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Lesson Plans

Re: sacrilage

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Rosa Juliusdottir (rojul)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 20:21:42 GMT

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The discussion on "Glenīs issue" is shedding so much light on many thoughts
that I have had in the past. The more I think about it the more convinced I
become of the fact that we have to treat art, and sacred object WE call
art, very differently.
I was glad to read Teresa Tiptonīs writing on this issue and think she is
absolutly right when she says:"
>We must be sensitive to those belief systems and not impose ours on them,
>further "robbing" them of their essence. There are ceremonies we shouldn't
>be imitating and objects we shouldn't be replicating, according to the
>belief system of the culture. To assume that it's ok in the name of art in
>another form of cultural ethnocentrism.
>It's important for us as teachers and artists to discover what those are
>and to treat them with the respect they deserve by not placing them in a
>context which undermines their intrinisic value. When in doubt, consult
>the primary source - i.e. native elders and historians - for advice."

If we are going to use objects like the ones we have been talking about to
teach about different culture I certainly feel we have to do it somewhat
like Sharon Hill describes it:

"The key concept behind the object is what is
<important, not the object itself. For example, if
<students copy Egyptian iconography in making death
<masks, what have they learned? Wouldn't a higher level
<of thinking and understanding be reached if the
<students looked at cultural examples and then applied
<the concepts of time, permanence, and heritage to
<their own experience? They could develop masks or
<images that interpretted their ideas about what they
<would like future viewers to know about them. What
<aspects of their lives would they like to be
<If students can examine key concepts and develop
<essential questions and then interpret them visually,
<I believe we would have a more valid learning
<experience and not be subject to rote copying of
<cultural imagery."

I feel the most important issue in all this is to respect the art and
cultures of all people and try not at all to simplify something we might
not understand and not copy something just because we find it "cute or nice
for children to make".

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