This video is an hour long broadcast of BBC Newsnight with the education issue being the sole topic. Some of the main items discussed are the violence involved with the protests, the goals of the reform, the consequences that universities and students will have to face, the accountability of the Liberal Democrat Party, and so on. All these topics are addressed through the eyes of students, university staff, reporters, various MPs, and even Liberal Democrat Vince Cable. It gives an extraordinary inside look at the issue from the ground up.
By Mark Wallinger entitled “Wreckless”
This artwork is a recycled version of The Fighting Temaraire painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner, one of England’s most prominent 19th century artists. Specifically, this work was inspired by the slashing of government funding for the arts in the U.K., but I feel it can also be applied to approaching education cuts as well. As we can see, many metaphors are at work here in Wallinger’s revised version. The slashing, the cutting, the removal of the heart of the painting, the destruction of the painting, and the visual representation of a 25% cut are all uniquely relevant aspects. Because it is a classic work of art rather than a classic piece of English literature, it obviously applies to the art community more than the education crisis. However, I think the concept of loss, ruin, and poor judgment can all be related to the issue of education cuts and raised tuition with the same effectiveness.
Thousands of students and sympathisers marched in London today to Parliament Square in a protest against the rise in tuition fees. Winston Churchill plinth with graffiti ‘Education For the Masses’. London, UK. 09/12/2010
Photographer: Peter Marshall of Demotix
Although the phrase “Education for the masses” is not an ironically quoted ideal of Winston Churchill, the fact that it is vandalized on a statue commemorating one of England’s great leaders makes a bold point in itself. It could suggest that this was a message of Churchill’s administration, and furthermore make the claim that Parliament should return to this just ideology; or it could convey a lack of respect for government leaders purely because a venerated political memorial has fallen victim to blatant vandalism. Either way, the statement expresses a rebelling opinion against the current circumstances in England.
“Education is a Right”
1 color linoleum block print
24” x 40”
Although this artwork has racial reasons supporting its title, I felt it further proved that the bottom line (education is a right) is a universal concept, regardless of reasoning. When it comes to education, different social issues seem to always lead to the same exact conclusion, that the human right to receive an education is legitimate.
A protester tries to take a police officer’s truncheon during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Andrew Winning)
I thought Susan Sontag’s commentary concerning the utilities of the camera was very interesting. She claims that photographs can both incriminate and justify, which is why I posted this image. It shows a struggle between a policeman (which we typically identify as something good) and a violent man with a ski mask on (which we typically identify as something bad). So my question would be, who is this photograph incriminating and who is it justifying? Regardless of the correct answer, it reveals a gray area in her logic about the different utilities of photography.
As the most renown universities in England, Oxford and Cambridge seem to be non-hesitant in raising student tuition fees. What kind of example does this set?
This article speaks about Aberystwyth University’s students and staff taking action against the tuition increase in recent weeks. Their protest began on February 22, 2011 and has continued ever since. Compliments of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
This letter written by Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of East London is directed to the students and parents of the university, informing them about what the new tuition reform entails. From an outsider’s view, it quickly sums up the complete dissatisfaction and lucidity of the recent bill. However, from an American point of view, the tuition reform does not seem as terrible as the media and protesters claim it to be.