I facilitate a Critical Reading class for the Karkhana and Galli Galli team at the Karkhana space on Tuesdays. Our team decided to read more about different ‘-isms’ (Marxism, Atheism, Communism, Capitalism, Socialism…) and we started with Feminism. We started reading around 50 pages from Nevedita Menon’s book, ‘Seeing Like a Feminist‘.
Here’s a technique I used to facilitate the introductory class which I came across in the book, Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church &Karin Morrison.
1. Look closely at the small bit or image that is revealed.
– What do you see or notice?
– What is your hypothesis or interpretation of what this might be based on what you are seeing?
2. Reveal more of the image
– What new things do you see?
– How does this change your hypothesis or interpretation? Has the new information answered any of your wonders or changed your previous ideas?
– What new things are you wondering about?
3. Repeat the reveal and questioning until the whole image has been revealed
– What lingering questions remain for you about this image
I Googled images I could use to facilitate the discussion and after some research, I decided to use images from this site. Then I used Inkscape to crop the image into smaller pieces to evoke wondering in the learners. Here’s how the images were revealed and parts of the discussion that followed after each reveal.
1. Flower: flower is beautiful, pleasant to look at, flower is life
1. We plant flowers in our gardens, use it in worshiping Gods
1. Multiple flowers: flowers are connected so events in our lives are connected
2. Garden: people plant flowers in their gardens, they take care of plants
1. Connections between various objects and events
1. Hand: the hand looks like that of a man
2. Embroidery: Its a festive occasion
3. Shirt: Men wear such clothes
4. Style: The man wearing the shirt is from South Asia (Nepal, India or Bangladesh)
5. Flowers: The flowers are in the background.
1. Its definitely a man because he’s wearing men’s clothes
2. Its a festive occasion, the flowers in the previous image was a part of the celebration.
1. Flower: the flower is the same from the first two reveals
2. Red sari: its from Indian culture, its a girl wearing a sari
3. Red: it signifies celebration or festivities, perhaps a wedding
4. Bangles: the girl is wearing silver and gold bangles that look expensive
1. Its a girl for certain since girls wear saris
2. The girl is from a rich family because she’s wearing expensive bangles
3. Its a traditional arranged marriage since the bride is wearing a red sari and ornaments
1. Jewelry: The girl is from an affluent family
2. Garland: The girl is wearing a garland, so its a wedding
3. Smile: The girl is smiling, she looks happy
1. Its a wedding.
2. The girl is happy even if its an arranged marriage or it might also be love marriage where the couple decided to have a traditional wedding
1. Man: he’s the man from the previous image
2. Jewelry: she’s from an affluent family and her parents approve of her wedding
3. Couple waling side by side: The man next to the girl is her husband to be
1. The man is not the husband but perhaps a relative (a brother or father)
2. Definitely not the husband because his clothes are simple as compared to the bride
3. The brother is guiding his sister to the wedding ceremony
1. Long hair: she’s a girl because girls have long hair
2. Mehendi or tattoo: She’s a part of the wedding, perhaps the brides sister or a friend
3. Jewelry and dress: she’s dressing up for the wedding party
1. She’s attending her friend’s wedding
2. Its definitely a girl because of her dress, long hair and jewelry
1. Flowers: The flowers are similar from the previous picture
2. Man: There is a man in front of the girl
3. White dress: The girl is wearing is white dress
4. Red shawl: The red shawl is hanging somewhere
1. The girl is wearing a white dress that is not traditional so she is just a guest
2. The man is the husband to be and the girl is asking him for money as a part of the tradition in Hindu wedding where the bride’s sisters hide the groom’s shoes and demand money
1. Man: the man is wearing a suit
2. Holding hands: The girl is holding the hand of the bride
1. The girl is taking the bride to the wedding ceremony and the husband is waiting
1. Man: The man is the brides brother who’s taking her to the wedding ceremony
2. Hand: The girl wearing the white dress is holding the brides hand
1. The bride’s brother and her friend are taking her to the wedding ceremony
1. Pink: The color of the flower is pink unlike red used in most of the traditional weddings
2. White dress: The girls dress looks like a wedding gown
3. Garland: The girl in the white dress is also wearing a garland
1. Perhaps its a wedding between two cultures, the bride (Hindu) is wearing traditional sari and the groom (Christian) is wearing a suit.
2. Maybe there are two weddings taking place in the same venue
1. Shawl: The shawl is tied from the girls shoulders to the other girls dress
2. Man: just one man standing in the ceremony
1. Its a lesbian wedding, the girls wearing the sari is getting married to the girl in the white gown.
2. There are a very few people in the wedding ceremony because we cannot see many people.
3. Perhaps the parents and relatives were against lesbian marriage.
It was fun to talk about the wondering people had and the discussions that followed after each reveal. It was a good introductory activity to introduce the issue of Feminism and things like gender, culture, tradition, marriage, sexuality and society came naturally through out the discussion.