I’ve had a lot of realisations in the past few weeks. For example, the responsibility I thought I had as an International Art teacher to encourage bravery within my students to have the difficult conversations about race and provide a safe space to confront their own beliefs, isn’t in fact my responsibility. It’s my PRIVILEGE!
Seeing the work of Kara Walker and Yinka Shonibare in the UK during the 00s influenced my own art work and my teaching. Walker’s blatant portrayal of the bleakest moments of Black history through the ambiguous imagery of silhouettes, encourages students to consider the rewriting and censoring of history. And Shonibare’s belief in international exchange being a vehicle for social change, demonstrates to students how cultural boundaries can be blurred with purpose- not just for the aesthetic.
And now, in a generation of self promotion and social ideology, Ayishat Akanbi confronts contemporary issues surrounding race, gender and identity, encouraging conversations with my students about how we can utilise our platforms.
I’m a lifelong learner. As I hope my students will be. I will always strive to do better 🖤