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Becoming the middle sea: Portraits of the Mediterranean in art education

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This article examines the pedagogical, political and artistic implications of drawing an intercultural ‘portrait’ of the Mediterranean in various educational and cultural settings located in different countries in the region. Based on an educational project (‘Dessine-moi la Méditerranée’) carried out in several Mediterranean countries, in which children of different ages studied and redefined their own environments and cultures within a Mediterranean context, the article argues for an artistic pedagogy that incorporates local knowledge in the curriculum and simultaneously encourages participatory and collaborative experiences that promote relational understandings of identity. It argues against restrictive or essentialist interpretations of identity by highlighting the sense of ‘becoming’ inherent in the enigmatic, double exposure portraits and the medium of drawing employed by children during the international project.
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Keywords: Mediterranean; art education; drawing; identity; portraiture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Malta, Malta

Publication date: 01 March 2016

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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