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Passport to Paradise Curriculum Resource

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION

Introduction to the Project

About the Exhibition

Educational Goals and Curricular Correlations

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM:
In this important introductory section, teachers and students are introduced to Islam—its precepts and history in Africa. Discussions and activities highlight Islam’s shared history with Christianity and Judaism and examine African Islamic forms, including manuscripts, talismans, and Koranic boards that demonstrate a fusion of Islamic ideas with African aesthetic sensibilities. Activities examine the themes of A Shared History, Early Islam, Islam in Africa, and The Sufi Way.

AMADU BAMBA AND THE ARTS OF THE MOURIDE MOVEMENT
Lesson One: The Life of a Saint
The Sufi saint Amadu Bamba is introduced in this lesson through historical accounts and glass paintings depicting narrative scenes of the saint’s life. Art, history, and writing extensions allow teachers to explore the rich imagery surrounding the worship of the saint and creation of the Mouride movement.

Lesson Two: The Aura of Mass Produced Imagery
The relationship of the "original" photographic image of Bamba to its infinite variations in posters, banners, plaques, lithographs and even web sites is the subject of this second lesson. Such limitless variations attest to the power of the mass produced image and the role of technology in the diverse interpretations of Bamba iconography. On-line resources will enhance students’ access to and understanding of the imagery.

THE ACTIVE IMAGE
Lesson Three: A Devotional Sanctum
Through video footage and interviews with the marabouts and artists (available on the web), students and teachers have the opportunity to "enter" a devotional sanctum—or "imagorium." Activities and discussions will guide students to an understanding of how such spaces and the images they contain (themselves repositories of secret knowledge that encode Bamba’s divine teachings), structure devotion and faith.

Lesson Four: The Mouride Work Ethic
Students’ journey through urban Senegal is the focus of this lesson and introduces them to the far-reaching presence of Bamba imagery in contemporary life. Video footage and discussions with urban workers allow students to explore the meanings such images hold in these settings. The rich plethora of Bamba images offers exciting options for art and writing experiences.

Lesson Five: Healing Prayers
Art and writing experiences explore some of the mystical dimensions of Mouride arts, especially those of divination and calligraphy. Again, video footage of the arts in use, accessed through the web, will enhance students’ understanding of the meanings of these works in acts of devotion. Language extensions explore the Islamic magic square and the writings of the Sufi poet Rumi.

Lesson Six: An Architecture of the Word
Students study the Mouride mosque complex built entirely from reed, the structure itself a kind of mystical writing that evokes Qur'anic verses. Video footage takes students through the conception and building of the mosque and expands the dialogue about architecture as a kind of three-dimensional sacred writing.

Lesson Seven: Apostles of Hard Work
This lesson focuses on the sanctification of work as expressed through the Baye Falls movement associated with Bamba’s teachings. Discussions will explore the teachings of Bamba’s followers, which have played a role in the transformation of urban Senegal. The principles of self-reliance and dedicated toil are a worthy avenue of study for American young people.

Lesson Eight: Sainted Women
A lesson devoted to the place of Mouride women in Senegalese society offers the opportunity to dispel Western stereotypic notions of gender in the Islamic world.

SUFI ARTS ON A GLOBAL DIMENSION
Lesson Nine: Global Networks
Global Networks
examines the degree to which Mouride arts extend to the global contemporary art scene. Paintings, sculptures, and musical expressions suggest the vibrant ways that the "local goes global" in Mouride arts. Mouride expressions on the web are telling examples of the global connectivity that is a contemporary reality of Mouride, as well as many African, arts.

Lesson Ten: Pilgrimage to Touba
A pilgrimage to the great mosque of Touba concludes this study, and suggests that Touba is more than a stationary place—and that faith, like the memory of place, is a transportable idea that spans continents and experiences. How peoples transform and redefine religious experience in new surroundings is the subject of this final lesson.

GLOSSARY

SLIDES AND TRANSPARENCIES

ON-LINE RESOURCES AND SELECTED WEB LINKAGES

BIBLIOGRAPHY