A place with a rich and complex history like Çanakkale, with remnants from Ancient Greek, Armenian, Byzantine, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim and Ottoman cultures in a country that geographically, culturally, and symbolically poises between Europe and Asia seems to be an ideal spot engaging with concepts of change in art education in the 21st century. Derived from the location’s geological situation, with fault lines running through this area and a consciousness of our times of great change, the congress theme of the InSEA2023 World Congress builds on the metaphor of Fault Lines.
The definition of a Fault Line is a break or fracture in the ground that occurs when the Earth's tectonic plates move or shift. What is the relationship between art education and geological processes? At first glance, some might think: Not much. One concerns the opening of the mind, stretching beyond traditional pathways, growing creatively and intellectually. The other is as old, rock-solid, and unpredictable as Earth itself. While not as dramatic as geological shifts and their looming pressure for change, the shifts in perspective of educators, researchers, students, and artists are central to developing new ways of knowing through the arts and affect a complex world.
The metaphor of Fault Lines implies the power of a line. It’s both, an infinitely malleable form and metaphor for the borders and divisions that make up our world. As we struggle with the symptoms of a divided society, large-scale displacement of human populations, increasing wealth gaps within and between nations, educational inequality, accelerating climate change, and the challenging role of arts in times of popularism, it becomes even more urgent to reflect on these conditions and offer possibilities of coming together and break new ground. While art represents a vivid site for learning, it also perpetuates and makes visible concurrent systems of oppression and exclusion. As the grounds of inequality shift beneath us, will the arts and education deepen the rifts in society or become our bridge and pathway for the 21st century? How can art education contribute to resolving today’s challenges?