the very concept of race and ethnicity in academic work, practices, environment…I find this piece to be a good critical tool for enabling more social justice education exchanges, also creating provocations to question more our own knowledge and our own responses as lecturers and how we could create ad-hoc open discussions in our curriculum. That said, it came also clear that there is a need for open sharing and for inserting diversity in all its faces as a key aspect of the programmes in education, from professional developments of staff to rethinking how the curriculum is structured. As well as different analyses and approaches from teaching, we need a stronger institutional framework that can support it and can allow a more wide spread understanding of this healthy conversation we are having (without pointing fingers) even just here on this Inclusive Teaching unit.