Volume 17 Number 25 July 31, 2016

Karagiozis in Australia: Exploring Principles of Social Justice in the Arts for Young Children

Maria Hatzigianni
Charles Sturt University, Australia

Melinda G. Miller
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Gloria Quiñones
Monash University, Australia

Citation: Hatzigianni, M., Miller, M. G., & Quiñones, G. (2016). Karagiozis in Australia: Exploring principles of social justice in the arts for young children. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17(25). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v17n25/.


This paper examines Karagiozis – Greek shadow puppet theatre for children – as a way to explore how the Arts might support socially just education in the early years. As authors from diverse cultural backgrounds with different experiences of arriving and residing in Australia, we consider themes of social justice identified in a Karagiozis play and an interview with a Greek-Australian Karagiozis puppeteer, drawing on Nussbaum’s (2000) Capability Approach. Layered analysis of the data provides a basis for examining: (1) the potential of Karagiozis for exploring social justice themes with young children; and (2) intersections between social justice themes identified in Karagiozis and circumstances for multicultural groups in the Australian context. This paper builds awareness about the value of employing the Capability Approach as a framework for exploring matters of social justice and contributes to dialogue about the value of the Arts in opening possibilities for young children’s learning and meaning-making about social justice matters in local and global contexts.

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