|The Hob, Plymouth England (iPhone)|
U is for Unlearn Master MythsKeri Facer (2011) defines myth as that which
"comes to act as an unquestioned cultural resource, to function as a dominating narrative that allows educators, policy-makers, parents and designers, without too much reflection, to make decisions and take action in the present" (Kindle Locations 240-242).Roland Barthes (1957) tells us that myth is
"a type of speech...a system of communication...Myth is not defined by the object of its message, but by the way it utters this message" (p. 107).James Gee (1996) describes master myths as prevalent stories we have internalized as truths, as the way it is, as what is normal.
Such mythologies are influential in our lives. They shape what we think is possible and not; truthful or false, and normal and abnormal.
The imagination, oddly enough, may be limited by these mythologies that tells us how to behave, how to be. Last week I was in England and one of the things I wanted to do was to make images of people playing 'on the street'. I did not want to capture images of organized play (football, etc.). I spent a good portion of two days roaming about looking and I found just three accounts of public play:
- three boys on skateboards
- an elderly couple and their dog and a ball
- a mom and two small children each with a scooter
"I couldn't leave anything out. Everything had to be put away right after playing. Our house had to be presentable at all times in case someone dropped in."
Not only did the house have to be presentable, but I imagine the inhabitants, especially girls and women needed to be presentable, neat, pretty at all times.
Take a look at the mythologies in this older advertisement aimed at girls. What is suggested as 'normal'? How is cleanliness and beauty aligned?
Or take a look at this more recent commercial:
Why is being clean situated as critical, essential?
So today I am wondering about what myths I need to unlearn? I'm wondering which ones get in the way of creating? Imagining? Being?
Note: In this series of post during the month of April, I am participating in the A to Z blogging challenge, with each day focusing on a letter. In order to bring some cohesion to this process--releasing the imagination is the focus of each post.