13 Jun 2010

World Conference on Arts Education

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet

[KB Jinan’s  Book – Awakening the Aesthetic Awareness]

Leading experts from across the Globe assembled from 25 to 28 May at UNESCO’s second world conference held at Seoul, Korea to share their ideas and highlight the importance of art education in and out of school. In their official press release, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova said, “A broad arts education teaches the importance and value of cultural diversity. This cultural awareness is of immense benefit in our increasingly multi-cultural modern societies, where to understand another culture is to better understand one’s neighbour.”

K B Jinan of Nilambur, Kerala who has been engaging with non literate communities and their children for the past several years; studying and documenting their sense of perception, art and aesthetics, was invited to present a paper at the conference. He prepared a book specifically for the purpose [pics (I II III) of some of its contents here and papers (a b) here)], participated in the panel discussions, but returned a disappointed man.

His observations:

I just returned from Korea attending a conference on art education. The conference was very disappointing.

The UNESCO conference revealed how much we are being re-colonized and how the western/ market oriented world view is being imposed on us in such a colossal scale. Many are doing this with good intentions and that is why it is even more tragic. What is even worse is that most of them think they are very creative. The un thinking non west are ready to accept anything that the west says. I do not know – where do we begin to undo these damages?

My presentation which was along with 12 other parallel sessions had about 40 odd participants and it did create a lot of interest. If UNESCO is really sincere it should re think what it is doing and set up a research team to understand the entire issue all over again. How is culture formed? How did traditional cultures create diversity? And why is modernity creating homogenization?  How do we deal with the harm we have already done and the one being carried out? Can we set up new ways of doing this without killing the originality in children?

The event made me rethink on concepts like globalization, modernity etc. and as soon as I returned, I began to work on some of these issues.

As a person from India and having somewhat come out of the western conditioning (east not the solution to west!) I feel what is happening is a re colonization of non western world though the various projects- the UN, the academia, the corporate world etc. I think a deeper enquiry/ meeting/ soul searching is required to understand and do something about it. I consider myself a victim of modern education in general, having gone through design education at the post graduate level – art education in particular. I say this because it killed my cultural rooted ness, originality and authenticity. All of us in the non western world are being taught western art, design and architecture and their respective histories and various movements’ etc. The result is that we have a homogenized world being made today. I see this all the time in India. It is a real tragedy. We once had several forms of architecture, artifacts and art forms and all are being destroyed by choosing the western idiom. All modern living spaces look alike.

I made this book just for the conference.

Title is ‘Awakening the aesthetic awareness’. Contributions Welcome. I intend to raise some funds to continue my research and communication on the real rights of children as per their biological and spiritual needs and not as per the idea of ‘modern’ adults.

Since I am an independent researcher, activist, there is no support whatsoever for the work I do. To top it, I am totally against ‘schooling’ which I consider is another word for ‘cloning’. My life with non-literate people and their children have showed a complete new possibility.
This has at least helped me to begin the journey, recover the damages of schooling on me.
The book is to share that possibility……
Do get back if you are interested.
Jinan K B jinankb@gmail.com Cell: 09447121544 Ph: 0487 2386723

Jinan on Internet:






Leave a Reply