The Independent Studies Programme (PEI) run by the MACBA is a learning tool, the fundamental purpose of which is to encourage critical thinking and to activate the political imagination by interconnecting artistic practices, the social sciences and political and institutional interventions. One of the core features of the programme involves developing our critical capacity to enable us to pass freely between paradigms of thought. Consequently, the PEI is more than a space for affirming portrayals and identities, as it aims to question closed categories by activating a disobedient imagination that draws the frontlines of its aesthetic and political struggle.
The para-institutional nature of the programme (inside and outside the museum and outside the realm of academia) makes it possible to break with the established idea of what a place of ‘higher learning’ is. It also allows us to bypass the logic of skills or professional knowledge acquisition. The political implications of every form of knowledge are taken into consideration and so the programme contents are linked to diverse traditions of pedagogical and discursive experimentation, regarded not just as subjects to be studied but as a body of living practices capable of shaping new spaces for knowledge.
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