What is it about?

This paper describes the key challenges that three young women negotiated when taught to creatively appropriate an online portfolio software to curate showcase arts e-portfolios at their government school.

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Why is it important?

Despite the growing importance of digital portfolios for justifying creative work and study opportunities, little is known about arts students’ creative appropriation of online portfolios in secondary school. In particular, there is a research gap concerning the challenges that young black women face when curating portfolios as visual arts students.

Perspectives

The case studies for three young black women revealed the diverse, yet overlapping, challenges each faced in expressing their creative identities and interests. They all faced obstacles in using the "global" online portfolio technology, Carbonmade.com, for expressing their artistic identities. This technology was not designed to accommodate their under-resourced contexts. Each young woman followed different strategies for negotiating the benefits and risks of online visibility. The teens also had to negotiate the strong shaping influence of a dominant South African cultural hierarchy that foregrounds a Modernist aesthetic taste hierarchy. This emphasis posed an obstacle for students wishing to express local practices.

Dr Travis M Noakes
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

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This page is a summary of: Young black women curate visual arts e-portfolios: negotiating digital disciplined identities, infrastructural inequality and public visibility, Learning Media and Technology, July 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2019.1640738.
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