BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


For 50th Anniversary, Dar es Salaam Artists Channel JR, Ted, and Kitenge

By Nora Graham
For 50th Anniversary, Dar es Salaam Artists Channel JR, Ted, and <i>Kitenge</i>

A portion of IST’s beautiful mural, a “unique perception of a place in time” (photo: IST).
When students at the International School of Tanganyika (IST) returned to school in September, they were welcomed by familiar, friendly IST faces—on the wall outside the main school gate. First unveiled on last June at a cafe event showcasing students’ artistic expression through spoken word and visual, dramatic, and musical arts, the murals are the undertaking of last school year’s Grade 10 art students.
For this project, students found inspiration in French artist JR and his Inside Out Project. Students viewed the JR TED Talk “My Wish: Use Art to Turn the World Inside Out,” and learned about JR’s use of photographs to reveal some of the life within the communities where he works.
However, unlike JR’s photography portraits, IST artists used collage, photography, and acrylic paint as media. Traditional East African fabrics (khanga and kitenge) were cut and collaged to create a background for their portraits.
Working in groups of two or three, students debated to select the subject of their own work—a person who represents the spirit of IST—while the class collaborated to ensure a variety of subjects who speak to IST’s diversity.
The subjects ranged from middle and high school students to IST teachers, support staff, and a security guard.
One of the main learning objectives of this project was to use a grid to enlarge a photograph. Students used the techniques of photorealist Chuck Close, emulating his method of using a grid to enlarge a photograph and then paint a portrait. Each group of students took photographs of their subject, and used a grid to enlarge the photo and paint the subject.
Like JR’s work and students’ tenure at IST, these artworks are temporary. Although varnished, they are outside enduring the elements, and will slowly show the impact of their environment. The murals represent a snapshot of IST at 50, as the artists experience it. It is their unique perception of a place in time, expressed with tremendous creativity and passion.
It is fitting, for the 50th anniversary of IST, to be greeted at the gate by smiling, familiar faces who join us all in ushering in the next half century at IST!

Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


01/27/2014 - Lana
It is a befitting and wonderful 50th Anniversary tribute as well as a colorful reception and welcome to the IST community. Well Done Nora and the IST students