Public spaces make for convenient canvases. Street artists around the world and throughout history have used shared surfaces to build unity and inspire change. Walls, streets, sidewalks, and road signs bear the imprint of illustrative activists armed with paintbrushes and spray cans. Their creations-- murals of George Floyd, Handala, and everything in between--offer observers a vivid representation of the causes and concerns that define an era. For decades, the Berlin Wall has been one of the most celebrated canvases of artistic expression. This TOP virtual study tour will invite teachers to investigate how students can use street art in Berlin and beyond to understand historical context and the resonance/popularity of influential movements in the past and present. Participants will learn through doing by creating their own portion of the Berlin Wall.
Allison Haskins is the International Education Program Coordinator at the Center for European Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Amy Perkins is the 2019 TOP Fellow of the Year. She teaches AP US and World History at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, MI. An avid world traveler, Amy works closely with TOP and the University of Michigan, developing and presenting rigorous, engaging instructional resources for the Social Studies classroom. Her 2013 TOP tour of Berlin as well as her time in Belfast and the West Bank have enriched her understanding of protest art as a mechanism for promoting social justice and political reform. These experiences, paired with her graduate research on race and ethnicity in the 20th century US, have helped her locate the 2020 protest movements within a global and historical context.