Nazioarteko kongresua artea, ilustrazioa eta kultura bisuala haur eta lehen hezkuntzan = Congreso internacional arte, ilustración y cultura visual en educación infantil y primaria = International conference art, illustration and visual culture in preschool and primary education
4th edition: Critical Mediation inside and Outside School
Tabakalera will host the fourth edition of this congress, that will deal with matters that have to do with visual culture and childhood in relation to visual arts and mediation.
Children's relationships with contemporary visual culture and the arts are evermore intense and complex. Previous editions of this Conference examined different aspects relating to the diverse ways in which art, visual culture and childhood are connected. This edition intends to address aspects relating to the fact that educational mediation entails the growing attention from the sphere of visual culture and the arts towards childhood and vice versa.
The phenomenon includes what is typically known in the world of visual arts as an educational twist that, at very least, underscores a few questions: on the one hand, the awareness that at its core, artistic action involves a formative dimension that might not have been paid sufficient attention to previously. On the other hand, and as a consequence, the opening of a new area of activity for artists, designers, illustrators, children's publishers, and cultural institutions that perceive arts in this way as an incentive to refresh their offerings.
First of all, it is interesting to see that the term mediation is the one that has stuck, above all in cultural centre and museum environments. This is understandable, if it is understood that at the dawn of this educational twist, these institutions may be seeing themselves as the connection between the public and producers of culture. However, in learning environments we tend to prefer talking about education, placing emphasis on the end result of the cultural activity we carry out instead of the role we play in it. This terminological discrepancy is the reflection of cultural policies and positions that are driven by each institutional sphere. For this reason, in this edition of the Conference we believe that it is important to address reflections surrounding mediation, art, visual culture, education and childhood that lay beneath their actions.
The conference offers an opportunity to explore the territory of relationships that can be established between artistic institutions, publishing works and learning institutions. The division of roles between cultural institutions and the school, between museum editors, curators, illustrators, artists and teaching staff entails the coexistence of a great disparity of educational strategies and methodological perspectives in the acts of mediation that are worth reviewing with a critical eye. This is a moment in which making mediation practices and experiences visible is necessary, and it is taking place in this context, in both schools and centres for art, in editorial projects and the daily activities of artists and educators. All of this with the goal of being better prepared to value the interactions that are produced between all agents in these actions of mediation, evaluating the programmes that are proposed, the processes that are generated, and the results that are reached.
Imanol Agirre Arriaga (President of the scientific committee)
Summary of the conference's presentation text