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Path: “The artist” - “the child” - “the native”

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This path is based on research into the discursive co-constitution of the triad of “the artist” – “the child” – “the native” and its historical connections to colonialism and mechanisms of exclusion. This triad relies on a gaze which is characterized by a simultaneous act of othering and idealization: it admires those who have not been “spoiled” by the Western culture for their “genuine” capacity to express themselves yet is ahistorical, and thus discounts the relationship between the emergence of these subject positions and struggles for redistribution of privilege. To illustrate this, our work attempts to investigate more deeply the ambivalence of pedagogical concepts and methodologies that proclaim “free expression” but which at the same time are characterized by paternalism and a drive to “protect from external influences”.

Whilst acknowledging the vast differences between the researched examples and between diverse local contexts, the working groups that contribute to this path consider it important to look at how the notion of “Free Expression” is both informed by and connected to European middle-class measures and values, to a resentment of technical and industrial progress, and to the establishment of international bodies that promote an increasingly neoliberal models of arts education that are rooted in notions of “creativity”, happiness and fulfillment through individual artistic expression and personal development as a counter-models to collective struggles for social justice.

By Carmen Moersch, Andrea Thal and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa



Learning Unit – Kampala – Experiments in Injecting Critical Readings of the History of Arts and Design Education into an Introductory Course in Publication Design

Learning Unit – Vienna – Deconstructing the Wild >< Child

Learning Unit – Manila – Changing Places



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