Archives du mot-clé epreuve orale

ART AS A WEAPON – AFRO AMERICAN ARTISTS

Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, It affects us, it raises our awareness on contemporary issues. Through literature, music, art, photography, films and sports, African Americans have taken control of their own identity and imposed universal recognition. African-American culture, also known as Black-American culture, in the United States refers to the cultural contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from American culture. The distinct identity of African-American culture is rooted in their historical experience. 

In the 1920s and 1930s, African-American music, literature, and art gained wide notice.  Jazz, swing, blues and other musical forms entered American popular music. African-American artists  created unique works of art featuring African Americans. This first major public recognition of African-American culture occurred during the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a phase of a larger New Negro movement that had emerged in the early 20th century and in some ways ushered in the civil rights movement of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The social foundations of this movement included the Great Migration of African Americans from rural to urban spaces and from South to North.  

The Harlem Renaissance was also a time of increased political involvement for African Americans.  The Nation of Islam, a notable quasi-Islamic religious movement, also began in the early 1930s.Authors during the Civil Rights era, such as Richard Wright, James Baldwin wrote about issues of racial segregation, oppression, and other aspects of African-American life. This tradition continues today with authors who have been accepted as an integral part of American literature, with works such as Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Beloved by Nobel Prize-winning Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou. Such works have achieved both best-selling and/or award-winning status.

We may wonder /to what extent  / If………………………………..

Art is a counter power ?

has Art contributed to the African American identity?

how have African Americans used Art as a counter power to achieve recognition ?

DOCUMENTS  

American Gothic, a portrait of government cleaning woman Ella Watson by  Gordon Parks

Parks  said of the image:

I had experienced a kind of bigotry and discrimination here that I never expected to experience. … At first, I asked her about her life, what it was like, and so disastrous that I felt that I must photograph this woman in a way that would make me feel or make the public feel about what Washington, D.C. was in 1942. So I put her before the American flag with a broom in one hand and a mop in another. And I said, « American Gothic »–that’s how I felt at the moment. I didn’t care about what anybody else felt. That’s what I felt about America and Ella Watson’s position inside America.

In this photograph, Parks uses his camera as a weapon against poverty, again racism, against all sorts of social discrimation. The photographer may have wanted to show that this woman, many African Americans are imprisoned in a socio.economic role that they can´t escape.The US flag in the background represents the hope for justice and equality, thus emphasizing the gap between the ideals and reality. (The American dream : myth or reality?)

William H. Johnson , Chain Gang  1939

Back in 1939, Chain Gangs were a reality and the artist wants to make people aware of the terrible and humiliating suffering involved in this form of punishment. In addition, the fact that all the prisoners are black would suggest that his intention was also to raise people´s awareness on the plight og African Americans, bubjected to exclusion, humiliation and stigmatisation.

MORE RECENT BLACK ARTISTS WHO HAVE HAD A GREAT INFLUENCE ON BLACK CULTURE 

spike lee

Spike Lee´s impact on Black Cinema

 

 

 

 

 

Publicités

Useful websites for your BAC revision

Here are a few websites that can help you revise for your BAC. Keep in mind that the best way to get ready is to inform yourself (watch the news, read press articles), and do not forget that other course materials (Philosophy, History, Geography, Economics)  will be ressourful for your English exams.

GRAMMAR

grammar revision

Grammar revision

Most common grammar mistakes

LETTER WRITING

formal and informal letters

FICHE DE REVISION POUR LES EPREUVES ECRITES

fiche_de_methodes_d_anglais_de_niveau_terminale

 

VIDEOS POUR REVISER LES EPREUVES ORALES ET ECRITES

 

THE MIGRANT CRISIS IN CALAIS

A current topic is the migrant crisis in Calais. Thousands of migrants are fleeing their country in the hope of reaching the UK. An interesting topic to illustrate the notion of spaces and exchanges. The following documents (a press article from the Guardian, a video from Vice news, and a Banksy´s  artwork) will illustrate the topic of immigration. Here are a few questions you might want to discuss-

Who is going where? why?how? (podcastenglish level 3 audio and worksheet on the refugees crisis)

Why do most migrants want to go to the UK?

Most migrants consider  Britain as a land of opportunities. Is this belief a myth or reality? (could be mentionned in your conclusion as a reference to another notion)

Banksy´s artwork depicting the child from the musical ¨les Miserables¨ surrounded by tear gas wants to draw our attention on the harsh living conditions of migrant children in Calais. 150 years after Victor Hugo´s Les Miserables, children are still being persecuted. (you might want to question the idea of progress or the myth of a better life in western countries.)

Banksy and the migrant crisis

Commuters in London took pictures of a new piece of art by Banksy opposite the French embassy on Monday. The work is critical of the use of tear gas in the refugee camp in Calais.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/dec/11/banksy-uses-steve-jobs-artwork-to-highlight-refugee-crisis

The horror of the Calais refugee camp

Migrant Crisis in Calais: Britain’s Border War

 

 

 

Happiness

3 documents to illustrate the theme of social progress

An article, a video, and a radio programme on the topic of happiness  and how it can be related to social progress.

QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH THE DOCUMENTS:

  1. What makes progress possible?
  2. To what extent is Social Progress Index (SPI) a better tool to measure social progress?
  3. The United States, the world’s wealthiest country in GDP terms, ranks 16thin “social progress.”  Can the wealth of a country (GDP) be representative of its social progress?
  4. Money cannot buy happiness – To what extent is this proverb true or false?

RADIO PROGRAMME http://www.podcastsinenglish.com/pages/level3.shtml

ARTICLE

Happiness Is an Important Indicator of Societal Progress

Bina Agarwal, a professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, is the author, most recently, of « Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. »

UPDATED JULY 2, 2015, 1:30 PM  NY Times

If happiness is defined by an individual’s freedom to choose, and lead, a life he or she has reason to value, it is worth tracking it as a sign of national progress.

There was a time when most economists believed that income was a fair measure of personal well-being, and G.D.P. per capita could adequately reflect a country’s progress.

Today, few would disagree that quality-of-life assessments should be multidimensional. The United Nations Development Programme, for example, ranks countries by an annual human development index that aggregates income, life expectancy and education. But are even these factors fully adequate for measuring social well-being?

Quality-of-life assessments that account for happiness and life satisfaction go beyond what G.D.P. can show.

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France designated a commission led by Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, both Nobel laureates, to identify which indicators best measure the economic performance and social progress of nations “beyond G.D.P.” I was a member of that commission, and we identified many factors in addition to income and wealth that determine quality of life, including health, education, environmental conditions, social connections, political voice and security.

Yet these are still objective indicators. They tell us little about a person’s own assessment of his or her well-being.

Subjective indicators, like happiness and life satisfaction, capture an important dimension of well-being that is missed by objective measures. Self-reporting also shows the importance people place on having dignity and a voice, as well as access to democratic institutions.

But there are limits to self-reporting when it comes to public policy. Poor women in India, for instance, are much more likely than men to say they are well, even when a doctor’s examination suggests otherwise. Perhaps they cannot afford to take time off work when they are ill, or they are socialized into discounting personal well-being. Reliance on subjective measures could also make governments complacent about social injustice, using the “she is poor but happy” defense.

Ultimately, we need both objective and subjective measures to accurately reflect quality of life on a global scale. And especially when it comes to framing policy, measurement and quantification, even when it comes to happiness, is important.

What’s more, if enough people feel that their happiness depends on living in an environmentally sustainable and equal world, the pursuit of happiness could even be good for the planet.

VIDEO

Social progress index