CONDITION REPORT: SYMPOSIUM ON ARTISTIC EDUCATION IN AFRICA

juin 26 - juin 28 2014

In collaboration with the École National des Arts (Dakar), Raw Material Company announces Condition Report 2, a three-day international symposium on artists’ training in Africa.

 

From 26-28 June 2014, “Artistic Education in Africa”, the second biennial program of Raw Material Company’sCondition Report series will take place over three days in Dakar, Senegal. This follows on the first program, which focused on emergent independent art spaces in Africa.

 

The main objective of this second international symposium is to provide a platform and opportunity for examining artistic pedagogies and practices, institutional policies and traditions, and how these contribute to the production, transmission and perpetuation of artistic and visual knowledge in African academies. Participating thinkers, faculty, artists, and cultural practitioners working in the educational and academic field will reflect on crucial and urgent matters relating to systematic revitalization of artistic education in African countries. Invited participants will provide analyses of the current situation as well as articulate possible futures for academic art teaching in Africa given the changing contours of national imaginaries and the shifting global economic-political landscape.

 

Formal art training in Africa began more than a hundred years ago either as a part of nationalist program of cultural development, or as an ancillary component of colonial education. In the wake of political independence by mid-20thcentury, new African states vigorously pursued autonomous national cultural programs, including the establishment new art and cultural institutions, or expansion and reorientation of existing, colonial ones. However, the Structural Adjustment Programs of the 1980’s and 1990’s severely impacted culture and education industries; in the ensuing turn to the so-called productive sectors of the devastated economies, art education for the most part witnessed dramatic decline in quality, scale and ambition. The symposium will consider how art schools in Africa might be reinvented and retooled to become sites of new trans-disciplinary pedagogical approaches and ambitious experimental projects and methods. It will also consider how to sustain the role of art schools as sites of knowledge production and sharing, research and archival practices for the “social and common good,” and as catalysts for new strategies of international artistic networking.

 

Among some case studies that will be presented during the symposium, particular attention will be given to the lack of funding that leads on the one hand to a steady decrease of the teaching quality as well as access to contemporary tools of artistic and intellectual production. One of the core aim of the symposium is to look closely at certain artistic and curatorial projects that influenced the formation of cultural connections among African countries and stimulated the rise of non-degree based workshops, artists collectives and related educational initiatives. How might art schools, despite their need to fulfil set curricular and academic mandates draw on the vitality of non-degree programs? What collaborative possibilities exist between formal and informal art schools, especially given the changing dynamics of the art world, the need for broadening the spaces of artistic, aesthetic and socio-cultural transaction and exchange in Africa?

 

Attendance is open to a limited number of 35 participants selected on the first come first serve basis.

 

The three-day symposium will consist of closed and public sessions. Discussion themes will include:

  • Faculties & Narratives: History of art academies in Africa
  • Curriculum & Syllabus: Content and orientation of teaching
  • Alternative Education: Workshops and artists collectives
  • Art, education, and social engagement
  • Comparative global contexts of art pedagogies

 

Coordination:

Marie Hélène Pereira: mariehelene@rawmaterialcompany.org