How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?
I would apply the resources to my own teaching practice as part of a workshop, and using Shade of Noir diverse resources as starting point http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/ to discover Race culture and identity from articles and video etc. For instance Shade of Noir has created the ideal environment that is safe and supportive space for both students and teachers to connect with like-minded people to discuss and reflect on individual issues in the relation academic and creative practice. Also Shade of Noir created Teaching within to address the shortage of teachers of colour in all Universities. I would mix students from different racial background in groups of 5, creating an atmosphere where students are relaxed and able express themselves and share their own diverse experiences, finding out about each other identity and cultures. Each group would create a diversity moodboards to represent their races, identity and cultures. Then class discussion and feedback around each group work.
How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?
Shade of Noir website as has a wealth of diverse context, from education, social issues, arts and media to help the student explore race and ethnicity within their group. They can work together in small groups to create a piece of art work, that represent diversity, race, identity and cultures.
Can you cite example? You will share your thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own contest.
Discuss two things you learnt from the text. And one question/provocation you have about the text.
Two things I learned from the text: I found that A Pedagogy of Social Justice Education: Social Identity Theory, Intersectionality, and Empowerment by Aaron J. Hahn Tapper. After reading Hahn Tapper article, it was interesting he highlighted the conflict between the Jews And the Palestinian, I felt that it was more about religion, politics and money rather than race. A conflict of war between the Jewish and Palestinian, whereby, the Jews are the oppressor and the Palestinian are the oppressed. I can see the difference and inequalities and social justice because the Palestines land was taken from them and they have to live a life without freedom and inequality. And the different group need to work together to address this imbalanced. However, I can say that I haven’t learnt anything that I don’t already know. I’ll still keep an open mind on the situation. I have read Professor Kimberle Crenshaw articles, she is known for devising the term ‘Intersectionality’ whiles giving a talk on the lack of representation of black women in white feminism, she highlighted the struggles and conflict black women were facing with race, sexuality, gender, and class. For instance in doing so she gave a voice to feminist of colour. In addition, to the case study programs (page426), Shade of Noir Teaching Within programme I know about, and its already in place and is very successful. Shade of Noir has worked very hard to transform and implementing changes by addressing the imbalance of teachers and student of colour in dominantly white universities.
Freire explains the role that identity plays in the shaping and implementation of education. One of his most important arguments is that students’ identities need to be taken into account in all educational settings. They should not be approached as if everyone in the classroom, including the teacher, is starting from the same place in terms of social status and identity. Although virtually no one discounts the central role that teachers play in a given classroom, Freire extends this point, expounding on how a teacher’s social identities play as much of a role in a classroom environment as anything else. He says that an ideal educational experience exists between a teacher and students rather than emanating from a teacher to students. A teacher needs to create experiences with, and not for, students, integrating their experiences and voices into the educational experience itself (Freire 2006). I can draw Freire’s ideas to help broaden my understanding about my own teaching and learning practices.
In relation to ‘Intersectionaliity’, I read a really interesting article on the subject by David Gillborn. Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and the Primacy of Racism Race, Class, Gender and Disability in Education. I have taken a short clip to share. ‘We live at a time when racist inequities continue to scar the economy, education, health, and criminal justice systems (Equality & Human Rights Commission [EHRC], 2010) but when merely naming racism as an issue is sufficient to generate accusations of “playing the race card”—the supposed “special pleading” that Derrick Bell’s “rules of racial standing” analyze so brilliantly (Bell, 1992, p. 111)—or, worse still, we are judged to be acting in ways that are racist against White people. At this time, it is more important than ever that we take our cue from Derrick Bell and have the courage to say the unsay-able and follow through in our actions. We can use intersectionality, but we must not be silenced by it. Bell’s legacy demands nothing less.’
The silence Room:
The room of silence is a very personal and emotional space that many students of colour recognition and experience I can relate to them. As black female artist I have been through the similar experience, isolated in a ‘crit’ been the only black person in the room. Also similar to the students in the video I witness a female BAME student from RCA, who was marginalised and isolated by her tutors and fellow student, she was made to feel like she was been bullied as well invisible with their silence about her work, and she was worried that this type of treatment might affect her grades, this was highlighted in a heartfelt emotional speech at the Shade of Noir Decolonising The Institution.
The Latino student mentions in the video that she counts the number of students of colour in her class was three in dominantly white space. So many students of colour have experienced this in many Universities around the world, counting the faces of students and teachers of colour who they can relate to in a hostile racicalized environment. However, according to Booth and Ainscow, 2000. “Inclusion in education is concerned with breaking down barriers to learning and increasing participation for all students, treating all learners on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.” As Teachers we have the opportunity to make adjustment to accommodate all student needs, ensuring that all have an fair and equal opportunity to succeed.
I haver found that after reading Inside The Ivory Tower that Institutions are still failing and they are moving very slow to address issue and this why interventions is an important aspect the inequalities and the marginalisation of people of colour. Because Academics and students are subject to race and gender discrimination and victimisation. This quote by Deborah Gabriel sum up the journey of people of colour the lack of diversity in Universities. “We choose to assimilate into an organisational structure and institutional space that was never created for us, and adopt the dominant social norms with the hope that our compliance will be rewarded – or we can choose in a myriad of ways, to resist. we choose to resist” (Deborah Gabriel, 2017).
RCA Students’ Union invited Aisha Richards and the team at Shades of Noir into the RCA On April 11th 2018, on DECOLONISING THE INSTITUTION. Shades of Noir champion social justice pedagogy and develops practices which centres the voices of the marginalised in the arts, culture and Higher Education … Continue reading Decolonising the Institution #2 | Shades of Noir
On Thurs 14 June staff from UAL and Arts SU, and UAL students, came together to celebrate the official launch of a new zine, ‘Decolonising the Arts Curriculum: Perspectives on Higher Education.’
Lucy Panesar, Educational Developer (Diversity & Inclusion), Teaching & Learning Exchange
Over the last six months the Teaching and Learning Exchange has been working with the Arts Students Union to co-create a zine for staff and students to share thoughts, views and experiences of decolonising the arts curriculum in higher education.
Hansika Jethnani (Arts SU Education Officer 2016-2018), Rahul Patel (Researcher, Curator and Lecturer) and I came together because of our shared determination for race equality and our understanding that decolonisation plays a critical role in this. We identified the need for a platform to discuss decolonisation specifically in relation to the arts curriculum. It was essential that such a platform would be supported by the institution and would allow for diverse perspectives, on this complex and contested topic, from both students and staff at UAL. The decision was made to co-produce a zine, as a way of breaking down some of the barriers to expression that traditional academic publishing can create.
A call for submissions was made in March, and a wealth of responses were received on the why, what and how of decolonisation in relation to arts education in general and specific creative practices. All submissions have been included, and offer personal, professional, creative and critical insights through a range of literary and visual media.
The launch event was held at UAL Central Saint Martins with a display of some of the zine contents. Hansika and I opened the event with some background to the zine’s production, and then Rahul invited contributors up to the stage to speak.
It was at this moment that we recognised what it was we have created, when hearing the contributors explain how important it has been for them to have space to share their experiences in relation to decolonisation, and inevitably colonisation. Contributors spoke of their own ethnic and national identities in relation to Britain’s colonial past and ‘multi-cultural’ present. They spoke of the current political situation affecting those of the Windrush generation, of islamophobia, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination based on race and nationality which affect both students and staff.
We hope that the zine will be supportive in this respect, whilst also contributing to wider discourses around decolonisation, and helping to inform developments in arts education, for the benefit of all of our community. And we hope for the discussion to continue through further events and the online platform, which has been set up for further perspectives to be shared.
The zine launch display at is open and accessible to the general public in the reception area at UAL Central Saint Martins (King’s Cross) until 9 July.
UAL staff can access the zine online here online here: http://decolonisingtheartscurriculum.myblog.arts.ac.uk/
If you are external to UAL the zine can also be accessed online here.
The above image and article is my contribution to the Zine Magazine.
2018 Attainment Conference
I attended the 2018 Attainment Conference, on the 11 th July 2018. organised by Lucy Panesa. Well done Lucy, it was very interesting hearing about all the different much needed attainment interventions that UAL staff and students has put into place. Below is the link and round up of the conference by Alison Annenberg
2018 Attainment Conference – here’s what you missed
On 11 July over 150 staff, from all colleges and services, came together for the 2018 UAL Attainment Conference to help address the persistent inequalities students are facing along the lines of race, nationality and class.
Read about what took place, find links to learn more and some useful resources below.
Dr Gurnam Singh opening keynote. Photo by Gareth Johnson.
The conference opened with a keynote by Dr Gurnam Singh (Visiting Fellow in Race and Education) offering sector-wide updates, a critical look at differential outcomes for specific ethnic groups and an illuminating analysis of the awarding/assessment differential as a ‘complex’ problem. This was followed by a second keynote from Aisha Richards (Founder and Director of Shades of Noir) who helped us to look back at the work of individuals who have been promoting race equality and social justice over the years at UAL, and to critically reflect on our own privilege and power.
Attendees then had a choice of parallel sessions to learn about interventions being made by both staff and students more recently at UAL. This included a workshop by Vikki Hill (Project Associate) on the newly named Creative Mindsets project which is being extended in 2018-19 to all UAL colleges, and a session with Terry Finnigan (LCF Head of Student Attainment) on the Make the Grade pre-assessment intervention at LCF, which is also be rolled-out to other colleges through AEM. Helen McAllister and Gareth Rees (UAL Language Centre) ran a session for delegates to learn more about the International Student experience and attainment, including a close look at the impact of language, and Angela Drisdale-Gordon (Head of Further Education) hosted a session showcasing a range of attainment interventions being made by staff and students across UAL, emphasising the importance of staff-student discussion and collaboration.
Delegates participating in the Tell Us About It workshop. Photo by Gareth Johnson.
The conference also made space for student experience to be understood through a range of media. In the Tell Us About It workshop led by Tabitha Austen (Shades of Noir) and Terry Finnigan, attendees learnt about the experience of students of colour (who have attained 1st or 2:1 degrees at UAL despite various disadvantages) through engaging with unique artefacts they have been commissioned by the project to produce.
During the conference breaks, attendees were ‘Listening to Others Speak’ (sic) in a sound installation by artist, lecturer and MA Academic Practice participant Victoria Salmon, and for the final session, delegates came back together for a forum theatre activity led by artist, educator and MSc Fashion Psychology student E Okobi. The session, entitled ‘Acting Up’ involved student/graduate performers embodying and enacting qualitative data collected by Dr Duna Sabri, of the experience of international students and students of colour at UAL. This interactive and emotive session got delegates thinking, feeling and moving from being spectators of oppression to being ‘spect-actors’ in breaking oppression.
E Okobi and performers leading ‘Acting Up’. Photo by Gareth Johnson.
Delegates received a hard copy of the Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine, and a conference packcontaining additional resources. Feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, with delegates saying they felt informed and enlightened by the content, and empowered by the opportunities to actively engage.
Throughout the day we had artist in residence Jheni Arboine capturing activity and interactions through drawing (some of which are depicted here) and a filmmaker who we are working with to produce resources for our continued work in addressing these inequalities in the academic year ahead.