I have been thinking over the last few years about the conflicts in so many of the regions in the world. Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Darfur; and now Syria, are just a few of the places where we have little understanding of their culture, and people. I find myself thinking that these people in countries with funny names like Darfur are different than us.
Somehow by making them different in my mind, I don’t have to feel their suffering quite so intensely.
Of course, I really want to feel the plight of these people, and see them as a member of our extended human family. I thought that maybe I could learn more about their lives, and their countries. And me being an artist, maybe I could study their art, making a connection that might tie us together in some slight way.
I propose that we all do a little research on non-western art.
As an example :
I found an unbelievable website devoted to the Indian Ocean Cultures, cataclysmic wave that hit there. Maybe we could add to these websites, and build a library of sites that have to do with arts in these far off lands.
The links below are a start, the countries of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Indian Island culture are three of the most impacted lands.
General Introduction to Indian Ocean Culture, The Art of Polynesia :
The Art of Melanesia https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-oceania/melanesia
The world of Micronesia https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-oceania/micronesia
The Arts of Asia https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-asia
Japanese Art https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-asia/art-japan
Art of Southeast Asia https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-asia/southeast-asia
Art of the Americas before WWI https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-americas
Peruvian Textile and Crafts, The Paracas Textile
Native American Art https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-americas/native-north-america
Transformation Mask https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/indigenous-americas/a/transformation-masks