To create new worlds, to fight for other ways of life and to construct different social configurations, first it is necessary to imagine them. Imagination plays a crucial role in every emancipatory process. It must be exercised and put into practice as a form not only of resistance, but also of transgression; as the critical ability to connect elements apparently dispersed or distant from each other. In this sense, the school and the museum have been thought of as spaces for social emancipation, as places where the promise of a better future can be realised, whether by the equalisation of time that school represents, or its suspension in the disinterested contemplation of aesthetic experience. However, while they were constituted as spaces of liberation and possibility, they also harbour the contradiction of being spaces of reproduction and social control, or places for disciplinary normalisation. At a time when educational practices appear to be threatened by productivity and efficiency at the service of a labour market that incessantly captures the learning processes and conceives education as a space for productive return and profit, our concern is with those pedagogical laboratories in which education has acted and continues to act for purposes other than the accumulation of knowledge and social reproduction. Education as a political space and as a space for individual and collective liberation.

Learning to Imagine Oneself addresses the way in which formative processes can become spaces for the activation of a political imagination that intervenes in the social sphere and is conceived as a possibility for the production of ways of life. The self-reflective imagining implied in the title applies to the collective as well as to the individual. It belongs to a society composed of individuals who are inevitably part of an interrelated and interdependent world. For this debate, different projects and thinkers from diverse practices have been brought together, so they can provide us with ways of learning that might enable us to think and act about reality in a radical way. The objective is not so much to make a diagnosis of the state of the question, but rather to exercise the idea of other possible educations, in order to redefine the margins of the power of education.

Within the context of Pedagogies and Emancipation, an area of MACBA’s Independent Studies Programme, this seminar aims to set up a space for learning and activating the pedagogical imagination through workshops, lectures, debates and screenings. A meeting to reflect on the practices that shed light on the exceptional nature of our time and, in the face of the current controversy over the necessary renovation of schools, to discuss the concept of innovation and its submission to the neoliberal pressures of effort, performance and productivity. The seminar consists of three simultaneous workshops that will include the participation of PEI students, as well as museum educators, social educators, and primary and secondary school teachers. These workshops will address some of the issues related to writing as a practice of poetic elaboration in the classroom, work with the body and the image in the public space, and the production of institutionalised imagination. A public seminar will be staged following these diverse learning workshops.

Curated by Pablo Martínez.

Organized by MACBA and AECID:
Still from the film 'Pirámides', by Pili Álvarez and Mercedes Álvarez Espáriz, 2017


14, 15 AND 16 NOVEMBER, FROM 6 TO 9 pm

Venue: various spaces activated at the same time.
Simultaneous workshops conducted by María Berríos, valeria flores and Sofía Olascoaga

Venue: Meier Auditorium
Watch all sessions here

Friday 17 November
5 pm. Presentation by Pablo Martínez, director of the seminar and MACBA’s Head of Programming.
5.30 pm. Lecture by valeria flores: Poetic activations of dissidence. A pedagogic hiatus to nurture an emancipatory language.
6.30 pm. Break
7 pm. Screening of Pirámides, Pili Álvarez and Merche Álvarez, 2017, in Spanish, 90 min. Followed by a debate.

Saturday 18 November
10.30 am. Lecture by María Berríos: ‘The path is not the path.’ Poetic and political experiments in radical pedagogy.
11.30 am. Break
12 noon. Lecture by Collectif Micro-sillons
1 pm. Lecture by Sofía Olascoaga
2 pm. Lunch break
4 pm. Lecture by Janna Graham
5 pm. Round-table discussion chaired by Jordi Solé

Public Programmes
macba [at] macba [dot] cat
Tel: 93 481 33 68
The artist has to face the unknown with a positive mood and sink his teeth without fear
Eduardo Chillida