Visual graphics for human rights : an art education approach
- Authors: Nanackchand, Vedant
- Date: 2012-05-30
- Subjects: South African prints , Human rights in art , Art and morals , Prints - Technique - Study and teaching
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:2291 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4751
- Description: M.Tech. , This research study examines ways in which the use of graphic imagery and printmaking in visual art may help to create social awareness and responsiveness to human rights. My study examines how a critical level of social awareness at higher education level, can lead to an ability to make choices as responsible citizens in terms of redress and social justice. My research focuses on two curricular interventions for first and second year Visual Art printmaking students who are introduced to issues of human rights through projects that require both personal and public engagement. This study is grounded in the history of printmaking as a democratic medium that proposes a function for inculcating social consciousness. The contextual framework for this study includes recent countrywide political developments and human rights abuses (such as the xenophobic attacks) as well as HIV/AIDS issues, which contrast with the lack of visibility of social-awareness campaigns at a higher education institution. Issues of human rights are introduced to incoming university Visual art students as part of the curriculum. I focus my research on a specific educational programme-intervention engaging social injustices as human rights violations. I use a mixed-method approach as well as aspects of Action research as methodologies to explore the curricular interventions and analyse visual solutions as a process to create awareness about these issues. I examine the extent to which a curriculum-based visual graphics programme may be used as a means to advocate human rights and social justice. In an educational environment, the means of addressing these social injustices are that these have to be participatory, non-invasive and empowering. These values should subscribe to a system of ethical standards which promote agency among respondents initially and thereafter, in the community at large. Human rights awareness also addresses the lack of social and political acumen and criticality among visual art students. Individual change impacts on citizenship by means of inculcating a broader social awareness through individual acts of civic engagement.
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Visual graphics for human rights, social justice, democracy and the public good
- Authors: Nanackchand, Vedant , Berman, Kim
- Date: 2012
- Subjects: Democracy , Human rights , Social justice , Visual graphics
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6006 , ISSN 2076-3433 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8826
- Description: The value of human rights in a democratic South Africa is constantly threatened and often waived for nefarious reasons. We contend that the use of visual graphics among incoming university visual art students provides a mode of engagement that helps to inculcate awareness of human rights, social responsibility, and the public good in South African higher education. Visual graphics, the subject of the research project which forms a key component of a Masters dissertation by one of the authors, provides an opportunity to counter a noticeable decline in the students’ response and sensitivity to the freedoms entrenched in the South African Bill of Rights. The article presents a study using an action research approach in the classroom between 2005–2010, in order to inculcate awareness of human rights among participating students and deepen their understanding of social responsibility. The method used involved an introduction to specific visual art curricular intervention projects which required incoming first-year students to develop visual responses to address selected human rights violations and, in their second year, to develop their visual voice in order to promote human rights advocacy through civic engagement. The critical outcomes impact positively on the use of graphic images in the curriculum as a visual methodology to re-insert the discourse of human rights as a basic tenet of constitutional democracy in higher education.
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