6. If the artist has freedom to interpret past events in ways that are denied to the historian, is this an asset or an obstacle to our understanding of the past? Discuss with reference to the arts and history.
November 2022 TOK prescribed title #6 is a bit more prescriptive than the others. You are limited to the arts and history and you are also limited to discussing the past. That does not necessarily mean it is bad choice but be aware of the boundaries of this prescribed title.
If you look carefully at the first sentence of November 2022 TOK prescribed title #6 it seems quite clear that you have to accept the statement that “the artist has freedom to interpret past events in ways that are denied to the historian” if you pick this prescribed title. Trying to argue that a historian has more freedom than an artist seems to be pointless.
Consider the ways in which an artist interprets past events and compare and contrast those ways with a historian’s ways. Think carefully about why certain similarities and differences exist – go back and look through the knowledge framework for each AOK.
After that, go through each of the ways and consider whether the freer ways that the artist has compared to the historian is a positive and a negative. The artist’s interpretive freedom can allow greater forms of expression and creativity. It also can give a voice to a greater range of people. This freedom, however, can negatively effect
Keep in mind that the prescribed title uses the terms “artist” “historian” and not “the arts” and “history.” It is a subtle difference but keep it in mind.
It is extremely important that you are clear and specific in your discussion and analysis of “our understanding of the past.” You need pick specific examples carefully that allow you do this.
The second part of the prescribed title “is this an asset or an obstacle to our understanding of the past” means that you need to consider both sides of the debate – you argue that it is an asset or an obstacle or both.