Taking a look at http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/ I have some thoughts in response to this resource as follows:
How can I apply the resources to my own teaching practice?
It is interesting to look through the content of the Shades of Noir website and see it as an overall resource. Through creating these blogging tasks I feel as through we are creating a small scale version, not dissimilar to the SoN website. It seems to be an example of how a simple blog could grow and through a ‘snowball effect’ , the blog becomes a website and a hive of activity, a source of inspiration in response to race and culture surrounding me. I know I will look towards this information in my teaching practice, to gain reflection upon and to use to form my delivery, or to produce a creative brief for students, for example. The website is a student voice, and that voice is culturally and racially diverse – it is a representation of the students, students who are craving for more representations. Or at least recognition that they are representing themselves because they feel in solitude with their identity.
I can use this resources as a process or a guide to myself . It is almost a constant reminder to approach students to seek knowledge regularly (repelling the idea of ‘banking education styles’ which Friere speaks of in Pedagogy of the Oppressed) and signpost myself to other website based information banks as resources, such as those on the education sections of museum and gallery websites.
How can I integrate the research/work my students do on these subjects covered in the Shades of Noir website into my teaching/professional practice?
Illustration as a practice is all about responding to the social, political and experiential learning we encounter. I love to learn through illustrating. I am a visual learner and, because I recognise that, I try to be open minded and aware of what I enjoy, or what I don’t like, what I agree with and disagree with, whilst always questioning ‘why’. Illustration is the tool which awakened my way to form opinions about the world I live in. This art form gave me a way to articulate or comment on the events happening in my world. I see the Shades of Noir as a similar tool to the team creating content for that site. And just like the SoN team, I know I will always use Illustration as a form of communication, whether it is just a private record for myself (I keep regular visual records of my work, some are on social media) or whether it is used to communicate an idea for a client.
I would like to think that as I get more experience in delivering teaching in the classroom, I will use resources such as the Shades of Noir website to signpost students toward. I would envisage I could ask them to get involved in the websites resources themselves, either to find a particular article to respond to, or to attend one of the events, watch a film etc. From these experiences, I could ask them to find their own opinions within the content to illustrate, and as a result, I hope this will allow students to become aware of the consequences of their illustrations and what they will signify to their possible and intended audiences.
Examples to demonstrate the above would be:
A series of seemingly personal or private documentations of artists’ or illustrators’ works that demonstrate their observations and opinions on the world through a ‘race lens’ are that of Frida Kahlo‘s diary, Henrik Drescher‘s travel documenting observations from his ‘100 Days in China’. Shaun Tan’s illustrations in children’s picture books have been known to address depression or conceptual feelings in The Red Tree and could well draw upon personal experiences. The current exhibition ‘Nobodies and Somebodies’ showcasing the English & Sri Lankan Illustrator Jo Brocklehurst presents her observations of self expression through bodies, sexuality and fashion.
Other sources where illustration discusses race and meets intersectionality for me, in endless ways:
- Laydeez do Comics
- Kripa Joshi’s Miss Moti Stories