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Lesson Plans


Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM & Storyteller doll DIRECTIONS

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Graeme Chalmers (gfchalm)
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 10:37:18 -0800 (PST)

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Linda, I believe that your heart's in the right place and you probably do
want to expose students to the art forms of a variety of cultures, but I
wonder if others share my concerns about the recipe for making storyteller
dolls?

Have issues of cultural appropriation and ownership been addressed? Is it
trivializing the art of the "other" to focus on technique and wish that
students have a "happy modeling experience?"

Having said this, and probably having made myself quite unpopular, I think
that there are some ways to contextualize and rescue a cross-cultural art
activity around the theme of "storytelling." Students could look at and
discuss art that is used to tell stories across a variety of cultures
e.g.(Wajang puppets from Indonesia, [in fact puppets from all cultures for
that matter], quilts, Trajan's column, and Cochiti storyteller dolls) etc.
etc. Certainly I think that students should make art to tell stories, but I
have some concern about decontextualizing an art form which may not belong
to us.

What do you think?

Graeme

Graeme Chalmers
Graduate Adviser
Department of Curriculum Studies
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z4

Tel: 604 822-4842
Fax: 604 822-9366


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