Week 2 Research & Forum 07.06.2020
My research during week 2 has been a combination of reading books such as ‘FEMMES A L’OEUVRE, FEMMES A L’EPREUVE’ Unretouched women , Eve Arnold, Abigail Heyman, Susan Meiselas. the photobook by Clara Bouveresses that accompanied the exhibition held at last years Les Rencontres De La Photographie Arles , looking into research figures and statistics about the impact and repercussions of the schools being closed during lockdown, and keeping on top of any sources within mainstream media on alternative education, home education, unschooling etc.
During this search I discovered Alanis Morissette segment on James’ Cordon’s the late late show, where she discusses Unschooling, and what that is, with Cordon. These small but significant instances of the language surrounding alternative education coming into the main stream media are pivotal to my project. When endorsed or discussed by ‘celebrities’ the conversation reaches an audience it would never do on it’s own. Morissette is an advocate of home-birthing, natural-parenting, and child-led learning and has been talking about the subjects recently on her instagram page that I follow. During the segment she discussed some really interesting points to do with unschooling, what that looks like for their family, and the fact that it differs for all families.
In reference to the broad range curriculum accessed during unschooling she says ”We make sure that every itch gets scratched in general” (Morissette ; 2020). I very much liked the fact that she discusses what education means to people who educate in an alternative way, with emphasis obviously on unschooling when she says ”Unschooling is continued education, respect for education” (Morissette ; 2020). I have found that very often there is a misguided , preconceived idea that anyone that educates outside the system shuns learning, shuns education. This in in fact an ignorance perpetuated by the main stream media. It is not education that the families disagree with, but the majority of the time, in my encounters, it has been a fundamental disagreement with the way that our educational system is structured, how it teaches, and the emphasis it puts on different areas of learning. The families I have encountered during this project, and indeed during our own families educational journeys, if anything, respect education much more than the average parent I have encountered who’s children attend a state funded school system. To make the leap into educating your child(ren) yourselves is an extremely huge undertaking, it is after all, so much easier to send a child to school. T0 continue the responsibility of educating your children yourself is not for the uncommitted . Without fail, all of the home educators I know have a lust for life & learning, and an engagement with all they can, that I simply did not see when I was in the school system with my children. That is not, to talk or judge badly of those parents, but quite simply, you have signed over the rights for who is responsible for your child’s education, and that is what happens a lot within schools, the parents do not actively engage within the learning process, outside of maybe helping with homework when children are younger, as it is the forte of the school, and it remains that. This is what creates the disconnect, and it is my belief schools do nothing, or nowhere near enough, to alleviate this outside of primary schools.
In reference to the type of learning that happens when you unschool Morissette explained that ”It’s not that we aren’t learning in the unschooling world, but that we are just approaching it a little bit differently.” (Morissette ; 2020) It is this that the media, and people who are within the education system have a hard time digesting, if they cannot see learning happening in a way that they acknowledge to be learning (ie sat at a desk , in a school, with a pen in your hand) then they struggle to see the educational value in an activity. In addition to that, even those who can indeed see the educational value in this style of learning, those who are interested in pedagogy as a whole, still have a cut off point, subconscious or conscious, where they begin to class that educate as not as important or valuable as the types of learning aforementioned. That once a child turns 8/9/10 there is an invisible line in the sand, where they can no longer learn through play, through conversation, through nature and the environment, it is an unwritten rule etched into the collective conscience of millions of people. That although they themselves, may well of struggled in school, hated school, or not be able to remember anything from their time in school, that that style of learning is still best. This is because we are conditioned to believe this from such a young age, a lot of the time we do not even think to question it, even when we ourselves, or our families as a whole, are drowning within that system.
FIGURE 1, Alanis Morissette on the Late Late show with James Cordon.
I have also been keeping an eye on recent media surrounding the ongoing developments of school, home ‘schooling’ and home education. There is quite an active presence on the subject in the media at the moment, so I am planning on utilising this to pitch the work and research to various publications later in the module. These various segments, interviews, and articles, are all very relevant in my work, as not only does it create a common vocabulary that wasn’t there prior, these pieces in mainstream media create a dialogue that didn’t exist before either, bringing the subject, and the nuances within the subject to peoples attentions.
FIGURE 2, ABC Article on ‘Accidental homeschoolers’
FIGURE 3, Article by the Financial Times 01.06.2020
WEEK TWO FORUM : JOY WAR.
FIGURE 4, Susan Meiselas (http://www.susanmeiselas.com/) (1979) The Molotov Man
FIGURE 5, Joy Garnett (https://joygarnett.net/) (2003) Molotov from the series Riot
This forum will be open for four weeks.
Joy Garnett is known for her paintings inspired by accessible digital images. Following an exhibition of her work in 2004, Garnett received a cease and desist letter citing infringement of copyright, from a lawyer representing Susan Meiselas. After a debate, which became known as ‘Joywar’, both put forward their perspectives in an article for Harpers Magazine titled ‘On the Rights of the Molotov Man’.
Search for the article online and read it. Think about how you would feel if someone created an artwork that appropriated, referenced or remixed your image. Apart from possible legal action, think about how you could use your practice to resolve the issue?
Post a diagram or sketch describing what you would do. Comment on three of your peers’ posts.
Please note that the aim of this discussion is on challenging your practice. While copyright is an important issue (and one that many feel strongly about), we would like to focus the discussion on creative and practical solutions (eg Creative Commons) rather than expressing opinion. Try to think about the debate at different scales as well as in different contexts.
8 Jun 2020
I echo T and A, in that I would hope my response would be considered and in proportion with what image had been used and how. As I am working with children, this could be very difficult.
For my research I am following a vast number of educators and educational institutions, within their own social media, and in the media. During the module break a Harvard alumni called for a presumptive ban on home education in the states in Harvard’s alumni journal. This was ‘answered’ by a widely known home educator in the states, also a Harvard alumni during a zoom conference. The two figured are now going to be participating in an online debate and discussion on the subject in a weeks time. Like in this scenario (albeit a little different) and the molotov man article above I would like to believe we can create a discourse around these issues. Especially with work like my own that serves to create and encourage a discussion .
Personally if the work was not offensive, I would probably just share it on Instagram and tag the creator to open up a dialogue on it. If it were offensive to the families though, that would of course be different.
Education began in the home. I would have a tough time swallowing a comment stating otherwise. I agree with both you and Ilya in that the effect of the message needs to be considered, although… sometimes visual messages can be interpreted in different ways potentially causing misunderstandings. It’s a difficult line to draw and in such cases, there would be no right or wrong answer when it comes to interpretations. I know I can be sensitive to some topics at times, and what I find offensive may not be for others.
I think it is definitely a grey area which discussion makes helpful. I do think by and large though that you can tell if the intent was in bad will or not and whether or not that bad will is purposeful and if it’s the latter to be less harsh in one’s approach.
Bouveresse, Clara. 2020. Unretouched women. Available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unretouched-Women-Femmes-lOeuvre-lÉpreuve/dp/2330125194 (Accessed 07.06.2020)
Cordon, James. 05.06.2020. The late late show, You Tube. ‘Alanis morissette educated James on unschooling’ Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7vh6iMc3KQ&list=PLZ1f3amS4y1f1VxUd_WDoVGmwiAo3d286&index=5 (Accessed 07.06.2020)
Unretouched women. 2019. Les Rencontres De La Photographie Arles. Available at https://www.rencontres-arles.com/en/expositions/view/775/eve-arnold-abigail-heyman-susan-meiselas (Accessed 07.06.2020)
Alanis Morissette Educates James on Unschooling. 05.06.2020. You tube. The late late show with James cordon. Available at ://youtu.be/R7vh6iMc3KQ (Accessed 09.06.2020)
Coulter, Ellen. 11.05.2020. Coronavirus turned these families into accidental homeschoolers, and they’re not looking back. Available at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-11/coronavirus-education-homeschool-after-pandemic/12228762 (Accessed 09.06.2020)
What is worldschooling. Time4learning. Available at https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling-styles/worldschooling.html#:~:text=Worldschooling%20is%20an%20educational%20movement,(ren)’s%20education. (Links to an external site.)(Accessed 06.06.2020)
FIGURE 1, Cordon, James. 05.06.2020. The late late show, You Tube. ‘Alanis morissette educated James on unschooling’ Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7vh6iMc3KQ&list=PLZ1f3amS4y1f1VxUd_WDoVGmwiAo3d286&index=5 (Accessed 07.06.2020)
FIGURE 2, Coulter, Ellen. 11.05.2020. Coronavirus turned these families into accidental homeschoolers, and they’re not looking back. Available at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-11/coronavirus-education-homeschool-after-pandemic/12228762 (Accessed 09.06.2020)
FIGURE 3, Jack, Andrew , Staton, Bethan. and Tighe, Chris. 01.06.2020. Half of parents in England intend to keep children out of school . The Financial Times. Available at https://www.ft.com/content/81fb73c7-a901-46cd-a70b-660bbfc8c883(Accessed 09.06.2020)
FIGURE 4, FIGURE 4, Susan Meiselas (http://www.susanmeiselas.com/) (1979) The Molotov Man (DOWNLOADED FROM CANVAS)
FIGURE 5, FIGURE 5, Joy Garnett (https://joygarnett.net/) (2003) Molotov from the series Riot (DOWNLOADED FROM CANVAS)