“Al Qattan” participates in Drama David Davis Conference 2019 in Ireland
Director of Educational Research and Development at the A.M. Qattan Foundation, Wasim Kurdi presented a paper during the Drama Davis Conference 2019, which took place on the 9/10 March in Dublin University, Ireland.
The conference was opened with a paper from Professor Davis entitled “Who Am I? Who Can Tell Me Who I Am?” which began by stressing the important role of drama in helping young people understand their identities, who they want to be - and how to shape that reality.
Davis, who is considered a leading light in the field of Drama in education, reflected on the type of drama that helps those children and juveniles in to making their own choices, without being forced how to be.
Kurdi, for his part, presented a paper entitled “Drama as a Context for Aesthetics”, in which he discussed his experience with teachers in “The Drama in Education Summer School”, which has taken place yearly for twelve years, and represented a unique experience in the education systems of Palestine and the Arab World.
Kurdi began his paper with his personal experience; as drama in education for him is a personal passion. To him it ignited his interest in theatre, education, and literature in one experience - an experience which led him into a new domain, inside the classroom, with children and juveniles as the audience.
He considers that the Drama in Education experience, including its summer school, is an initiative capable of continuous transformation, and an experience that can craft a critical eye on the present and develop a realistic creative conception of it, which can assist in the creation of important changes in education systems.
Kurdi spoke of the importance of Palestinian teachers becoming active, socially engaged and culturally involved, and not just a cog in the machine of a traditional education system, affected by the effects of fragmented land and the dominance of occupation, a corrupt political system and the collapse of the surroundings.
He also focussed on Drawing, as one of the results he experienced when introducing drama to both teachers and kids, as an artistic and aesthetic mode of expression that helps reflect meaning with different meanings and also as a memory and a material that can be put to use in other ways.
He followed: “The drawings that result from dramatic enquiry is like a visual dialogue, or a record of results that allows us an opportunity to recreate certain details, and understand that which we have expressed - and continue to express in the journey of learning through drama”.
In his paper Kurdi reported the effects of using art in Drama in Education, which is the result of his work with teachers and student, which divides the issues raised into politico-social problems - war, displacement and migration - and soco-political problems such as gender issues.