Former presidents of ASSITEJ International, Yvette Hardie and Wolfgang Schneider launched their new book ‘Cultural Policy for Arts Education- African-European Practices and Perspectives’ yesterday afternoon. The book was edited by Schneider and Hardie, as well as Emily Achieng Akuno and Daniel Gad and discusses issues of infrastructure of cultural policy, de-colonising arts education and formulating global perspectives on arts practices.
Schneider began the presentation, speaking about the influence of the pedagogical field in the work, as well as the general themes of the book. Hardie then went on to discuss the many contributors and outlined some of the chapters that were specific to decolonising education, highlighting Nora Amin’s chapter, ‘Decolonising Education through the Arts. Towards a pedagogy of Empowerment’. Hardie also made sure to commemorate Kennedy C. Chinyowa and his chapter on ‘Integrating Arts Education with the creative industries’, as Chinyowa sadly passed away last year. Hardie mentioned the great importance of his work and how valued his contribution is to the book.
Hardie stated that what she feels is most important about the book, is that it, ‘attempts to look at cultural policy for Arts Education, but from the perspective of the Global South’ which is often underrepresented in academic conversations around Cultural Policy.
‘attempts to look at cultural policy for Arts Education, but from the perspective of the Global South’Yvette Hardie
The book has a mixture of written pieces, some speaking more intensely about cultural policy and others using examples of practice to inform theory. Hardie spoke of her research into Theatre for Young Audiences and Arts Education in her own chapter, in relation to ASSITEJ South Africa. She explained that, ‘Arts education and Theatre for Young Audiences are reliant on each other and are synergistic’. Overall, the book offers exciting perspectives on Arts Education and it offers new conversations on developments in the field of theatre for young audiences, as well as theatre in the broader sense of community.
‘What do we hope for in Arts Education? The creation of innovative, collaborative, resilient cultural eco-system, which allows all to participate, for all to be represented, and all to be inspired.’Schneider, Hardie, Achieng Akuno, Gad, 2022, p.8