Researchers explore how children become soldiers and use art to create identities

Two graduates will present their theses – and compete for prizes – at the Graduate Program in Opiyo OloyaEducation Spring Colloquium May 26.

Opiyo Oloya (left) (PhD ’10) and master’s graduand Farra Yasin will explain their final academic projects in the Senior Common Room, 021 Winter’s College, from 4:30 to 6pm.

Oloya is a high school principal who fled Uganda in the early 1980s. The former pro-democracy fighter’s dissertation, “Becoming a Child Soldier: A Cultural Perspective from Autobiographical Voices”, explores how Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) transformed abducted children into soldiers. Oloya highlights the importance of culture in turning children into soldiers and in creating Woman cartoon with speach bubble (any questions?)a resilience to survive their ordeal in the bush. As a researcher, Oloya is also interested the peace process, humanitarianism and the impact of war on society and culture.

Yasin teaches Grade 8, has a passion for writing and used to run an art gallery. Her MEd thesis explores middle-school students’ use of comic strip figures and creative writing to construct their identity. She has presented her work at conferences of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Education Graduate Students.

All are welcomed to attend. Refreshments will be served.