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Art work as a “secret power opening”: A Finnish and Gambian collaboration in researching perspectives, essences, and positions in visual art education

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This article presents a study researching a Finnish and Gambian collaboration in art education during the years 2015-2017. The study was conducted in an intercultural context during visual arts workshops in The Gambia. The main aim was to explore new art pedagogical perspectives, methods, and learning environments for the development of an art school, and for advancing the learning and teaching of the visual arts. Qualitative research methodology, memory work, and interviews were used in the collection of data from Finnish and Gambian students, teachers, artists, and local people about their memories and experiences, as connected to learning the visual arts. The results suggest that a transformative approach to the process of art students’ learning – emphasizing passion and freedom as vitalizing actants in realizing art, and utilizing meaningful people to encourage artists’ motivation – should be supported and strengthened, both in visual art pedagogy and in everyday life. https://shop.unigrafia.fi/tuote/sand-indigo-a-finnish-and-gambian-collaboration-in-art-pedagogy/ Keywords: art education: art school; intercultural learning; visual art pedagogy
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... The memory-work method was well suited to that research project. An article "Art work as a 'secret power opening': A Finnish and Gambian collaboration in researching perspectives, essences, and positions in visual art education" was published at the end of the three year project (Jääskeläinen & Pitkänen-Walter, 2018). ...
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Jääskeläinen, T. (forthcoming). Individual becomes collective becomes individual: Collective Memory-Work as a reciprocal and continuous learning process for hybrid artists. In R. Hamm (Ed.) Special Issue “Collective Memory-Work”. Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives, 9(1). Abstract: Collective Memory-Work is a method that aims to question and change the general ways of thinking that lie behind our theoretical assumptions. One of the principal ideas in memory-work is that individual persons actively participate in their own formation as social beings and parts of existing social structures. In this way, the individual becomes the collective. The Collective Memory-Work approach was originally developed within a feminist framework, but it has been widely adapted to more general contexts, including the arts. In this article I reflect on my experiences as a learner in the light of memory-work’s potential for, and challenges in, bringing the individual into the collective and then back from the collective to the individual. At the same time, I present the role of arts in my experiences of using the memory-work method. Finally, I discuss the potential of Collective Memory-Work as a reciprocal and continuous learning process for hybrid artists, enabling them to develop their identity as artists and introduce their artistic methods and products into collective learning processes in order to meet the growing needs for creativity, collaboration, change, and well-being in society.
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