UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Acts of Transformation: War Toys to Peace Art
Josephine Anderson Photo, Josephine Anderson UBC 2006
“Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented.
But they can be taken out of the gun.” – Martin Amis
In 2006, the museum of Anthropology collaborated with teachers and students from Vancouver and the Maska District in Uganda to create artwork for the exhibit Acts of Transformation. Some of the artwork depicted toys of violence that were transformed into messages of peace, others were 2-d representations of reconciliation in the face of war. Students of University Hill Elementary made a peace procession to MOA for the opening of Acts of Transformation exhibition carrying their handmade peace doves.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Kimberly developed school programs and workshops that included a tour of the exhibition and an interactive workshop transforming toys of violence into works of art. Students of University Hill Elementary made a peace procession to MOA for the opening of Acts of Transformation exhibition carrying their handmade peace doves.
Education Program: Grades 5 - 7
In conjunction with the exhibition, Kimberly developed a two-hour education program designed to give students an introduction to peace issues through transformational debate, writing and art making. This school program had four parts.
- Develop student's understanding of creating a culture of peace in local and global contexts.
- To develop students' presentation, listening, speaking, analytical, brainstorming and group work skills.
- Provide opportunities for students to think, communicate and reflect on peace issues through art making.
The students experienced a guided tour of exhibition and were invited to explore the artwork such as, the Ugandan student's drawings. They discussed what symbols, words, and feelings they identified with with when viewing these works? Students debated, does playing with war toys, watching violent television shows and video games promote violence? Or are war toys neutral and irrelevant to the development of children? Students chose a word from a quotes displayed in the exhibit and were asked to write a one page response to their word. Then students transformed their writing into a 2-d drawing. Lastly, they transformed their 2-D drawings into a 3-D sculptures using their own toys of violence and transformed them into works of art, and added 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 Acts of Transformation postcard.