Visual Narratives from the Borderland: An InSEA Research Project

This project is a study about visual narratives of children and adolescents, who live in-between cultures. We are a group of InSEA members interested in giving visibility to the stories of these people who suffered displacements of any kind, whether geographical, generational, cultural, or linguistic, and are experiencing a daily life trapped in the borders of cultures.It is hoped that by understanding various aspects of minorities around the world, it can serve as a tool for understanding, multicultural education and promote social and community cohesion. More information on the project >>

 

Entertaining the Gods: Yarn paintings of the Mexican Huichol - Art Project

Inspired by contemporary versions of the nierikas or ‘mirror images of God’, created by the native Huichol (Wee-chol) community in Mexico, elementary education students in the University of Minnesota, Duluth, USA, create artworks of their own interpretations and learn to use the yarn paintings of the Huichol community as an educational resource for K-12 art lessons. The students first learn about the history of the Huichol community, the ethos, cultural context and contemporary practice of the Huichol art, and then draw inspiration from these to make a variety of artworks and how Huichol art can be integrated into arts lessons. More information on the project >>

 

Music = Art Project

The Music = Art Project is inspired by MOMA educator Mark Dzula’s project In the Making-Music for the Eyes(MOMA, New York, May 2011). Dzula engaged his students into an artistic exercise using sound art and sound-based installation. The Music=Art project is an extension of this idea with a deeper pedagogical intent, using a wider range of music, and with the specific aim of enhancing artistic and music literacy skills of children especially by enhancing their auditory and visual perception abilities.  More information on the project>>

 

Chinese Hengpi and Japanese Emaki Screen Technique Project 

This project is an initiative to integrate Japanese Emaki, the traditional horizontal narrative scroll technique, and the Chinese Hengpi with contemporary screen techniques to enhance screen literacy in k-2 teachers and learners. The project aims to introduce the concepts of horizontality of screen literacy, screen narrative construction and the proxemics of the frame that can help K-2 teachers and students create their own moving screen narratives. At the first stage of the project, learners are introduced to the orientation, complication and resolution of narrative, character relationships and sequencing of screen images. Then, they are introduced to these classic Chinese and Japanese scroll techniques to be able to examine the dynamics of character, setting, and atmosphere in wide shot locations in a three-act structure. 

Through these simple methods, young learners are able to understand the connection of single images, and employ the elements of drama into moving screen narratives. Since the start of the project in June 2007, these techniques have been introduced to over 200 K-2 teachers in Thailand with inspiring results. One of the most significant aspects of the project is that it teaches narrative techniques using simple but interesting pedagogic methods instead of using video cameras or computing or editing. More recent pedagogic approaches have explored shot sizes and time and place manipulation. For more details on the project and to collaborate, please contact Colin Schumacher 

 

Music of Rajasthan Project

The desert state of Rajasthan in India has centuries old traditional art practices such as Kathputali (puppetry), folk drama, folklore and traditional music and dance practices. With modernization, these practices are fast declining to an extent that there are very few surviving musicians. These desert folk musicians are dependent on the ‘Jajmani system’, which means, they require patrons and make a living by performing for them and entertaining them with their music and do not have alternate means of livelihood.  Due to lack of patrons in the modern times, and limited opportunities to not only perform, but also teach and learn music, these traditional musicians and art and music practices are fast vanishing from the music and art world. 

In the recent years UNESCO has declared folklore as intangible cultural heritage and is actively supporting the preservation of such traditions and practices. The Music of Rajasthan is such a project initiative that serves to preserve and promote the dying art practices, music traditions as well as the folk communities of Rajasthan, that include both adults as well as children.  The project aims to provide a platform to showcase the traditions and talents of these folk musicians at a national as well as international level. At the same time, the project provides active support to the few remaining music schools in the deserts that can enable surviving musicians to teach these traditional ballads and practices to children. It is hoped that through these schools, children will not only learn these practices, but also respect the value of these traditions and preserve these practices in modern times. For more information on the project please visit The Music of Rajasthan, and to collaborate for research and exchange, please contact the founder Praveen Singh Rathode