Young people of African descent in Australia, experience psycho-social challenges to their cultural identity development. Quite often this includes a denigration of their African cultures and the associated signifying symbols through exclusive Eurocentric cultural practises. And yet the young people carry with them embodied knowledge and memories from the African culture acquired through cultural socialisation prior to arrival in Australia as well as in "African" homes in Australia. Accordingly in a festival context arts were used to explore the identities of a group of African descendant youth as a means to developing understanding of the issues relating to their bicultural socialisation and ways in which Arts-based strategies could be used to address them towards bicultural competence. The festival was organised as an aesthetic and educative theatrical event using, the Ujamaa circle and the African centred pedagogy theory, Participatory action research and Performance, as a research Inquiry, for the project. A participatory approach, through educative dialogue and performance enabled the participants to reveal their own embodied knowledge about African cultural memory leading to an educative exploration of its relevance. The paper concludes by suggesting that the festival, as a third space, was a form of cultural activism enabling the young people to explore African cultural memory educatively.
|Keywords:||Cultural Memory, Identity, Arts|
High School Teacher, Senior High School, Education Department of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia