Blog post

MAP Webinar: Revitalising Tradition to Inform Curriculum

11th October 2023

On Thursday, October 19, 2023, Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) hosted a webinar entitled “Revitalising Tradition to Inform Curriculum”. The webinar aimed to explore the importance of integrating indigenous knowledge and traditional cultural arts into educational curricula to promote peacebuilding through everyday learning. The webinar brought together key speakers from Indonesia, Nepal, and Ukraine.

The webinar began with Ananda Breed, the Principal Investigator of MAP, providing an overview of the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project: Informing the National Curriculum and Youth Policy for Peacebuilding in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia, and Nepal. Presentations were then given by Beyond Tradition (Indonesia), YAARs (Nepal), and Professor Olga Ovcharuk (Ukraine) on their respective projects involving art and culture for peacebuilding. The webinar concluded with a dialogue session to further explore the topics discussed.

Below are the key highlights from the presentations of our key speakers:

1. Beyond Tradition Project: Revitalising Lenong Betawi for Education in Indonesia 

The ‘Beyond Tradition’ project was presented during the webinar, “Revitalising Lenong Betawi for Education in Indonesia.” Presenters included N. Indra Nurpatria from UNIKA Atma Jaya, who introduced the Beyond Tradition project briefly, followed by Bang Lantur from Padepokan Ciliwung Condet (PCC), who discussed the revitalisation of Lenong and the importance of learning different aspects of Betawi culture for the young generation. Two participants in the Beyond Tradition project, Saddan Rahmanu and Bea Adinda, shared their experiences and learnings from the project, highlighting their collaboration with artists and trainers. Meanwhile, Kurnia Astuti shared her reflections regarding her role as a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) member in supporting the Beyond Tradition young participants. Finally, Indra concluded the session by addressing how Lenong is being incorporated into the local curriculum’s content.

The ‘Beyond Tradition’ project collaborated with partners like Padepokan Ciliwung Condet (PCC), Rumah Film Kalamtara, and Teater Tanah Air to develop a learning model based on traditional knowledge infused with youths’ voices. Working alongside the province-level cultural and educational offices, this project aimed to integrate various cultural forms, such as Lenong, dance, music, martial arts (pencak silat), and rhymes (pantun) into the curriculum of vocational schools in the Jakarta province.

Here’s a short video collage of the Beyond Tradition project activities. Credit: AJCUI.
To view a video introduction to the full version of the Beyond Tradition project, click here.

My name is Kurnia Astuti from Indonesia, I am 19 years old. I have been involved in the MAP Project in Indonesia since 2020. As a YAB, my role is to be a mentor. Together with other YAB friends, I help Beyond Tradition’s young participants to develop their ideas for their Lenong work, from identifying problems, conducting research interviews to monitoring the development of Lenong through the WA group.

One of the most exciting things about participating in the MAP webinar as a presenter was being able to speak to an international audience and present YAB’s activities in Beyond Tradition.

Kurnia Astuti, YAB Indonesia

2. Youth Researchers’ Reflections on Arts-based Methods in informing Culture and Arts Education in Nepal 

Juhi Adhikari of the Youth Advisory Advocacy Research (YAAR) presented her reflections on the use of arts-based methods to inform cultural and arts education in Nepal. The YAAR group explored image theatre, a form of theatre presentation that uses a still composition to convey a message to the audience, followed by discussions with stakeholders. They have also used other art forms such as drawing and film to address youth issues.

On 21 September, YAAR participated in the preparation of a MAP and UNESCO event in Kathmandu focusing on arts and cultural education. The event was attended by education and culture professionals, policymakers and government officials. As young researchers, Juhi and the YAAR team presented their research findings in the form of a policy brief (on progress) advocating for the inclusion of arts to facilitate learning in schools. Juhi discussed the policy brief produced by YAAR and the dialogues that took place with leaders and policymakers.

YAARs presenting Image theatre at the UNESCO-MAP roundtable. Credit: HRFC.

Arts-based learning and teaching methods could be very useful in the classroom to cover different topics in the curriculum. In addition, peer-based learniand promote active student involvement. The approach encourages students to discuss and even find solutions themselves. The students also had some really great things to say about peer-based learning, because it made them more motivated, independent, curious, and good with critical thinking and leadership skills.

Juhi Adhikari, YAAR Nepal

3. The Therapeutic Potential of National Ukrainian Cultural Traditions in Learning Processes 

Olga Ovcharuk, a professor at the National Academy of Culture and Arts Management in Kyiv, Ukraine, was the final presenter of the webinar. She is a visiting professor at the University of Lincoln through the British Academy Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme. During her session, Olga discussed various forms of Ukrainian traditional arts, including traditional clothing, songs, musical instruments, dance, and painting. These art forms hold significant importance in the national education of children and young people in Ukraine. Her research focuses on how traditional arts can support society, specifically in assisting children in recovering from trauma and improving their mental health and wellbeing. Olga shared her initiative to implement the MAP Method with young people and ideas to collaborate with her students at the University in Ukraine to develop psychosocial training modules using arts-based methods for children and young people.

The webinar highlighted the significant contribution of traditional arts and cultural practices to curriculum development. It emphasised the power of arts and culture in education. See the recording of the webinar below, and stay tuned for upcoming MAP webinars!

Recording of the MAP Webinar on “Revitalising Tradition to Inform Curriculum”

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