Making Space of Knowledge – LUM and The School of Kyiv

Making Space of Knowledge – LUM and The School of Kyiv - di

Making Space of Knowledge: the Cities of Free Universities

Presentation at The School of Abducted Europe by Claudia Bernardi and Paolo Do (LUM- Free Metropolitan University) within The School of Kyiv-Biennial 2015.

26 September, 2015, h. 18:00, link to the event here

What is The School of Abducted Europe?

The uprising on Maidan in Kyiv exposed Europe as a political and cultural entity to unexpected challenges and provoked the arrival of new political realities. First of all, the Maidan movement delivered what political movements and citizens in Europe itself lack: a strong belief in the idea of Europe as a vehicle for social transformation and progress. Meanwhile, the citizens of Ukrainian society are constantly being told to study Europe and its available practices, which under the existing institutions are diminished to a standardized set of neoliberal measures focused on ‘effectiveness’ and ‘reforms’. but what if we reverse this formula and imagine the process of learning as profoundly reciprocal?

Perhaps Europe could learn from Ukraine and its recent social turmoil in order to reinvent itself and deal with its own political crisis? “The School of Abducted Europe” is an educational project that transgresses the neocolonial mode of relationship between the European metropolis and its peripheries, exploring the potential for transformation of the European project under pressure from the ‘outside’. It will look at the various legacies of European cultural and intellectual traditions and their implications for Europe’s ‘outside’, focusing on the idea of European universalism and its discontents. The “School of Abducted Europe” is based on the model of dialogue: each of its modules will be developed in close collaboration between thinkers, scholars, academics, artists, and activists from within and outside the EU. The choice of participants will be focused on fostering already existing intellectual collaborations, dialogues and exchanges, and on reimagining the basic concepts of the European project (agora, democracy, equality, solidarity etc.) in the context of ‘greater Europe’.

A specific focus will be placed on the issues and oppositions that are of particular importance for the school’s immediate context: the post-Soviet condition versus European integration; exclusion of the European ‘Other’ and the new ‘Schengen wall’; ‘the end of ideology’ and the rise of the far right in Europe and beyond; the conflict of historical memories and the remaking of war; cultural wars between pornography and religion; ‘the hatred of art’, iconoclasm and image wars.

In different formats, like lectures, seminars, public discussions, and workshops, the School of Abducted Europe envisions and questions how another Europe can exist.
Sanja Iveković (Croatia), Emily Wardill (United Kingdom), Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria), Shalini Randeria (Austria), Timothy Snyder (USA), and Marci Shore (USA), among others, are contributing to the classes of the School.

The School of the Abducted Europe is curated by Vasyl Cherepanyn (VCRC) and Tatiana Zhurzhenko (IWM).

What is The School of Kiev?

“The School of Kyiv” will take place in a variety of settings in the city of Kyiv. The international biennale project unites the efforts of artists, intellectuals, social initiatives and institutions in Ukraine, Europe and beyond. The biennale aims at creating a public space of reflection, breaking down barriers, and building bridges in the time of warfare.

“The School of Kyiv” incorporates exhibitions and performances, film, multimedia experiments and broadcasts, and integrates permanent and open situations for learning and research. Beyond this, in cooperating with local and international institutions the biennale will create new structures and catalyse knowledge transfer outside of Kyiv. One of its main goals is to keep channels of artistic and intellectual exchange open.
The work, presentation and communication on “The School of Kyiv” revolve around a number of thematic exhibition essays and research projects: historic and contemporary works by individual artists, or historical situations that will map a system of forms, ideas and references.

The main focus of the project is on the still-underexposed global cultural influence of Ukrainian avant-gardes of the last century, and on highlighting their transcultural and international character. Along with that, the biennale will showcase artworks that do not at all reflect on the current day, but rather offer moments of poetic reverie and contemplation.
Under present political conditions in Ukraine, after the revolution of Maidan and when the country is at war, the political potential of art is needed today more than ever before. The fundamental role of art as a reflexive instrument is to challenge the present political context defined by the armed conflict in Ukraine.
The biennale is an open project aimed at creating a public framework, a space where society will be able to reflect on its threatened conditions by means of art and knowledge.

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