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Decolonizing Art Education: A Staff and Curriculum Development Project at NIAAD (2015-2017)

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Decolonizing Art Education is the name that was given to a staff and curriculum development project that took place at the Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design (NIAAD) in Namulanda, Uganda between 2015 and 2017.

The project was conceived and facilitated by Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (Kampala Working Group), Carmen Moersch (Zurich Working Group), George Shire (Harare Working Group) and Rangoato Hlasane (Johannesburg Working Group) and funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the Institute for Art Education at the Zurich University of the Arts and by NIAAD itself.

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During the course of the project, NIAAD’s administrative and teaching staff attended a series of intensive week-long workshops twice a year during the semester break, and pursued a range of distance learning activities.

Our collective aims were:

  • to reassess and reinvigorate teaching and learning practices at NIAAD
  • to find ways to better connect NIAAD’s curricula with current developments in art and design and in their teaching at tertiary level
  • to analyse and to find concrete ways to challenge the continuing impact of colonialism on art and design education in Uganda today.

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Decolonizing Art Education was the first research project to be delivered under the aegis of the Another Roadmap School Africa Cluster and thus served as its flagship - and as the host of the cluster’s inaugural meeting [LINK].

Those of us who were privileged to participate learned valuable concrete insights into the relationship between knowledge, culture and power in the postcolony that we have carried with us into the research projects we are currently pursuing within the Another Roadmap School.

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