The expansion of global networks and artistic collaborations is a current development in cultural sectors worldwide. This is directly interrelated with sociopolitical developments in societies and transcultural learning processes. The Summer School, organized by Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen (Germany) in cooperation with CAMP notes on education in Kassel from 30th August to 5th September 2022, examines diversity and transformation processes critically in cultural and political education in five fields (1) production, (2) arts education, (3) structures, (4) conflicts and (5) cultural policy. As an example, documenta fifteen as a major event in the cultural sector will be critically analyzed and discussed.
documenta fifteen is curated by the Indonesian artist collective ruangrupa: Its conceptual foundation derives from the values and ideals of “lumbung” that aims for a collaborative, community-oriented model of sustainability, in which resource use is not only limited to economic means but also includes ideas, knowledge and programmes (documenta 2021). In the Indonesian language, “lumbung” literally means a rice barn “where a community’s harvest is gathered, stored and distributed according to jointly determined criteria as a pooled resource for the future” (documenta 2021).
The Summer School takes this collective approach as a starting point to rethink cultural and political education as well as cultural policy structures in Germany. To this end, the participants will discuss the implementation of the claims of collective thinking, equality-based resource building and sharing, their potentials, pitfalls and controversies.
The formats of the summer school are workshops, discussions, lectures, group work, exhibition visits and fieldwork. The participants will develop individual perspectives, dispute and question them and participate in discussions with educational actors. They will work in small collaborative groups to reflect on challenges, potentials and pitfalls of the entire structure of documenta fifteen in terms of a plurality-oriented cultural production, representation and knowledge transfer.
In this context, the discussions around documenta fifteen – for example, the incidents of antisemitism, racism, islamophobia, othering, queer- and transphobia within the exhibition but also at its ridges – are a relevant example of conflicts occurring and structural negligence while operating in transcultural networks and different historical, political and social contexts. In this respect, the conditions of focusing on a single aspect in terms of interleaving conflicts will be discussed and the chances and challenges of holistic and intersectional approaches analyzed. Thus, the Summer School opens up a space to negotiate and discuss these contradictions from cultural and political education perspectives.
(1) FOCUS PRODUCTION
To what extent are new co-creation methods implemented in the artistic practice or the canon of knowledge at documenta fifteen?
(2) FOCUS ARTS EDUCATION
What new formats for cultural and political education can emerge from the educational approach of documenta fifteen? Where do transfer effects exist?
(3) FOCUS STRUCTURES
What role do existing power relations play in reproducing inequalities for access and participation opportunities? How can these be overcome? What parallels exist between cultural and political education?
(4) FOCUS CONFLICTS
What conflicts and challenges of transcultural artistic work can be identified? How are the accusations of political negligence – antisemitism, racism, islamophobia, othering, queer- and transphobia – within the institution and the broader cultural landscape reflected and responded to in the specific political and cultural education, based on Germany's history and contemporary backgrounds? What new questions for political exhibition making arise from these learnings? What roles can individual and collective positioning play in conflict and social transformation?
(5) FOCUS CULTURAL POLICY
Which cultural policy strategies (in terms of content, narratives, processes and structures) can be generated from the example of documenta fifteen, which are instrumental in the implementation of an equality conscious diversity framework in cultural policy?
The above-mentioned questions will be discussed controversially and in the breadth of their public perception. The Summer Schools will discuss critical perspectives in the five mentioned fields. All five research questions are interconnected, which means the topics of conflicts are also inherent and relevant to the other four areas.