Decolonising the curriculum what does that mean? Decolonising a curriculum is not just about a more expansive reading list to feature text of black Asian minority ethnic subjects and writers. Although a most substantial start as I have come across researcher Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o who’s book Decolonising the mind lead me to his quote:
Values are the basis the People’s identity, their sense of particularity as members of the human race. Language as culture is the collective memory bank of the people’s experience in history. Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ wa (1986)
Decolonising the curriculum in my opinion is to address these values people’s cultural and racial identities and experience. It is the acceptance to acknowledge respect and apply non-white non-European histories, cultures, arts and humanities has also shaped our globe. This acceptance however takes form in action to physically address and make significant changes. To decolonise in Art and Design also reaches further than the teaching of European white male artists. There is a need to employ the richness of ensuring cultural diversity to bring down the barriers of inequalities. I believe that there is a shift happening. Voices no longer remain in the margins as collectively they have become too loud to be ignored. Now becoming visible.
Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine is an important and most necessary publication for all students and staff. A collaboration between Hansika Jethnani (students’ union), Lucy Panesar and Rahul Patel (Teaching and Learning exchange, UAL) to invite students staff to make contributions and sharing and rich wealth of experiences explores decolonising arts education. I am happily proud and grateful to be a contributor to this zine sharing hopes for a decolonised arts education.
I was pleased to be invited by Rahul to make a small speach amongst other contributors at the launch event on Thursday 14th June at UAL Central Saint Martins. It was an inspiring evening hearing the narratives of the contributors and an honour to share a platform with. The well attendance of this launch signified that positive shift as the dialogue of the evening evidenced the action for change.
The zine can be accessed here: