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Intertwining Histories


Intertwining Histories

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April 14, 2017 10:52 , by Sophie Pagliai - 0no comments yet | 1 person following this article.
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First issue, april 2017

“Intertwining HiStories” is a cluster of Another Roadmap School for Art Education (http://colivre.net/another-roadmap). It gathers educators, researchers and artists based in Maseru, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Lubumbashi, Nyanza, Vienna, Kampala/Namulanda and Geneva/Zurich. Since Summer 2016, they study past and present histories of arts education and their global overlapping within particular case studies (“stories”). They look at what the intertwining of these stories especially means in the present times for practices of education through and on the arts. A newsletter will regularly be published about the cluster research activities. This first issue is based on the first cluster meeting at the 2016 São Paulo Bienal. 


SÃO PAULO BIENAL MEETING – October 24th-29th, 2016

Working mainly through e-mails and Skype sessions, the cluster was invited to host its first “physical” meeting in the frame of the São Paulo Bienal. The event took place between October 24th and October 29th and was part of a program named Permeable Practices: Curating and Education, developed by Sofía Olascoaga, co-curator of the Biennal. The meeting was hold in a workshop space named ‘A Cozinha’, inside the Bienal Pavilion. After three days of internal meeting, the cluster took part to two days of semi-public exchanges, organized with the Bienal team and open to educators, researchers and artists in São Paulo.

INTERNAL WORKING DAYS (24th-26th October 2016)

Each of the local research group was represented and the cluster also welcomed associated researchers: Claudia Hummel from Berlin, Andrea Thal and Hussein Elhajj from Cairo (who are part of the Another Roadmap network, Africa Cluster), Janna Graham from London and Catrin Seefranz from Vienna. Nana Adusei-Poku, member of the cluster advisory board, was also there to give feedbacks to the researchers.

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Group presentations

  • Hong-Kong

Researcher: Yuk Lin

The presentation focused on the publication in China of essays on aesthetic education in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The discussion mainly took place around European writers, in particular German art teacher Alfred Lichtwark and English art historian Herbert Read, who were published in those years in China, and on how their thinking transversally impacted many of the local researches.


  • Johannesburg

Researchers: Rangoato Hlasane, David Andrew, Puleng Plessie

The research on the Medu Art Ensemble, a multidisciplinary cultural workers group mainly composed from South African exiles in Botswana (1977-1985), was presented by . The need to specifically address the violence against women in the years the research is focusing on was mentioned. A discussion also took place on the positioning of the research group in the current resistance movements in South Africa.


  • Kampala

Researchers: Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Kitto Derrick Wintergreen

The presentation was the research around the Margaret Trowell’s School of Art, one of first schools of ‘fine art’ for Africans in the Uganda Protectorate in the 1930s. The role of Christianity in the expansion of arts education (art was a way to convert illiterate people) was underlined and seen as a central transversal theme for the cluster.


  • Lubumbashi

Researchers: Véronique Poverello, Patrick Mudekereza

The research on the history of visual art education in and around Lubumbashi, through the example of the ‘Indigenous Art Workshop’ (or ‘Le Hangar’) (1946-1954) was presented. This school, sometimes described as "the first art school in francophone Africa", is considered by many to be the first expression of « modern art » by Congolese artists. The storytelling about it underlines the white washing of the Congolese art history and practices, by erasing a complex local art history for an hegemonic narrative of « Congolese modern art ».


  • Maseru

Researchers: Lineo Segoete

The research on the past and actual Lesotho school system (with a focus on language education), and its colonial influence was presented. The importance of fostering or channeling creative writing/storytelling for literacy development was underlined. The missionary dimension of education was discussed and presented as a transversal theme.


  • Nyanza

Researchers: Christian Nyampeta

The presentation focused on the Artists Home, a community house in Nyanza, 
in which the group is based. The existence of this space and its network ask the role in the conceptualization, theorization and materialization of contemporary artistic practices in Rwanda.  


  • Vienna

Researchers: Carla Bobadilla, Andrea Hubin, Barbara Mahlknecht, Karin Schneider

"Forsaken utopias" were presented by articulating historical examples from Vienna and from Chile through a performative floor display.  


  • Geneva/Zurich

Researchers: microsillons

microsillons presented its research on Paulo Freire in the form of a diner for the cluster’s members.

Through this format, several transversal themes/actors/institutions were identifed: UNESCO, charisma, portuguese colonizer Cabral, to name a few. 
This process helped microsillons to identify the interest of the cluster for some specic topics that can be now further researched. The meal also served as a test of a convivial format that will be used again in the Geneva part of the project.



Aside from the group presentations, time was spent to discuss the future working structure of the cluster. During the discussions, we wrote, added, organized, reorganized and commented elements on a wall, in particular to provide us material to continue our discussion on the Un/chronological timeline. The Geneva/Zurich team also brought a timeline proposal for its research part, to give an example of a possible visualization.


(27-29th October 2016)


On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th two days of exchange between the cluster and groups of art educators/students in art education were organized in coordination with the Bienal team. They allowed the cluster to discuss how its researches could serve as vectors for discussion and action in the Brazilian context. In the Bienal space, Thursday 27th program included some presentations of the clusters’ activities and focused on local researches (Cairo and Kampala) in the morning, including some dialogical moments with the public/participants.

The afternoon session started with a presentation by Cayo Honorato of the current context of struggles in Brazil, especially the ‘Secundaristas’ movement. It included the presentation of a video of a young Brazilian student, Ana Maria Ribeiro, talking to the Patara government about high schools occupation and the refusal of students to be imposed a law called ‘Educaçao sin ideologica’. The image of this very moving and strongly convinced student made the assembly realized that the question of education in the political realm which is at the centre of our cluster’s research is discussed and put into practice by thousands of students in the country!

A moment of discussion in smaller groups, focusing on specific topics (commodification, slowing down...) that were defined through the preceding discussions, allowed everybody to express an experience or a position. Exchanges were then brought together in a plenum session.

The next day, the 28th, presentations followed by workshops were proposed, for a group of art educators. The venue was SESC Vila Mariana. SESC is a network of cultural centres in Brazil (https://www.sescsp.org.br/unidades/13_VILA+MARIANA) and we worked in one of their space for the afternoon.

The workshops for the afternoon were:

  • Hands on City: a re-enactment, in a smaller format, of a project developed in Berlin in the 60’s. Claudia Hummel proposed to develop a collective clay-city.

  • Dialogue around Freire: from the selection of documents brought by the collective microsillons, a discursive format is proposed. This experience run mainly with Brasilian participants, triggered many well informed comments and questions. The link between Freire’s struggle for a counscientizating education and the current students’ struggles offered a very interesting perspective for the Geneva/Zurich research. 

  • A collective song performance where each person had to name a woman that is also ‘a leader’ closed the annual meeting of the Intertwining HiStories meeting 2016.


The cluster is supported by:









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