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Using art to provoke: Interpreting Tammam Azzam

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This visual essay explores how art can become a classroom tool to discover, challenge and nurture discussions around identity and politics. How might students have a visceral engagement with concepts such as war, famine and political persecution when they may have never experienced these? What is the relationship between identity, war and politics? How might art provoke discussions on topical, provocative and controversial concepts? The above questions will be addressed through an exploration of Syrian artist Tammam Azzam’s artwork, which captures personal experiences of, and sentiments on, war accompanied by questions that can assist in provoking uncomfortable, authentic and supportive classroom dialogue.
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Keywords: art education; critical thinking; identity; meaningful dialogue; politics; war

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: York University

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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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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