Lessons about identity formation from contemporary art | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1743-5234
  • E-ISSN: 2040-090X



This article describes and interprets artworks that interrogate identity and explores their potential application as a resource for teaching in schools. The artworks in question were selected for interdisciplinary curriculum experiments carried out by research teams taking part in the Images and Identity project funded by the European Commission. There is much public debate about the changing nature of identity today and the art and citizenship teachers collaborating on curriculum development during this project used contemporary artworks to encourage young people to reflect on, explore and express their understanding of their identities within the context of Europe. The article draws on social science theory to explicate some of the artworks sourced for the project that examine identity as a personal and/or socially constructed representation of self (ethnic, national, civic, etc.) and/or engage with identity politics in various ways. It ends with a brief discussion of ways art teachers could use contemporary art to explore citizen identifications with Europe.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): citizenship; contemporary art; education; Europe; identity
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