What Colour is Sacred? 1

What Colour is Sacred? 1

Spain / United Kingdom


Aims of the project

To help students:

  1. Communicate effectively across cultures.
  2. Foster cultural awareness/increase sensitivity to non-verbal cues.
  3. Develop strategies to accommodate cultural difference.


Critical discussion, document building, cataloguing visual peer responses, reflective practice.


Small groups of CU and UEM students are teamed together. Each collaborative group examine and negotiate identical topics in their respective locales in order to inform critical discussion and reflection. Site-specific activities aim to enhance comparative insights, intercultural competence and greater understanding of the topic.

Stage 1 Ice-breaker & Introduction
An introductory cultural awareness class which encourages multi-perspective understandings.
Students are encouraged to tweet photographs they feel represent ‘typical’ aspects of their home country and explain why the image is ‘typical’ to them? The OIL project brief, parameters and support for collaboration and research are provided. The students introduce themselves to each other on a social media site and unload a one minute welcome video about their own city.

Stage 2 Tourism & Your City
Students research and blog on reasons tourists visit their cities and further explore identity and stereotypes within their locales. Students critically reflect on the views and perceptions of others whilst scrutinising their own perspectives.

Stage 3 Themes
Groups are allocated themes for collaborative exploration, research, dialogue and visual representation of both cities which are documented.

Stage 4 Intercultural Reflection
Students use blogging to engage in continuous reflection throughout the project. CU students must evidence intercultural interactions that inform their individual reflective statements and help critique their own work in relation to Spanish peers. CU students present learning and findings to their own cohort.
The students fill in Reflective feedback reports, to complete the experiential learning cycle and find links between the experiencing and understanding or learning.

This OIL project is followed by a field trip to Madrid.


CU Student Participants: 38 students in the academic year 2014-15.
Module: Photography in Context
Course: BA Photography
Level of Study: Undergraduate, Year Two
Semester: One
Courses: BA Fine Art, BA Fine Art & Illustration
Level of Study: Undergraduate, Years One & Two
Semester: One