CeSMAP - Centro Studi e Museo d'Arte Preistorica Pinerolo, Italy
Here follows the Letter to all Teachers, from Primary School to University:
The Environment and Education : "Save Rock Art"
"Schools today, taken in their broadest sense, should be priviledged places characterised by a profound interaction between teachers and learners; sacred places where conscious and unconscious can fuse together, the centre for the furthering of wisdom, through words, gestures and examples, a melting pot which creates more energy than it absorbs; a prodigious place, perhaps the last place where human survival can be planned and guaranteed. Schools must be able to open up to the continuing change in society, what's more they should be able to significantly control the process of change.
The word "environment", as all words, is ambiguous and has multiple meanings: we should take it to mean "anthropological field or deposit" (there are practically no more real natural fields left on earth ) with special physical and cultural stratifications ; the word means the site of the "personal history" of all men, of all those who inhabit the world, and have their individual "niche" on it; it is a data-base, an eco-museum, a source of information, education, evocation, intuition; the enviroment is an anthology, a reader, an ABC book of behaviour; a stage on which we play out the daily tragi-comedy of life, forever suspended between macrocosm and microcosm, between costs and revenue , expansion and annihilation, reality and fantasy.
Schools, with a capital "S", are part of the landscape, of the territory, of space and time: a definite space and a definite time.
The interconnecting "filaments" of the multitude of infinite elements that make up each environment can and must pass through schools and become the subject of experiments, trials, tentative connections between differing threads, so as to find a hypothetical order which can give us the illusion that we are emerging from caos. Through the use of the environment as a resource, schools must become open institutions which have a formidably equipped laboratory at hand, practically free of charge: the environment. Schools must learn to use this pedagogical/ didactic supermarket as a souce of information which is extraordinarily useful, popular, accessible, and to accomplish an inniovative task : the repossessing of anthopological culture, of individual and group identity,social identity on the part of each learner, all students, all human beings.
The invitation to take part in this copernican - pacific - revolution is being sent to teachers at all schools. The IFRAO - International Federation of Rock Art Organizations - World Congress is an opportunity that should not be missed.
It will be held by AURA from 10 to 14 July 2000 at Alice Springs, Australia .
All the sections of the Congress are important if you want to understand the cultural value of Rock Art as the expression of the most ancient sign of Man's spirituality.
In particular the "Rock Art, Education and Ethics " Symposium is aimed at teachers, researchers, students, and will offer the chance to compare methodology, experiences, programmes and projects in the field of Cultural Heritage, and its links to teaching and education, so as to plot and define the role of schools in forming the conscience of young people; hopefully their sense of civic duty and their solid scientific background will make up the strongest factor in the protection, conservation and appreciation of the cultural heritage that Rock Art Archaeology discovers , researches, and consigns to future generations.
The environment in general, and Rock Art in particular, should be considered as something we have borrowed from our children rather than inherited from out parents. All over the world, teachers and schools can play a fundamental role, in trying to win the wager for the progress of Man. Please send me your ideas, opinions, abstracts and papers.
Prof. Dr. Dario SEGLIE