When the meanings of the words start to change

workshop with students at the Art Academy in Bucharest in the frame of the project Un.Education. Reflections on the future of the art education, project by Raluca Voinea and Alexandra Croitoru, subRahova, Bucharest.

During a two days workshop, we discussed with students at the Art Academy in Bucharest about the contradictions of the art education system, contradictions such as the process of commodifying education and the fact that this process of commodification overlaps a layer of arts education largely obsolete, based on principles of the autonomous art, separated by society or the contradictions between the emancipating potential of art education (as education method that is broader, more interdisciplinary, less quantifiable and more flexible) and the danger of „creativity” and „flexibility” as neoliberal mantras. We have formulated questions such as: What is the potential of real criticism of the turn the university is taking at the present, in a context where individualism is not only an effect of neoliberalism but also finds its roots in the obsolete art education based on the idea of the lonely and proud (mostly male) genius? Which are the possibilities to organise any resistance to the actual development of education, to pass on complaints strictly related to the actual University and to turn it into the criticism of the set of practices and pressures that divide and fragment? Which are the possibilities to develop a viable system of collaborations in a context where it is often difficult to find the time and space for lasting work collaborations? How can we relate to art as a process and not a product, as a route to consolidate and practice concepts like empathy, knowledge sharing and friendship? These questions, developed in a context of discussing both concrete situations of the students and our broader social context were the outcome of the workshop.

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