The Image conference Brussels – has a conference ever fitted me better?

Two days in Brussels, the first ‘Image’ conference that I’ve had the chance to attend and I return home with educational batteries recharged, perhaps also feeling a bit physically and certainly mentally drained! But I don’t think I have ever attended such an event that has felt like it fitted me quite so well.

The thrust of the conference content is focussed on the role of imagery, in its various forms, and how it can be integrated into the language classroom. Most of those present seemed to be language teachers who were enthusiastic about art, film or photography. I arrived kind of from the other direction, an art teacher with a rather heightened interest in language.

Added to this there was an extra strand of presentations relating to refugees and immigration, a subject that I also explore in some of my lessons.

Highlights? Too many to name, but my colleague and I return with plans to place the medium of film more centrally into our schools teaching. Also extensive resources for the language classroom relating to refugees and other pressing world issues. Further there were keynote presentations relating to the use of art in the classroom setting for purposes of narrative and cultural identity and reasons to celebrate multilingualism in the classroom.

I’m sure that in the coming months elements of what I have seen and heard will find their way into my own lessons and maybe also onto my blog. My only regret really is that this relatively small conference doesn’t have a wider public. From my own perspective as a bilingual educator in the Netherlands absolutely everything I have participated in in Brussels this weekend is utterly relevant and useful to the Dutch bilingual context. It is such a pity that only me and my colleague were representatives of this particular educational stream.

So when and where is the next ‘Image’ conference? Well that is as soon as the spring of 2020……what will make it a little more difficult for me is that it is in Vancouver, Canada! Although for the North American readers of my blog it could very well be of interest. The conference after that? Well, I hear whispers that it may be the UK, a chance to take a few more of my Dutch colleagues perhaps.

5 thoughts on “The Image conference Brussels – has a conference ever fitted me better?

  1. Hi Peter,
    They say the tone of an organisation is set by its leader, and it’s hard to disagree with in the current febrile climate. One of the best qualities on view at the Image Conference was the kindness and support show by all and I’m sure that’s a reflection of how people feel towards Kieran Donaghy and Anna Whitcher in particular.
    All the best,

  2. Hi Peter,
    I agree that the audience needs to build out and become wider. The fact that New Museology (a movement I was directly involved in in the 1990s -thanks for bringing that to the conference Sylvia – huge subject with important implications), multicultural, transcultural, pluricultural perspectives and plurilingualism (Nayr), then on the ground, issues of inclusion, migration and identity (Joanna Norton’s work in Luton -thank you) is becoming a feature of the conference to me, means we need to be thinking trans-disciplinary.

    • Hi Emma, the stream of education that I’m involved with here in the Netherlands connects so well with this… is a bilingual approach and places particular focus on making the pupils responsible and aware global citizens.

  3. Pingback: The Image Conference (Brussels) – Teacher Phili

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