METHOD 4: CREATIVE EXPRESSION

Creative expression can help to make concepts more concrete, personalize abstractions, and affect attitudes by involving emotional as well as intellectual responses to human rights. Although facilitators should feel comfortable using these techniques, they need not be accomplished artists themselves. These enriching techniques should not be restricted to children and or groups with limited literacy; adults, especially academics and professionals, often need ways to relate personally to human rights. Because some participants may find non-intellectual methods unfamiliar, embarrassing, or even threatening, provide several choices of expression and be very careful to create a safe, non-judgmental situation. See Part IV, "Technique 1: Carousel," p. 75, "Technique 2: Contests," p. 76, and "Technique 4: Gallery Walk," p. 76.

1. Writing: Participants might write original poetry, songs, dramas, stories, or essays or compile collections of relevant material from other sources. They might also write letters or editorials on issues that concern them.

Examples of Method:

ABC: "A ëWho Am I?' Book," "Letters and Friends," "Maria Has Disappeared," "Serving the World." [www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]

First Steps: "Let Me Speak!" [erc.hrea.org/Library/First_Steps/index.html]

Here and Now: "The Power of the Pen," "The Power of Petitions." [www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Default.htm]

2. Graphic Arts: The possible media are limitless: drawing and painting; making mobiles, collages, or sculptures; taking photographs; creating installations; designing posters, banners, or tee shirts; etc. To raise awareness, display the results in a public place.

Examples of Method:

The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Activity 11: Icebreakers and IntroductionóPortraits," p. 86.

ABC: "What Am I and What Am I Like?" "The Lifeline," "Me on the Wall." [www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]

First Steps: "Drawing," "This is Me," "Conflict Webs," "Advertising Our Rights." [erc.hrea.org/Library/First_Steps/index.html]

Here and Now: "A Human Rights Tree," "Giving Human Rights a Human Face." [www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Default.htm]

3. Music: The possibilities of music for learning are limitless. Groups of all ages respond to songs that inspire, energize and link them to historical struggles for justice.

4. Movement and Dance: These non-verbal arts often permit participants to say the "unsayable." Combined with music, they can lead to spontaneous "opera."

Examples of Method:

The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Activity 12: Image Theater," p. 86; "Activity 14: Mirroring," p. 88.