Tomorrow I will be back in the art room for the first teaching day of the 2011-2012 school year, so summer is over – and since I live and work near London, I’m thinking about those riots – and how to engage my students in some discussions and creativity in response to the riots.

There is nothing new in artists creating art in response to conflict, of course, but the nearness of the London riots both in terms of time and geography may give my students an additional impetus.

Is this evidence of a ‘broken’ society? Is there a political element? Police recorded more the 3,000 offences and 1,100 burglaries –so there is a lot of material for discussion both with my visual arts classes and my Theory of Knowledge group.

Related links:

Teaching Conflict Resolution with Art

“These are a variety of creative arts activity ideas for using different artistic genres to teach kids how to identify confrontational issues and use creativity to find solutions. These activities help kids find the causes of confrontation (bullying, race, socioeconomic status, misunderstandings, etc.), understand how it plays out, how it makes people feel, and how alternatives can change the outcome. They inspire kids to think about and discuss conflict/resolution situations, it also opens the door to teach kids the tools they need to feel empowered and deal effectively with these issues. It can be used in a language arts, social studies, ESE, art or theater class, it can also be applied at home to help kids work out their differences”.

Lesson 3—Confronting Conflict

“Representing conflict, be it in the form of histories of war, national strife or personal struggles, has preoccupied artists across the centuries. By recalling conflicts of the past, how can we better understand present conflicts? War and strife are typically depicted in terms of black and white, suggesting two sides engaged in oppositional struggle. This apparent opposition is the focus of this lesson”. 

London riots spread south of Thames

Violence, vandalism and looting spread beyond Tottenham and Enfield to reach Brixton, leaving 35 police injured

Mail Online – We ran for our lives as thugs ambushed bus: Chaos across the capital as orgy of violence rages on

London riots: Art out of anarchy

Arts & Entertainment

It is often said that out of difficult periods comes artistic brilliance and we think that the London riots are no exception. As the events unfolded, designers and artists were already producing work to respond to the crisis. Hackney-based graphic designer Nick Scott made these brilliant posters (above/below) which so superbly sum up what many of us were feeling

Art out of Conflict