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This paper aims to introduce students to contemporary theoretical ideas relevant not only to art and design practice, but to the contemporary global and local situations informing and influencing your practices. One of the key aims of this course is to raise awareness of the complex, multiple, heterogeneous ways of thinking that abound today – and to cultivate students’ skills in navigating, crossing, mixing and interweaving these worlds in appropriate ways. It asks students to develop a sense of personal ethics around such crossings and mixings, and to begin identifying their own position within the multiplicity. To this end, students choose from a series of modules focusing on different contemporary theories and ideas – and are encouraged to gain confidence in finding their own voices and forging their own paths through the modules they choose.
The paper also aims to build on the comprehension, critical thinking and writing processes and citation protocols learned in Year One, and the collaborative, group–based protocols learned in Year Two.
ASSESSMENT 2 OBJECTIVE
Write a 2500–word essay exploring one focus area that interests you from the topics covered by your module. It should draw mainly on 1-2 contemporary theoretical writers included on your module‘s reading list, and refer to 2–4 practitioners within contemporary art or design. Choose a topic that sparks your interest – and hopefully has relevance to your own practice – and consider this essay as an opportunity to deepen your understanding in a way that will benefit your practice, whether now or in the future. Sometimes we don’t know why something interests us until we have looked into it more deeply. Sometimes the connection of an idea to our practice is intuitive and yet–to-be–articulated. But by third year you should be beginning to make connections between your research, reading and exploring of contemporary culture, and the things you find yourself creating in your own practice. It‘s about finding your place in the larger scheme of things, understanding who else is in your ‘family‘ of thinkers and makers, and how you relate to them. This essay should describe some key ideas you have encountered in this module, with reference to 1–2 key theorists; explore some of the ways in which they are relevant to contemporary art/design practice (as you see it), with reference to 2–4 key practitioners; include some speculative (but informed and justified) explorations of how a practice such as yours might fit into this picture. It is about gathering ideas/writers/creators who interest you, describing their ideas in your own words, articulating why they interest you – and demonstrating an understanding of their relevance to the global and local art/design worlds you find yourself operating in today. You will need to employ further reading to deepen your understanding and discussion of the topic, and your assessment should include in-text citations, a reference list and a bibliography. Your work should be well–edited and engage at a theoretical level with your topic.
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The present essay talks about Aotearoa: Representation of Maori by Maori. The first important key point discussed in the paper is how history plays a role to demonstrate the chronological facts in the shift of Maori from one form to other and how it has helped to provide a representation of Maori by Maori. The second key point expresses the role of national cinema with respect to the undertaken topic. National cinema in New Zealand has been important to represent Maori in a new way, especially during the colonization. The movies produced in the post-colonized period presented their vigor in the colonization period as well as helped people to know their inner self to bring about a change. It made the people think about their own lives and values in a free context. I would like to present my arguments in light of four movies: Utu, River Queen, Two Cars One Night and Boy. Where the first two movies show a powerful and unconventional picture of Maori, the others present a comparison of their lives and reality. The paper discusses these points in the light of two well-known papers: 'Race as Biology is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race' and 'The Concept of National Cinema.'
In the first paper, Smedley (2005) provides a contemporary racial discussion on the basis of historical and anthropological background. As geneticists have advanced in showing us the facts of different races and sequenced the human genome, psychologists conclude that racism still exists. Society perceives Africans to be classified lower than the Europeans and Americans in terms of societal hierarchy, and concurrently, viewed lower than Asians- intellectually (Jenson, 1974; Rowe, 2002). Earlier research provided by the authors point out the fact that race as biology is fiction. Rather, racism was a societal construct which stigmatized the minority, and Hannaford's argument does raise that people were forced to convert and change their religious preference to becoming a part of the majority.
The expansion of language and cultural features that distinguished individuals were evident when empires of different societal groups grew. Ancient empires such as the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and the Muslim empire stigmatized people with differing skin and facial features from the majority of the populace and until the 17th century, it was religion and language which became the most important criteria of identity Hannaford (1996). During the Muslim empire, the forced conversion from other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism into Islam was to match their identity with the majority of the empire (Jenson, 1974). It was argued that the purpose of this was to construct a dominant cultural identity which would remove any such form of cultural stigmatization caused by a differing belief between the majority and the minority.
Where the biological base suffered in the absence of enough scientific evidence, racism as a social problem has got real evidence and consequences in human's life. It has been there in the society for a long time, and it still continues to be. In a power-dominant hierarchy, racism is created by the powerful hands, but it can be altered if the social construct starts shifting the other way.
In the second article entitled 'The Concept of National Cinema', Higson attempts to argue for the role of nationalism in the national cinemas. He explores the national in the discourse cinema. He generalizes his references of British cinemas to Western European cinemas. Among the many possible explanations, national cinema can be defined first as the 'domestic film industry'. It in turn concerns where and by whom these movies are made.