UBC Museum of Anthropology:
Acts of Transformation: War Toys to Peace Art
“Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented.
But they can be taken out of the gun.” – Martin Amis
The exhibit Acts of Transformation presents artworks by students from Vancouver and the Maska District in Uganda. Some depict toys of violence transformed into messages of peace, others are 2-d representations of reconciliation in the face of war. In conjunction with the exhibit, MOA is offering educational workshops which include a tour of the exhibition and an interactive workshop transforming toys of violence into works of art. Students of University Hill Elementary make peace procession to MOA for the opening of Acts of Transformation exhibition with their handmade peace doves.
Josephine Anderson Photo, UBC 2006
Education Program: Grades 5 - 7
In conjunction with the exhibition I developed a two-hour education program designed to give students an introduction to peace issues through transformational debate, writing and art making. This program had four parts. Firstly, students were led through the exhibition and explored specific artwork such as, the Ugandan student's artwork, and discussed what symbols, words, feelings do the students identify with when viewing these works? Students debated: Does the use of war toys together with watching television shows promoting toys and modelling their use led to greater acceptance of militaristic values, and therefore support particular wars in adult life. Or are war toys neutral and irrelevant to the moral and social-political development of children? Secondly, students took a word from one of the quotes displayed in the exhibit and were asked to write a one page response to their word. Thirdly, students transformed their writing into a 2-d drawing. Lastly, students transformed their 2-D drawing into a 3-D sculpture utilizing their own toys of violence into works of art and add them to the exhibition. To conclude the program students revisited the exhibition and had the opportunity to write response cards to a specific art work or write a message of peace to the students of Kitengesa, Uganda on an exhibition postcard. The Acts of Transformation program was designed to complement the BC Grade 5 -7 Fine Arts, Language Arts, and Social Studies Curriculum.
- To develop students' understanding of what peace, particularly creating a culture of peace, means both in local and global contexts.
- To develop students' presentation, listening, speaking, analytical, brainstorming and group work skills.
- To provide opportunities for students to think and respond to each others ideas and artworks.
- To provide opportunities for students to reflect and communicate about peace issues through art making.