Sam Thorne, Sepake Angiama, Peggy Pierrot, The School Of Love

    17/05  | 18:00 - 19:30


With: Sam Thorne, Sepake Angiama, Peggy Pierrot, The School Of Love
Moderator: Daniel Blanga-Gubbay
Free entrance

The Free School, a ten-day project dedicated within the festival to the sharing of practices, knowledge and reflections, opens with a collective discussion on what the future(s) of school(s) might look like. Away from the 19th century academic model and the interdisciplinary experiments of the early 20th, art schools and their students are shaped today by the dynamics of professionalization, student debt and public politics of austerity. They also sometimes transform into -or called for- an infinity of small-scale, bottom-up, critical, more or less temporary places where learning can take other meanings. As editor of the book Schools: A recent history of self-organized art education and founder of Open School East in London, Sam Thorne has gone into conversation with artists and curators who initiated their own art schools or pedagogies all around the world. Acknowledging this shift more intensively from the 2010’s on, Sam Thorne will share his insights on this survey of self-organized-schools, providing a historical and methodological overview of this scattered and ever-evolving landscape. Together with Sepake Angiama (who will start a 4-day School of Darkness the next day on), Peggy Pierrot (tutor at les Ateliers des Horizons in Grenoble) and members of The School Of Love, and starting from their own experiences, they will discuss the potentialities of re-placing the site of education in a non institutional setting through artist-run pedagogical projects.

Sam Thorne is director of Nottingham Contemporary. Prior to that, he was artistic director of Tate St Ives. In 2013, he co-founded Open School East, a free-to-attend study programme in London, which has since moved to Margate. His book, School: A Recent History of Self-Organized Education, was published by Sternberg Press in 2017. Sam is a contributing editor of frieze magazine and an honorary research fellow at the University of Nottingham. 

Sepake Angiama is a curator and educator interested in discursive practices, the social framework, and how we shape and form our experiences in understanding the world. She is inspired by working with artists who disrupt or provoke the social sphere through action, design, dance, and architecture. She is the initiator of Under the Mango Tree: Sites of Learning in cooperation with ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Stuttgart. Through notions of unlearning and indigenous knowledge, artist-led project spaces, libraries, and schools interested in unfolding discourses gather to discuss and build radical education practices that destabilize the European canon.

School Of Love is a platform for collective practices that stem from reflections on the notion of Love as a public concern and a political mode of being that should be taught in schools. It was initiated in 2016 by students and teachers from the Autonomous Design department at KASK school of Arts (Ghent, BE), but consists of artists and researchers from different fields. SOL is practiced through regular weekly meetings, events, workshops and performances that engage with the exploration of Love and School as charged with potential for change in society. SOL aims to contribute to the perception of school as more than just a safe incubator that prepares the inexperienced to an existing reality outside of it. It approaches school as a place for experiment, reflection and collectivity, that can change society instead of adapting to it. It insists on learning how to deal with the unknown, rather than in learning how to know.

Peggy Pierrot is an intellectual worker living in Brussels where she collaborates with various associations and educational or research structures. Her favourite tools are humanities and free software. She gives conferences and workshops on Afro-Atlantic cultures and literatures, science fiction, radio creation, media and technology. She holds a master's degree in sociology and a professional master's degree in information-communication. She teaches media theory and intervenes in speculative narrative and as a technical assistant at erg, School of Graphic Research (Brussels).

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