Education and (Anti)Institutions

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A collaborative project between the David Graeber Institute, The Museum of Care and Critical Studies Department alongside Andris Brinkmanis, Zasha Colah and Archive Milano to bring together students and independent collectives, activists and established educational initiatives to re-imagine students’ role within educational institutions and to define new possibilities of interaction, mutual aid and self-organisation via a range of activities including assemblies, lectures, art projects, digital maps and publications.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed the light on many critical aspects of contemporary capitalism, but above all one of the most affected areas has been that of education. The completely uncritical and rapid shift towards distance learning has left a profound mark and trauma on the education and creation of knowledge as we knew it.

Some of the questions this project engages with include:

Which institutions or semi or anti-institutions have emerged, in what contexts, and initiated by whom? If during the 2000’s there was a lot to discuss about the Educational Turn in diverse academic contexts: what do we mean by an education today? Can the online context be seen as a threat, as a resource or is it an ambivalent condition? How can we map the different initiatives that have spread on a worldwide scale? What about non-academic, indigenous and other independent initiatives? What kind of lexicon can we use in order to escape the hegemonic logic implied by many institutionalized forms of knowledge? How can we connect these different groups and initiatives? What organizational forms can be used in order to facilitate a dialogue?

Once commercialization of knowledge has reached its peak and has become a mere system of extraction and profit making, extending the time of education to a life-long never ending vicious circle and transforming students into an endlessly indebted category, what can still be done to make education accessible as commons and not as an élite commodity?