My name is Morgane, I work for Art4space as a freelance workshop facilitator. A few months ago I successfully completed an MA in Art and Learning. I would like to share some critical reflective thoughts on my studies, my practice, my values and my role working within the state school system. 

Through my recent studies and in my praxis (theory, reflection, action), I explored the potential of material thinking and how embodied learning can support anti-racist and decolonial pedagogies within the current education system. In a world that is becoming increasingly digitalised, I considered the significance of tactility and materiality through the direct use of our hands. I examined how the physicality of contemporary art and craft practices can provide other ways to understand intelligence and knowledge, often undermined by schools and society. 

“The quality of light by which we scrutinise our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the change which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realised”

(Lorde, 2017).

As I draw inspiration and courage from Lorde‘s words, I reflect on my journey, on my role working within an institutionally racist and sexist educational system and my struggle to be part of it. Through reading, writing, and making I considered theories and alternative pedagogies, which provided further expansion of my developing liberating pedagogical thoughts. Taken more literally, ‘light’ itself also played a significant role in my creative practice throughout my research, as I experimented with cyanotype and learned how to estimate the intensity required to produce the desired imprints and tones. 

Lorde’s poetical metaphor of light also supported me to comprehend the darkness that sometimes took over when I experienced discouragement, disenchantment, and despair. With light, I see hope, thus, despite the frustration, disillusion, and limitations clouding my intentions at time, I stay determined to adopt an approach towards light always and embrace a ‘pedagogy of hope’ (Hooks, 2003) in my multiple roles and praxis, as a woman, a mother, an educator, and artist. Adopting a ‘pedagogy of hope’ illuminates my frequent disheartenment, enabling me to contemplate further ways to challenge systems of domination and support me to develop new contemporary decolonized pedagogies.


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