Performativity and the Politics of Change: Challenging Racism through Public Education

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Peter GALE, University of South Australia, Australia
Talullah BARKER GALE, School of Art and Architecture, University of South Australia, Australia
Representations of crisis around issues such as asylum seekers have been significant in contributing to the rise of patriot groups and the growing level of exclusive nationalism in many western nation states. In stark contrast, the images of the ‘child on the beach’, and the ‘boy in the ambulance’ became representations that challenging racism and the opposition to asylum seekers. Such images in the media challenge popular perceptions of asylum seekers and patriot politics. This paper explores the potential for art and performance, and education curriculum to contribute towards more inclusive societies and challenge racism through public education, tertiary education courses, and other levels of education. The paper examines examples of creative performance and representations that contribute to change and explores the possibilities for public education to effectively engage in contemporary political debates on issues such as asylum seeker policy.