Arts-based service learning with Indigenous communities: Engendering artistic citizenship

Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh & Carfoot, Gavin (2016) Arts-based service learning with Indigenous communities: Engendering artistic citizenship. In Elliott, David, Silverman, Marissa, & Bowman, Wayne (Eds.) Artistic Citizenship Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 339-358.

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Abstract

In this chapter we aim to situate the concept of artistic citizenship alongside the issues and practices that we have encountered as non-Indigenous musicians and music educators working with Indigenous Australian communities. Many of the specific themes of music education as and/or for artistic citizenship share common ground with this intercultural work, in particular the overarching idea that music making should address broader agendas, such as social justice and an ethics of care (Elliott, 2012; Campbell and Martin 2006). On the one hand, the central tenets of artistic citizenship as praxis resonate strongly with our experiences in making music, sharing and collaborating with students and Indigenous communities, and echo broader concepts of justice, ethics, reconciliation and healing that are frequently explored in Indigenous studies (Atkinson, 2002). On the other hand, this concept of artistic citizenship brings to the surface complex politics, power dynamics, and socio-political histories of colonization that challenge us to think critically about the ways in which artistic citizenship is conceptualized and enacted in Indigenous contexts. This highlights both the possibilities and the perils of working with concepts of artistic citizenship in such intercultural settings.

In order to explore these issues further, we begin the chapter by thinking broadly about the ways in which concepts of citizenship relate to Indigenous communities and the arts. In this section, we briefly look at some of the complexities and possibilities that arise when viewing citizenship from different cultural perspectives. We then turn to examples of our own work with Australian Indigenous communities in order to tease out the ways that these issues manifest themselves in our artistic and educational praxis. Drawing on insights from an arts-based-service-learning program we have run in collaboration with university students, Aboriginal musicians, and non-Indigenous arts workers in the Central Australian town of Tennant Creek, we explore how our work has engendered outcomes that could be associated with artistic citizenship more broadly. In particular, we look at how arts-based service learning can help to enact a type of artistic citizenship that is community-led and embraces Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing (Martin, 2009). At the same time, we acknowledge the complex cultural politics of this work, the ever-present spectre of colonization, and the challenges and responsibilities that we are presented with. In these discussions, we attempt to recognize the tremendous opportunities that artistic citizenship offers us as educators, while also acknowledging the multifaceted politics that arise when this concept is translated across cultural settings.

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ID Code: 96003
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: citizenship, artistic, service learning, Indigenous, music
ISBN: 9780199393756
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Oxford Univeristy Press
Deposited On: 08 Jun 2016 23:00
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2016 23:39

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