Critically Committed Pedagogies – Amber Coomans

Critically Committed Pedagogies, #2

A recap of  a semi-public seminar

by Amber Coomans

March the 10th is a vibrant day in Castrum Peregrini. Together with Dr. Esther Peeren, (University of Amsterdam, ASCA and Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies), Professor Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham), Jack Halberstam (Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University) and the moderators Renee Turner and Frans-Willem Korsten, the students of the Piet Zwart Institute and many other guests immerse themselves in “critically committed pedagogies.” Although the word critical may sound as a cliché, Frans-Willem Korstens states, together with the word committed, it’s exactly what this seminar is about.

Esther Peeren

The seminar begins with Dr. Esther Peeren talking about where we teach and how the spaces in which we teach influence learning. She’s inspired by philosopher Michail Bachtin and his so-called chronotopes: intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships that are artistically exposed in literature. There is the chronotope of the adventure novel, in which the main character always forgets the things he has learned in the previous episodes and is constantly surprised by everything. In this world learning is not possible. Another example is the chronotope of the Road, in which meeting new people from different backgrounds is central. Bachtin states that these chronotopes also exist in the real world.

The chronotope of the Salon is the place where dialogues can happen and where there is a more dialogic and interactive atmosphere. Perhaps this is an example of what a classroom should look like?

What does it mean to have this seminar at Castrum Peregrini? You could see the former WWII hiding place as a learning space for the hiders. They continued learning by writing and discussing, as in the chronotope of the Salon.

The discussion then turns to the VOC-room in the University of Amsterdam where the faculty of Humanities is now seated. How does the history of this place influence the learning processes that characterize this place? And what does it mean that this hasn’t really been discussed? Our heritage from WWII seems to be allowed to haunt us, as shown by the popularity of the Anne Frank house, but our colonial history isn’t. Why is this the case? Peeren concludes with Bachtin, who explained that learning is an internal conflict: It’s going to be difficult! That internal conflict, or internal dialogue is not ignored at Castrum Peregrini. It is a learning space and thinking space where attention is paid to time and space. If more learning places such as universities would pay more attention to time and space, we would achieve different ways of learning, resulting in more inclusion.

To end with a clever statement from one of the students: It’s not about what the space does to you, it’s who you become because of the space that matters.

Peter Kraftl

The second talk of the day is given by professor Peter Kraftl. He talks about his research on geographies of alternative education, and alternative childhoods in the UK, which is fuelled by his interest in space and place, being a geographer.

Alternative childhoods question standard ways of testing and the way children’s bodies are treated in schools. They create spatial ways of learning. Examples are the so-called forest-schools in Denmark, where the pupils are largely being taught outside in nature, the Kilquhanity Democratic school in Scotland, where teachers and pupils come together every week to discuss what will happen next week in a completely democratic way, and the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland which is more spiritual. What was striking in his research is the fact that teachers in alternative schools speak about love so often. Love as a completely non-sexual, non-romantic emotion. In mainstream society these senses of love are touched upon, but not as frequent. One of Kraftl’s respondents states that we need to see something like love as something bigger than just between two people: love as a responsibility. Kraftl concludes that we need to see alternative childhoods as autonomous, rather than seeing them as alternative. They are autonomous because most of the time they are independent and more outward-looking. They are distinct, but not divorced from the mainstream!

Another point of discussion in the room revolves around the issues of class and inequality in relation to alternative childhoods. It really depends on the places you go to, states Kraftl, because there is a huge diversity within alternative childhoods. It is an important topic.

Jack Halberstam responds to Kraftl’s talk by saying that love being defined as opposed to sexuality is nonsense and impossible. Kraftl agrees that it is indeed problematic to separate love and sex (and jokingly suggested perhaps a very British thing to do.)

A student presses the question whether it’s ethical to homeschool a child. Isn’t it a form of child abuse? Maybe it is, but maybe it’s abuse to put children in a learning environment with only people of the same age. A complicated but interesting subject with much to discuss about.

The contribution of Jack Halberstam was broadcasted on Castrum Peregrini Facebook Live Feed, Friday 10th March.

 

As part of the project The Warp and Weft of Memory artist and writer Renée Turner took the initiative for a number of Critically Committed Pedagogies in the House of Gisèle on 20 January and 10 March 2017. The Warp and Weft of Memory is a research project by Renée Turner, which will result in an online narrative exploring the contents of Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht’s wardrobe, and the ways in which it reflects her life, work, and larger histories through textiles and clothing. The Warp and Weft of Memory is made possible by the generous support of Mondriaan Fund

Amber Coomans studies heritage at Reinwardt Academie Amsterdam, and a minor Philosophy, Worl religions and Spirituatlity at HKU Utrecht. Amber joins team Castrum Peregrini on a voluntary basis.

 

Critically Committed Pedagogies, #2

Seminar

Critically Committed Pedagogies

Friday March 10th from 10:00 – 17:00

with contributions by:

Professor Peter Kraftl, chair in Human Geography College Director of Internationalisation at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Dr. Esther Peeren is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Vice-Director of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and Vice-Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS).

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of five books: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012)

Moderated by Renee Turner and Frans-Willem Korsten 

Working from the unique place and the history of Castrum Peregrini, the Master Education in Arts programme of the Piet Zwart Institute and Castrum Peregrini, will host this semi-public seminar. Examining unexpected sites and paradigms of learning, the aim is to plot spaces for maneuverability, if not resistance or possibilities for imagining and acting otherwise.

As this is a working seminar with limited space to facilitate discussion, reservation is required. This event is FULLY booked >> If you wish to reserve a place on the waiting list, please do so before Monday, March 6th. Send your request to: Susana Pedrosa Email s.m.de.melo.pato.pedrosa.de.jesus@hr.nl

Home and Belonging

Round Table Conversation
Home and Belonging

Tuesday 28 February 2017, 20.00 hrs

Havaintokuva_PulkkinenWhile the ongoing war in Syria has caused millions of people to be displaced rendering them homeless, questions of identity and home have become acutely topical. Castrum Peregrini and the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux are organizing a discussion event on the topic of “Home and Belonging”, investigating mobility of people and belongings.

Anssi Pulkkinen will open the discussion by presenting his new art work Street View (Reassembled), see picture. Pulkkinen, born 1982, is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki. Umayya Abu-Hanna an Amsterdam-based journalist and writer with palestinian roots, , Annukka Vähäsöyrinki is the Head of Programme at the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, and is currently producing the Mobile Home(less) project. She will discuss the process of the formation of value anMobile Homelessd function, but also the utopias and realities of human migration.Rana (A.J) Noman, Yemen, writer, social researcher. Rana is also represented in the exhibition Emerging hiStories with an object and a story.  Moderation: Özkan Gölpinar publicist and a member of the Dutch Cultural Council and co-curator of the exhibition Emerging hiStories.

Read more here.

Art As Resistance, #1 – by Leon Laskus

Art As Resistance,#1

Seminar on Saturday 4 February 2017

organized by Framer Framed, Humanity in Action and Castrum Peregrini

von: Leon Laskus

Am Samstag, den 04. Februar, startete erfolgreich der erste Teil der Symposiumsreihe „Art as Resistance, #1“ auf dem Intellectual Playground Castrum Peregrini in Zusammenarbeit mit Framer Framed und Humanity in Action.

Der Tag begann mit einem Grundsatzreferat der New Yorker Künstlerin Adeola Enigbokan, heute Professorin an der Universität von Amsterdam. Darauf folgten drei Workshops der Künstler Maria Guggenbichler, Charl Landvreugd und Patricia Kaersenhout zu kulturellen Identitäten, das kollektive Gedächtnis und über die Notwendigkeit Geschichte, wie sie präsentiert wird, zu hinterfragen.

Ich, seit einem halben Jahr Freiwilliger im Castrum Peregrini, nahm Teil am Workshop „Rewrite History“ von Patricia Kaersenhout. Nach dem die kulturelle Aktivistin und Performance Künstlerin ihre Ergebnisse ihrer bisherigen Werke präsentierte, war es die Aufgabe der Teilnehmer die Geschichte des Kolonialismus zu überarbeiten – in Sachbüchern oder als Collagen. Dabei sollten wir versuchen uns in eine Identität indigener Völker hineinzuverseIMG_3350tzen. Stift, Kleber und Messer waren dann unser Werkzeug die aus der zweiten Hälfte des letzten Jahrhunderts stammenden Bücher, welche zum Teil noch Rassenlehre beinhalteten, zu befreien.

Es war eine Art von kollektiver Kunst. Zuvor hatten Menschen mit diesen Büchern gearbeitet und mit deren Bildmaterial Collagen gestaltet. Patricia gab uns den Hinweis auf Affinität: Wir würden feststellen, dass wir mit jenen verbunden seien, die zuvor in dieser Weise an diesen Büchern arbeiteten. Und, es stimmte: ehe ich die übermalten, entfernten und ausradierten christlichen Symbole bemerkte, die im Geschichtsbuch nahezu überall verteilt waren, hatte ich schon begonnen die Kirchen aus den Bildern herauszuschneiden.

Nach dem Abschluss unserer Werke und das Auffassen von dem, was bereits andere vor mir im Buch getan haben, wurde es mir wieder deutlich, dass Geschichte sehr unterschiedlich präsentiert werden kann. Durch die neu gestalteten Bücher, wie auch Texte, ergab sich ein neuer Sinn der Zusammenhänge des Vergangenem. Aus der Sicht von vielen „Indianern“ also, würde beispielsweise eher „the Devil“ über den Köpfen der Kolonialherren stehen, als der Name mit sämtlichen prunkvollen adligen und militärischen Titeln.

Es zeigte sich mir, dass Kunst ein wunderbares Instrument sein kann, um aus einem Mainstream Geschichtsbild auszubrechen und durch so entstehende kritische Betrachtung des Mediums sein gewohntes Denkmuster der Geschichte zu ändern.

Leon Laskus volunteers during a year at Castrum Peregrini via Action Reconciliation Service for Peace ARSP a.k.a. ‘Aktion Sühnezeichen / Friedensdienste’. After finishing his school ‘Abitur’ in Berlin, he applied for a country and an organisation.  Every year around 180 volunteers, mostly aged between nineteen and twenty five are active for ARSP in thirteen different countries on a variety of educational, historical, political and social projects. For over 50 years ARSP has been committed to working toward reconciliation and peace, as well as fighting racism, discrimination and social exclusion. read more about ARSP

Conflicting Memories: Ukraine

Round Table Conversation
Conflicting Memories: Ukraine
A political crisis from a cultural perspective, part 2

due to circumstances: 16 February 2017 was POSTPONED >> a NEW date will be announced soon 

Language: English
Price: 7,50 euro, reduced fee 5 euro
RSVP at productie@castrumperegrini.nl

A collaboration between Castrum Peregrini and the European Cultural Foundation

Participants: Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Visual Culture Research Centre, Kyiv and laureate of the ECF Princess Margriet Award (2015) and Fleur de Weerd, journalist and former correspondent in Ukraine.

The participants will each give a short contribution on their view of the current conflict from the perspective of collective memory, followed by a panel discussion including the public moderated by Katherine Watson, director ECF.

Read more here.

and / or here