Sunday, February 01, 2009

Trickster Pedagogy and Clowns

Trickster pedagogy is also about clowns. And to honour this belated point i am belatedly adding Culture Collective to my list of favoured resources (see the right hand column). I met Jacob ad Elizabeth of Living Folklore many years ago and despite the miles between us their work has inspired me (and my funny bone) ever since. For i do believe that clowning represents an ancient pedagogy (and if "pedagogy" seems an odd word to use when talking about clowns then it's also a silly word, comical even and thus perhaps, circuitously, appropriate). As i have pondered what trickster pedagogy has to offer to popular education and the many struggles for social and environmental justice i have always valued the role of clowning as carrying a profound form of teaching. Exactly what that teaching is, is something that i am exploring. Not that i am interested in dissecting it. But rather journeying into it, exploring the terrain, even getting lost within it. It feels like one of those journeys from which people return with wondrous gifts. I'm not sure if the gifts i will return with will be wondrous to any but me, but i hope that they might be worth sharing with others.

I highly recommend The History of Clowns for Beginners by Joe Lee. (here's an excerpt).

So here are two videos from Culture Collective that i offer as brilliant examples of trickster pedagogy. The first is about a mural project which you'll see also included a journal-writing component (something of which i am very fond). Murals and mural-making have a long history of being involved in popular education (here's an article from muralist/educator Alex Goss about a Mexican project in which he was involved). The second is a description of Living Folklore's beadwork, angry water and post-Katrina New Orleans. Coincidentally, i am surrounded by beads like never before (i.e. on the floor, scattered across various house surfaces, even in bed - as J'net does a lot of beadwork (i'll share some images sometime but meanwhile you can check out J'net's blog and see some of her fashion design work).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As usual interesting videos!