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16 Mar 2023
Urgent Pedagogies Issue#5 launch

IASPIS is announcing the Urgent Pedagogies Issue #5: Pluriversality, and invites you to the launch. Together with a number of invited artists, activists and thinkers we introduce its content and reflect on pedagogy, urgencies, settings, methodologies and alliances.

Urgent Pedagogies is a project that focuses on the role of alternative pedagogy and spaces for knowledge production in regards to how socially engaged critical spatial practice may act in relation and response to the urgencies of social justice and equality, contested territories and conditions of conflict.

In this launch event, we are introducing Urgent Pedagogies, Issue #5, guest edited by Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton. The editors frame the contributions of the thinkers, artists and activists in Issue 5 as proposals towards liberatory pedagogies that iterate a “pluriverse,” the term offered by Arturo Escobar as a tool for de-centering Western modernity. Their diverse practices cross many worlds, multiple cosmologies and places, while emphasizing the dynamic interconnection between humans, cultures, and earth’s other beings.

Participants include contributors Sibonelo Gumede, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU, Margarita Kuleva, Isabelle Massu, Bruno Moreschi, Stella Nyanzi, Gabriel Pereira, responses fromAli Akbar MehtaandTareq Khalaf,introduction and moderation by Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton, welcome by Pelin Tan and Magnus Ericson.

Video documentation, Urgent Pedagogies Issue#5 launch, 16 March 2023


Magnus Ericson and Pelin Tan

Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton

Part 1: Perspectives
Contributions from Sibonelo Gumede, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU, Margarita Kuleva, Isabelle Massu, Bruno Moreschi, Stella Nyanzi, and Gabriel Pereira, moderation by Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton.

Part 2: Reflections
Time for reflections, comments and questions with invited guests Ali Akbar Mehta and Tareq Khalaf, with moderation by Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton.

Dalida María Benfield & Christopher Bratton

are artists and researchers living between Helsinki and Boston. Since 2017, they are co-founders of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research, a poly-centric laboratory for research and practice focused on emancipatory and decolonial pedagogies. With partners in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the UK; and a group of Senior Researchers and Research Fellows, they have co-organized research convenings, exhibitions, workshops, and publications. Benfield works on decolonial aesthetics and has an MFA in moving image practices from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies with Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, University of California-Berkeley. Bratton is an artist, filmmaker, and education activist.

Sibonelo Gumede

is an urbanist and cultural worker based in Cape Town, South Africa. In urban environments, Gumede is interested in the intersection of city-making processes and citizenship, as well as exploring the limits of contemporary urbanism discourse. Gumede holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and is currently pursuing an MPhil in Southern Urbanism at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. Gumede was the Vice President of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Arts, mainly serving on the curatorial and education committee. He was a 2021 Research Fellow at the Centre for Arts, Design and Social Research (CAD+SR) and a Black Planetary Futures collective member. Gumede also has experience working as a researcher in institutional development projects that involve strategic and operational planning, project management, monitoring and evaluation as well as partnership management for municipalities.

Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld

Ph.D., is a visual artist, independent researcher and educator and a member of the Uncertain Archives research collective (University of Copenhagen). Her work explores “reparative critical practices” as collaborative, audio-visual practices that explore the debris of broken histories. Current artistic work and research traverse the entangled colonial archives between the United States Virgin Islands, Ghana, Greenland, India, and Denmark, often presented in video installations, performative presentations, and publications. She was the head of the Institute for Art, Writing and Research at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she was also a postdoctoral researcher. She is the co-founder of Sorte Firkant bar & cultural venue in Copenhagen and the newly founded artists’ network Reparative Encounters.

Joseph Kamaru

aka KMRU, is a Nairobi-born, Berlin-based sound artist whose work is grounded on the discourses of field recording, noise, and sound art. His work posits expanded listening cultures of sonic thought and sound practices; propositions to consider and reflect on auditory cultures beyond the norms through compositions, installations, and performances. He has earned international acclaim for his ‘ambient’ recordings, including his album Peel, released on Editions Mego, sweeping 2020 end year lists from Pitchfork, RA, DJ Mag, Bandcamp to Boomkat, and many more. He has also earned international acclaim for his performances in far-flung locales as well as his most recent release, Temporary Stored. KMRU presents a monthly show on Internet Public Radio, guests on NTS and Rinse FM, organizes workshops for the Nairobi Ableton User group, is a core member of Black Bandcamp. He was a CAD+SR Research Fellow, 2020-2022.

Margarita Kuleva

Dr., is an artist, curator, and researcher. She is based in New York and works as a postdoc at the NYU Jordan Center. Additionally, she collaborates with TAEX, a London based platform for digital art as a senior curator. She is interested in exploring social inequalities in cultural and knowledge production. In her research and art projects she mainly uses ethnography and performance as methods. In particular, her PhD was devoted to the ‘behind the scenes’ of cultural institutions to give greater visibility to the invisible workers of culture. In the last two years, Margarita has been developing performative lectures as an approach to deconstructing dominant forms of hierarchized production of knowledge. She was a CAD+SR Research Fellow, 2019-2020.

Isabelle Massu

is an artist and educator currently teaching visual culture at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Besançon in France. She has taught at the Parsons School of Art in Paris, the San Francisco Art Institute and in several non-academic contexts; with feminists associations, and other cultural and social venues, in France and abroad. Since 2018, she focuses on developing critical pedagogies in art schools. She co-organized in 2020, the “Teaching to Transgress Toolbox,” a European research program for artists, researchers, students, and educators to develop tools to foster inclusive pedagogies in art institutions. She is currently on the CAD+SR Advisory Board.

EM Mirembe

is a curator, writer, editor and researcher. A research fellow with the Center for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, they have previously held fellowships with the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Center for Arts, Design +Social Research (CADSR), and 32° Degrees East | Ugandan Arts Trust. They were also the Managing Editor of Writivism, a pan-African literary initiative and have their writing published in Artforum, African Arguments, Africa is a Country, Johannesburg Review of Books, Literary Hub, and others. Mirembeis also currently researching the ARAK Art Collection.

Bruno Moreschi

is a researcher, visual artist, and post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo (FAUUSP). He holds a Ph.D. of Arts at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), with an exchange at the University of Arts of Helsinki (Kuva Art Academy). He is currently a Senior Researcher at the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR) and member of the Decay without mourning project: future thinking heritage practices. 

Stella Nyanzi

Dr., is an award-winning medical anthropologist with specialization in sexual and reproductive health, sexual rights, and human sexualities in Uganda and The Gambia. She self-identifies as a radical queer feminist scholar, social justice activist, human rights defender, non-violent protester, poet, Facebooker, opposition politician belonging to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), former aspirant for Kampala Woman Member of Parliament (2020–21), an ex-prisoner from Luzira Women’s Maximum-Security Prison, and mother of three teenagers. Her first poetry anthology, No Roses From My Mouth: Poems From Prison, was written while imprisoned in Uganda before she was acquitted after 15 months. She is a 2022 recipient of the Writers-in-Exile Programme of the German PEN Center, and a 2022 CAD+SR Faculty Fellow.

Gabriel Pereira

is an Independent Research Fund Denmark International Postdoc, based as a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). His research focuses on critical studies of data, algorithms, and digital infrastructures, particularly those of computer vision and algorithmic surveillance. Projects with Gabriel have been exhibited in venues such as the 33rd Sao Paulo Art Biennial, the Van Abbemuseum, IDFA DocLab, and Itaú Cultural. He was a CAD+SR Research Fellow, 2017-2019, and Researcher in Residence, 2020-2021.

Pelin Tan

is the 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Art and Activism and fellow of Bard College of the Human Rights Program and Center for Curatorial Studies, NY, 2019-2020. She is a sociologist, art historian and currently Professor, Fine Arts Faculty, Batman University, Turkey. Tan is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston; and researcher at the Architecture Faculty, University of Thessaly, Volos (2020-2025). She is the co-curator of the Cosmological Gardens project by CAD+SR and she was the curator of the Gardentopia project of Matera ECC 2019. Tan, was a Postdoctoral fellow on Artistic Research at ACT Program, MIT 2011; and a Phd scholar of DAAD Art History, at Humboldt Berlin University, 2006. Her field research was supported by The Japan Foundation, 2011; Hong Kong Design Trust, 2016, CAD+SR 2019. She was a guest professor at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2021; Visiting Professor at School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2016 and at the Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, 2018. Between 2013 and 2017 she was an Associate Professor of the Architecture Faculty at Mardin Artuklu University. She is a member of Imece refugee Solidarity Association and co-founder of Imece Academy; advisor of The Silent University and the pedagogical consortium of Dheisheh Palestinian Refugee Camp, Palestine. In 2008 she was an IASPIS grantholder. Together with Magnus Ericson she is the curator of Urgent Pedagogies.

Magnus Ericson

is Head of IASPIS Applied Arts Programme, responsible for the design, crafts and architecture related activities. He has a background as curator, project coordinator and educator working across design, architecture, urbanism and art. Between 2014 and 2018 he developed and managed two experimental postgraduate courses on socially engaged critical practice; Sites and Situations and Organising Discourse, at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. Between 2009 and 2014 Magnus Ericson was a Senior Advisor/Coordinator and Curator for the design related programme at Arkdes, Sweden´s National Center for Architecture and Design, in Stockholm. Between 2007 and 2009 he was assigned as a Project Manager at IASPIS to pursue and develop the activities within the fields of design, crafts and architecture. Together with Ramia Maze he was the author and co-editor of DESIGN ACT Socially and politically engaged design today – critical roles and emerging tactics (Berlin, Sternberg Press 2011). Together with Pelin Tan he is the curator of Urgent Pedagogies.

Magnus Ericson

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