20 SES 03, Music and Art Education in an Intercultural Environment
This paper is based on a major research project about peace values in the global, multicultural society. As part of the research a subproject is carried out about how creative musical activities such as Hip Hop can contribute to the development of peaceful values among young people in Sweden. The aim of the subproject is to study if creative activities, such as musical and literary activities in a so called Rap School in Stockholm can contribute to the development of peaceful (or hostile) values, intercultural relationships and learning processes.
The main questions are: In which way are peaceful versus hostile values developed by the creative activities in the Rap School? Which types of intercultural learning processes are initiated through the Hip Hopmusical, literary, performative and social activities of the school?
The investigation is carried out in a Rap school where youths of various ethnic and social belongings work together to create a theater performance about the history of Hip Hop. The main challenge of the creative activities is to communicate values such as equality of all humans, positive intercultural relationships and reconciliation instead of war, violence and hostility.
The concepts of positive peace, creativity and intercultural learning are central in the project. Galtung & Jacobsen's (2000) concept positive peace is used to emphasize the fact that peace is more than simply the absence of violence. It refers to a genuinely peaceful situation characterized by peaceful values of the individual and social institutions that support equitable distribution of public resources and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Such a situation is also characterized by the absence of "indirect" or "structural violence", i.e. a type of violence inherent in the society where more people might die in the long run than at the outbreak of open violence due to unequal and discriminatory treatment (Idem, 2000, Galtung, 1990).
Creativity occurs when a new thought is applied to a new area (Guilford, 1968). This usually results in divergent thinking, i.e. a thinking characterized by free, unexpected associations. A further factor influencing creativity is social interaction. This interaction must however implicate challenges which question habitual thought patterns (idem). Especially emotions play a role when establishing creative environments, which result in self-confidence, faith and openness to the Other (Vygotskij 1995/1930). Knowledge, not the least linguistic knowledge, is an important condition for the meeting (Lubart, 2010). Reflections on the own identity and a capacity to understand the thinking of others is a condition for cross-cultural meetings and intercultural learning (Graviz, 2012, Goldstein-Kyaga & Borgström, 2009). In short, we agree with Selander & Kress (2010), who argue that processes of learning should be understood as semiotic, social processes that reconstruct and transform various communicative actions into knowledge. These processes take place through the use of various signs that create and communicate these activities. According to Söderman (2009) formal education is no longer the most important form of learning; it also takes place in other contexts, for example when young people write rap texts.
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