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Lesson Plans

Re: are we allowed

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Ben Schasfoort (Ben.Schasfoort)
Sun, 09 Mar 1997 23:01:41 +0100

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Carla wrote
>By the way, last week, a young Native American student told our class
>that we could not make dreamcatchers because we did not have to medicine
>to do so. But, he added, we could make them using metal hoops and
>wrapping them with yarn, because then they would just be beautiful
>decorations, without the power to take away bad dreams. He, however,
>could make real dreamcatchers because he had the medicine. It was a
>wonderful learning moment, for me and for the class.

Thanks Carla, this was a learning moment for me.
Could we, to avoid problems of what art we may or may not make, say that art
in nature is not art but a way of expressing visually one's relation to a
I have read and heard and seen pictures about the holocaust, some people I
know lost family. I am a human being, can think of cruelties and can love. I
am not Jewish, but have Jewish friends. Am I not allowed to express myself
visually (I am a visual artist) if someone asks me what I think about the
holocaust? Of course I am, but my answer will be different from that of my
neighbours who as children, suffered in Mauthausen. I have not the right to
think that I can feel the same as the Jewish student you mentioned, but you
were perfectly right with your statement. We are allowed to "make"
storytelling dolls and Hmong cloths and dreamcatchers and a crucifix and
rainsticks and Aztec sacrificial pottery and more. But the fact is, we
don't. We only say what we know from storytelling dolls and the holocaust
and dreamcatchers.
Am I right?
Ben Schasfoort
e-mail: ben.schasfoort
Tel. and fax: (0) 597 55 15 03

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