“Two of a kind: Lewis Carroll (white) and Lev S Vygotskij (black)” (2012-2013)
In Cape Town, the figure of the Walrus, as described by Lewis Carroll in “Through the Looking Glass”, shows up repeatedly in unexpected ways. A decision is made to follow up the connection and investigate how it is represented in the story.
It turns out that the Walrus is the villain of the story, but also that the mirror which the protagonist passes through in the introduction can be viewed as a border between two systems. The bad guy in the story has its counterpart in persons that benefit from the system of South Africa today – they don’t want change.
Turning to Alice in the story you can read her progress as a way to take control over her own self by becoming the Queen. And if we turn to Lewis Carroll it is in the un-logical world that this transformation takes place.
The pedagogue and psychologist Lev Vygotskij, who was active in the former Soviet Union in the 1930s, has researched and written about the way language and thinking connect. He claims that thinking, in the sense we speak about it, is not possible without a language. Therefore the research about how language evolves is very important also in order to be able to study the learning process, i.e. the learning process is rooted in the language and with it becoming the Self.
He talks about inner speech as a tool to understand yourself, and this inner speech is closely connected to imagination and creativity. Vygotskij claims that depending on how we address the learners and which methods we use, we can stimulate a child to undertake much more difficult tasks then expected for the child’s age, pointing out the importance of pedagogy in teaching.
So, combining Carroll and Vygotskij in a fictional game of chess becomes the starting point of another storyabout rights and opportunities of the individual within a society. The framework of the reading is the educational method in a broader sense, both in terms of developing specific knowledge for a profession, and in terms of growing as a human being.