Characters from Annexe

“Imagine an education system that does not restrict access to schooling; a system that does not discriminate, stratify or exclude groups on the basis of class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability or location; a system that does not tolerate anachronistic curricular and pedagogical traditions or management strategies; a post-national system that reaches beyond the boundaries and identities of nation-states. Imagine an education system that disrupts preconceptions about knowledges and power relations, and about its own ability to establish final and forever appropriate structures and solutions.

Anne Hickling-Hudson, Julie Matthews and Annette Woods

This is by far the best articulation of our expectation from a modern day education system. But the baggages of colonialism on the pedagogy of postcolonial states are much heavier to be deposed so easy. The postcolonial content in literature and history might appear to be critical of the effects of colonization, still bears an inconspicuous bias that is a blameless outcome of the age-long adulteration and manipulation that went undocumented, and disguised as part of our present culture. The cultural imperialism’s deep rooted effects stayed long after to be included in the foundation of the education systems(besides the overall culture) of almost all postcolonial states.

Education pretentiously intends to provide students with the objective viewpoint of various historical events, and demands us to rely on textual information from unverified sources on the pretext that it has stuck around for long enough to be marked credible.

While postcolonial impact on education system is an intriguing discipline to pursue, it is also important for us to start holding our education system education and look for alternate pedagogies that could minimise, if not eradicate, the prepotence of imperial impact on the curriculum.

For my graduation project, I attempted to explore an alternate pedagogy to allow students form an ideology for themselves while living through the events of a critical phenomenon by engaging with it in the form of a gameplay. And what could have been a better topic to start with than Colonization itself?

 Annexe––is a two player strategy board game built around the subject ‘Colonization’. It throws light on the nuances of discreet exchanges taking place in the process of colonization and the hidden transactions that happen inconspicuously. It is these unseen exchanges that define the future of a culture, hence constructing its crux.

The two player represent the native leader and the conquistador each and while the conquistador tries to claim their land with the power of money and army, the natives try to counter them by using their indigenous wisdom and the knowledge about the natural resources. But the play can take overturn if any of those two can manipulate the heritage in the process to their own favor by strategising well.

Another great example is Annexe – a two-player strategy game about colonisation. One player tries to retain the ownership and identity of one’s culture, while the other tries to capture it. Creator Veethika Mishra was inspired by the Spanish colonisation of Aztec culture to create the game. While playing, the game highlights the nuances and discreet processes of cultural displacement.

The Index project, Boardgames revived

Annexe on display at Global Grad Show –– Dubai Design Week 2017

Detailed design documented here.

Posted by:Veethika Mishra

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