Kunst som dialogskabende element i kulturmødet

Bettina Schiött Jensen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Abstract Introduction: The representations that circulates in society of non-Western cultures are often portrayed in a binary stereotypical and stigmatizing manner. This image is dominantly based on a white, Western perspective and therefore new perspectives and ways of understanding society and cultures are needed. Art and artistic expression can act as alternative means of communication and dialogue providing different and new understandings. Method: This qualitative study takes place within an integrated domain in respectively the communicative- and postcolonial field. This integrated field of study is reflected in the study design using dialogue theory of Paulo Freire and Louise Phillips, as well as representation theory of Stuart Hall and his communication model Encoding-Decoding. The data is based on two workshops fascilitated in Danish schools by Centre for Culture & Development (CKU) with African artists and among Danish schoolchildren, examining the participants' experience of meeting each other. The data is obtained through one focusgroup interview with 6 pupils, as well as individual Skype-interviews with 3 of the African artists. Results/Analysis: Based on the analysis of this study, it becomes clear how the communication that takes place in the cultural encounter within the workshops, gives a very different experience for the parties at respectively a practical- and a structural level. At the practical level, the cultural encounter between students and artists offers an experience of a dialogic communication in terms of a mutual exchange of perspectives towards an understanding of one another. The creative approach in the teaching situation of the workshops creates a space for exploration and provides the pupils with new and more positive images of African culture. However, the immediate openness of the creative approach is also associated with a "false" sense of safety, seeing that it gives the illusion of being open and with equal division of power, thereby neglecting that "the artistic space" is also associated with frames and preconceptions. This becomes clear in the cultural encounter at the structural level, which is characterized by dominating structures both at a micro and macro level. Despite dialogical moments between CKU and the African artists, the collaboration is generally characterized by predefined and fixed frames by the CKU determining the agenda for the meeting, maintaining the dominating structures. Conclusion: The analysis clarifies how the workshops gives Danish pupils insight into the culture and society in the Global South, while challenging an existing, negative media image, with a new, more positive image of Africa. However, the new positive image is still a stereotypical representation of Africa, portrayed as an “exotic Other”, seen from a Western perspective. With a project bearing a main focus on the Danish yield of the cultural encounter, a social and more sustainable change is absent, and the project does not change the status quo.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 sep. 2015
VejledereLars Jensen


  • Dialouge, representations, cultural encounters, power