War, conflict and learning communities

Recent global events have shown us how swiftly families and whole communities can be torn apart, and lives turned upside down through national and international conflict – conflicts brought about through politics, geography, race and faith. As we witness these conflicts today, we stand in solidarity with art educators and learning communities – their families and colleagues – who are in war zones or involved in acts of resistance.

Throughout the globe, educators have used art, craft and design to address themes of conflict. Indeed, we have much to learn about the impact and effects of war from the history of art: From Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War to Pussy Riot’s protest art; from Banksy’s Walled off Hotel to Cornelia Parker’s Made in Bethlehem, art and art education has been both a record of war and a form of peaceful protest. The commonality of visual language means that boundaries can be crossed, and lessons learned. The history of art, and art education, has the potential and power to change lives. 

And, as the crisis in Ukraine escalates, we are seeing lives changed, impacted and shaped by war. As a professional learning association, we will continue to remember and support our global community, parents and children living, or trying to leave, zones of conflict. 

Image: © Banksy, Instagram 2017 (image from walledoffhotel.com gift shop)