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Society, Politics & Law
  • Video
  • 5 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Co-creating and mushing up identity with visitors to the New Union Flag project

Updated Thursday 3rd August 2017

Take the opportunity to reflect on aspects of audience participation and co-creation – this time young children.

Children interacting with New Union Flag project Creative commons image Icon Giota Alevizou under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

Artist Gil Mualem-Doron, and Dr Giota Alevizou, from The Open University – the lead author of this unit – run The DIY Diversity Flag.

The aim of the workshop was for primary school pupils to map out diversity that exists in their daily life, culture and community. This mapping was explored and represented through creating a flag with textile designs from the places to which they were connected.

The workshop fused various disciplines, such as geography, history, design and art.

Giota Alevizou asked students to reflect on questions of cultural heritage, identity and belonging as well as intangible ‘assets’ which reflect their living communities, such as solidarity, kindness and respect.

Children interacting with New Union Flag project Creative commons image Icon Giota Alevizou under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

All together they then looked at the ways in which these questions and ‘assets’ could be expressed through the art of ‘making’ and story-telling. At the end of the workshop, students took the flags they have individually and collectively created.

Inspired by the popularity of emojies in children’s and young peoples everyday digital cultures, Giota and Dijana Rakovic of Counterpoints Arts also invited the children to retell their stories and experiences of identity by drawing their own diverse emojis together in a poster.

Emojis designed by children at the Who Are We event Creative commons image Icon Giota Alevizou under Creative Commons BY-ND 4.0 license
Emojis designed by children at the Who Are We event Creative commons image Icon Giota Alevizou under Creative Commons BY-ND 4.0 license

Children from one school were also invited to reflect upon the ways in which the DIY Diversity Flag workshop and entire Who Are We? project affected their understanding of who they are. They wrote brief essays and returned them to Giota within a few days of their visit. Some of the reflections are exceptionally enlightening and moving. You can see them by downloading the Children's Responses pdf.

You can also watch a video produced by our partner, CounterPoints Arts featuring Gil Doron talking about his work and socially engaged participatory arts:

 

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