What is your first image of somebody from
another country? How do you translate it into a drawing?
If you like Pictionary you will love "Cultionary".
Images, stereotypes and prejudice.
• To work with and explore our stereotypes
and prejudices about other people
• To work with the images we have
of minority groups
• To understand how stereotypes function
• To generate creativity and spontaneous
ideas in the group.
• A list of things for participants
• A flip chart and marker to record
• Sheets of paper (about A4 size)
and pens for the group drawings
• Sticky tape or pins to display
45 minutes to 2 hours (depending on the size of the group).
1. Ask participants to form teams of three
or four people.
2. Tell the teams to collect several sheets
of paper and a pencil and to find somewhere to sit so they
are slightly isolated from each other.
3. Call up one member from each team and
give them a word.
4. Tell them to return to their groups and
to draw the word while the other team members try to guess
what it is. They may only draw images, no numbers or words
may be used. No speaking except to confirm the correct answer.
5. The rest of the team may only say their
guesses, they may not ask questions.
6. When the word is guessed correctly tell
the team to shout out.
7. Put the score up on the flip chart.
8. After each round ask the drawer to write
on their picture, whether finished or not, what the word
9. Now ask the teams to choose another member
to be the drawer. Make sure everyone has an opportunity
to draw at least once.
10. At the end ask the groups to pin up
their pictures so that the different interpretations and
images of the words can be compared and discussed.
Debriefing and evaluation
• Do this in small groups (they
can be the same teams).
• Ask participants to say if
the activity was difficult and why.
• Then ask people to look at
the drawings on the walls and compare the different images
and the different ways people interpreted the same words.
• Ask them to say whether or
not the images correspond to reality and ask the drawers
to say why they chose particular images.
• Go on to ask where we get our
images from, whether they are negative or positive and what
effects that may have on our relations with the people concerned.
Tips for the facilitator
If you have a small group, 'Cultionary'
can be played in one group; ask one person to draw in the
first round, whoever guesses draws in the next round.
Be aware that people who consider themselves
poor artists may think this will be difficult for them.
Reassure them that you are not looking for works of art
and encourage everyone to have a go at being the drawer.
This activity is likely to raise the most
immediate and generalised stereotypes we have about other
people, including foreigners or minorities. It is very creative
and lots of fun. However, it is very important that the
activity does not stop at the drawings but that the group
reflects on the risks of stereotyping and, especially, where
we get our images from.
Everybody needs stereotypes in order to
be able to relate to the environment and the people around
us. All of us have, and carry stereotypes, this is not only
inevitable but also necessary. Therefore any judgements
about the stereotypes participants have should be avoided.
What the evaluation and discussion should promote is that
we need to be aware that stereotypes are just that: images
and assumptions which often have little to do with reality.
Being aware of stereotypes and of the risks that relying
on them entails is the best way to prevent prejudice that
leads to discrimination.
It is interesting to note that we don't
usually have a stereotype image of people with whom we have
little contact. For example, consider your own stereotype
of someone from Slovenia, Moldova, San Marino or Bhutan?
If we do have one it may simply be 'that they are nice people'.
We therefore suggest that you include in your list of words
to be drawn, an example of at least one national who is
a minority in your country and one who is not and with whom
the group will have had little or no direct contact. Ask
people to consider the differences between the stereotypes
and the possible reasons for this.
Another point to be raised in the discussion
is where do stereotypes come from. The role of media, school
education, the family and peer group may be analysed.
For the Cultionary:
The rules and ideas for what the teams will
have to draw must be adapted to the national and cultural
context of the group. The words in the list below are merely
suggestions for you to adapt. For example, if you plan to
use images of nationalities, it may be important not to
allow players to draw flags or currencies - that would be
too easy! On the other hand, in order to prevent guessing
by simply building on an association of sequences, it is
important to alternate descriptions of a particular minority
with other words relating to concepts, objects or people
who have nothing to do with the topic e.g. if you plan to
ask for the description of a Hungarian, a Rumanian and a
French person, it is better to start with an Hungarian,
followed by "racism" or "minority" and
only then a Romanian, followed by "friend" before
the French person. This will add variety, stimulate competition
and make the activity a lot more fun.
Suggestions for words to draw:
Racism - Difference - Education - Discrimination
- Anti-Semitism - Refugee - Conflict - European - A national
(from the country where the activity is taking place) -
A peasant - Poverty - A Muslim - A Homosexual person - A
European - Equality - An HIV positive person - A Roma person
(Gypsy traveller) - A Japanese - A Russian - An African
- Human Rights - Media - A Tourist - a Foreigner - Solidarity
- a Refugee - A blind person - Love - An Arab - A Moldovian.
Suggestions for follow up
Encourage members of the group to be more
aware of how stereotypes are used in the media and in advertising
and of their own reactions to them. Ask them to find examples
to bring to the next session.
We get images of other people and cultures
not only from pictures, and writing, but also from
music. You might like to try 'Knysna Blue'
to explore these musical images.
Alternatively, having just been thinking
about stereotypes you might like to go on to explore what
the effect of stereotyping and putting 'labels' on people
may be. If so use 'Labels'.
Another activity dealing with stereotypes
and heroes' in Compass. It involves individual and small
group work to explore stereotypes of heroines and heroes
and their roles as symbols of socialisation and culture.