In September 2017, Noortje van Amsterdam, Emmeline Besamusca, Mary Bouquet and Elena Valbusa started the project "Making Journeys. Building Blocks for Diversity" funded by Utrecht Stimuleringsfonds Onderwijs. As Utrecht University (UU) teachers and support staff they were intrigued by the ways in which diversity plays out in their everyday work context and in the ways it is perceived and discussed in the UU community at large.
Exhibition “Journeys into Diversity”
‘Diversity’ is often understood in terms of multiple nationalities, cultures, or ethnicities occupying teaching and learning positions in the classroom. As such, ‘diversity’ seems implicitly to only relate to minorities; for the majority of students, teachers, and support staff at UU, it could generate a sense that “diversity is not about me”.
Noortje, Elena, Mary and Emmeline carried out a series of workshops, interviews, and creative collaborations with refugee students and their fellow students, in order to grasp how diversity is experienced and lived within the UU community. This research results in an exhibition, a series of workshops, and a report for the UU Taskforce Diversity.
The exhibition "Journey into Diversity" comprises photos, drawings, videos, objects, and paintings made or brought by refugee students, their fellow students, and teachers. It aims to make visible and tangible experiences in and around UU education, related to the question: ‘What does diversity mean within UU?’. Visitors are invited to provide their input towards answering this question from their own unique, individual perspective. The exhibition will be on view:
The workshops “Arts-based approaches to diversity” will be held on March 21 and June 18. Starting from the exhibition, these workshops will delve deeper into the question of what diversity means and what the implications of different views on diversity in the classroom could be, in terms of teaching and learning. In the workshops arts-based activities (e.g. drawing, photography, and poetry) will be used as a starting point to consider questions the concept of diversity poses and to discuss ways to maximize the potential of diversity in our daily practices.