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Toula Liasi


Home and Identity
Master education in arts

What is 'home'? Is home a place? Is it a geographic location? Is it an architectural structure? Is it a town or a village, a building, or a garden? Is home a house in which we live? Is it a feeling attached to a specific place? Or is home made up of the people ā€“ friends and family ā€“ around us? Is it physical or imaginary, conceptual, psychological? Is home part of our identity? Does it shape who we are and how we see ourselves? What does 'home' mean in philosophy, poetry, literature and art ā€“ and, in particular, how is home related to educational theories and practices, notably art education, which has a creative and expressive language all of its own? Do home and identity as addressed in art education acquire an extra dimension in areas of conflict?
Home and identity form the framework in which my research is grounded: a project that deals with the question how these themes may be integrated in art education in an area of conflict. The focus is on two high schools in Cyprus, along and behind the buffer zone that divides the island into a Southern, Greek Cypriot part and a Northern part under Turkish occupation. An area of conflict where home and identity are constantly contested and negotiated.
Thirty high school students participated in the project: writing narratives and producing art works, which were then analysed for the young peopleā€™s notions of home and constructs of identity.