Archive for May, 2012

What is Art?

Surely there is no single answer, but many different views. Actually, the notion of art and artist is quite recent. They were born in the 15th and 16th centuries, in Italy.

In fact, some of the objects we now consider art were created at a time when they were viewed as such.


Are these objects works of art? What do you think?



What characteristics / qualities should a piece possess to be considered art?







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Political songs

It is not the first time we listen to songs that relate to the issues we’re dealing with in the class. Some of them are quite old, some are recent, some joyous, some sad and melancholic, some idealistic and visionary,while others are realistic and raw. No matter the tone, they are always the mirror of certain time and place.

Listen to the one below and comment on its meaning:

As you probably know the song is called “Russians” and it refers to a very specific time in history, but is it outdated? Or can we related it to present time as well?

Can you add other examples of political songs you know?

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We’ve heard about the beat generation.

They were a quite small group, but their influence spread over the years and reached far in time, space and scope.

Despite the controversial lives they led,  their ideas, work and behaviour have been influential in various areas, for example:

  • art
  • music
  • politics
  • social acceptance of minority groups
  • etc.

Which changes did they contribute to?

Which field would you consider that inflence stronger or more visible?

How would you evaluate those changes? As positive or negative?

Write down your opinion as a comment.

What point do these cartoons want to make? Are they benevolent?

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The Golden Age

To start with the topic, we’re going to watch the film Forrest Gump. Have you ever seen it?

If you haven’t, I hope it will be a pleasant surprise. If you have, try to see it with new eyes.

Forrest Gump is a made-up character (fictional) but he and his friend Jennie live through many major historical events.  This movie is actually a tricky way to introduce you to the historical events and issues we are going to talk about in this topic.

Pay attention to the cars, clothes, music, Jennie’s haircuts, etc.  It is all chosen carefully to portray the different decade accurately.  Don’t miss anything while you enjoy the story.

At the end, leave your opinion here. What’s this film about?

Do you know any other films that focus on these decades? Any suggestions?

Which of these events were mentioned in the film?

  • Atomic bomb
  • Korean war
  • Vietnam war
  • The end of segregation
  • JFK’s election
  • Nixon’s election
  • Martin L. King’s assassination
  • Reagan’s assassination

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