Cultural and Geographic Focus
Beyond the Western Vision
Our notion of art is primarily taught from a Western, European perspective. These pages are an invitation to explore the rich variety of art forms that arise specific to place and culture throughout our world and to help identify other currents of art, past and present, that are not highlighted in the dominant History of Art of the Western World.
The IB places a strong emphasis on internationalism and the integration of cultural awareness. Why is it important not to just look at Western art? Because by doing so we are seriously limiting our knowledge and understanding of the world and it's people.
Seeing Connections, not Separations
What we want to avoid is creating even more separation by looking at other cultures as precisely that, other. The idea here is to encourage a broader, more integrated view.
Be aware of forming cultural stereotypes. Throughout your investigation, notice cultural perceptions, and using observation and analysis, aim to recognize and include different points of view.
A Natural Investigation
This exploration of art from geographically different cultures should arise naturally out of the students own interests and not be a prescribed or forced investigation.
Start where you are
It is always a good place to start with ones own culture. Culture is not only about other; by investigating our own roots we can begin to broaden the scope of appreciation and understanding when encountering the art of unfamiliar cultures. Go first to the page on Your Cultural Influences and consider where you come from and where you live now.