10.30 am Lecture by María Berríos: ‘The Path is Not the Path.’ Around the pedagogical poetics of the School of Valparaíso
On the Pacific coast of South America half a century ago, a small school of architecture argued that pedagogy is nothing more than ‘the human joy of talking to one another’. A group of poet-architects encouraged their students to go out and tour the city under the premise that architecture cannot be learned in a classroom, but by participating in the life of the city. This presentation will look into the history and principles of the radical pedagogy of the School of Valparaíso, including its participation in student revolts, its efforts to establish American collaborative networks and the foundation of Ciudad Abierta, a field of playful and constructive experimentation to consolidate ‘a community of solidarity, life, study and work’.
María Berríos is a sociologist, editor, writer and independent curator. She lives and works in Santiago de Chile and Copenhagen. Her latest exhibition, The Body of the Architect is not that of a Single Man, on the work of Alberto Cruz, co-founder of the School of Valparaíso, has recently opened at MAVI (Santiago de Chile).
11.30 am Break
12.00 noon Lecture by Collectif Micro-sillons
Since 2012, the art collective Micro-sillons has been developing an action-research based on the presence of the Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire in Geneva, where he lived in the seventies in exile. Through historical research that brings together archival elements and testimonies from people who knew Freire, they are trying to trace the actions and key elements of this particular moment in time in order to understand the local impact of Freire's presence on this city, as well as the links he developed to share his approach with educators from many other countries.
The second part of the collective’s research aims at reengaging with Freire's thinking and work – with a critical distance – in order to imagine new pedagogical approaches through the use of art with artists, teachers and art educators. For the ‘Learning to imagine oneself’ symposium, Micro-sillons will present the different steps of this research and the visual forms it adopts, according to the context of its appearance.
Collectif Micro-sillons was founded in 2005 by Marianne Guarino-Huet and Olivier Desvoignes. Their work questions the forms of education and mediation in art and the role of the artist in society.
1.00 pm Lecture by Sofía Olascoaga: Between Utopia and Disenchantment. An affective genealogy
Between utopia and disenchantment is a project of research and curatorial experimentation that focuses on the organisation of a series of encounters around the notions of utopia and disenchantment, addressing referents of the collective memory and specific history of Cuernavaca, Mexico, between the 1950s and 1980s. Its aim is to provide a space for critical thinking, collective dialogue and active learning among participants from diverse fields of practice and generational experiences.
The project has created a documentation centre as a museographic device, accompanied by a public programme composed of actions and interventions, dialogues and workshops, with the participation of artists and collaborators related to historical and current initiatives, from the areas of education, psychoanalysis, feminism and community work.
Its activities have included the participation of Eunice Adorno, Beta-Local / La Práctica (Puerto Rico), Maru Calva, Alejandro Chao, Colectivo AM, Cráter Invertido / Revista Cartucho, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Finella Halligan, Pablo Helguera, Sol Henaro, Magali Lara, Mauricio Marcin, Marcela Marcos, Sylvia Marcos, Jorge Margolis, Sarah Minter, Nuria Montiel, Taniel Morales, Roberto Ochoa, Sofía Olascoaga, Ignacio Plá, Vicente Razo, Naomi Rincón-Gallardo, Jean Robert, UniTierra (Oaxaca). Sofía Olascoaga works in the intersection between art and education through the activation of spaces that promote critical thought and collective action. Her research focuses on a critical evaluation of the tension between utopia and the failure of models attempting to create communities and educational alternatives in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico, in the last decades.
2.00 pm Lunch break
4.00 pm Lecture by Janna Graham: Techniques for Living Otherwise. Reading life lessons of post-capitalism in the archives of emancipatory education
Against the backdrop of a hollowed-out public sphere and an era of post-democratic confusion, this presentation will make use of radical education and research archives in France (école Moderne movement), Brazil (pedagogy of the oppressed) and North America (survival schools, freedom schools and popular education centres) to question the techniques for producing and re-producing society in other ways. Amid the proliferation of platforms for public speaking about emancipation and education, this presentation argues for the practice of thinking with conditions, committed to and engaged with processes of working through the complex conundrums of living that such platforms provoke. Looking at questions of effect, infrastructure and the re-balancing of the relationship between the public and private sphere, the presentation will use these histories to suggest how we might re-imagine the role of cultural workers and institutions.
Janna Graham is a researcher, educator and curator. She is a member of the Ultra-Red collective and the Micropolitics Research Group. She was initiator and curator of 'The Centre for Possible Studies' and is currently a lecturer at Goldsmiths, London.
5.00 pm Education as a Battlefield. Round-table discussion with Concha Fernández Martorell and Jaume Carbonell, chaired by Jordi Solé Blanch
The current educational debate has reached boiling point. This involves different types of actors, from the educational community to social movements, but also the world of business and the financial sector, who are ready to promote reforms that facilitate the neoliberal transformation of educational policies and pedagogical practices.
In this discussion, Jaume Carbonell reflects on innovation (what do we mean by innovation?), proposing a brief analysis of three educational models competing to be at the centre of today's educational space: the enlightened encyclopaedic, the neoliberal and the critical. On the other hand, Concha Fernández Martorell analyses some of the siege strategies that certain sectors exert on the educational space in order to explore what its emancipatory role might be today. As chair of the discussion, Jordi Solé Blanch identifies some of the principal elements of the educational agenda, focusing on the dominant discourses that, in the educational field, are aligned with the processes of neoliberal subjectivation.
Jaume Carbonell is a pedagogue, journalist and sociologist. For thirty-eight years he has contributed to the journal Cuadernos de Pedagogía, where he continues to write after retiring. He is a consultant and collaborator of the Diari de l’Educació and a guest lecturer at the Universitat de Vic. He has directed and assessed various publishing initiatives.
Concha Fernández Martorell teaches philosophy. She was director of the IES Mediterrània del Masnou for many years and currently teaches at the IES Menéndez y Pelayo, Barcelona. She is the author of various essays on contemporary philosophy. In 2008 she published El aula desierta. La experiencia educativa en el contexto de la economía global (pub. Montesinos).
Jordi Solé Blanch is a Doctor in Pedagogy from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (2005) and a lecturer in Social Education at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). His professional career has developed in the area of social services and the system for the protection of children and adolescents in Catalonia. As a member of the Social Education Laboratory of the UOC, he has participated in numerous debates on education along with other professionals from the same field, placing himself in the gap between study groups, activism and academia.