“Deschooling Classroom (o^o). (Self-education in the arts and culture)”. Ana Vujanovic*



Deschooling Classroom is a long-term project that addresses the contemporary independent cultural scenes in the region of former Yugoslavia researching and offering alternatives to the hierarchical models of education in art and culture. The project started in 2009, and is organized by TkH (Walking Theory) platform for performing arts theory and practice, Belgrade in partnership with the organization Kontrapunkt, Skopje. The authors of the project are: Marta Popivoda, Ana Vujanovic, and Iskra Geshoska.

Methodologically, DSC moves away from the concepts of individual authorship and expertise, and advocates open collective educational structures that facilitate horizontal production, exchange and distribution of knowledge. Its objectives are: to develop methodologies for alternative education in contemporary art and culture; to offer studying new and hybrid fields; to help sharing the critical knowledge among cultural practitioners; to challenge the conceptual and infra-structural set-up of cultural institutions; and to create new supporting infrastructures for the independent cultural scenes.

In terms of activities, the project is organised in two cycles through which each generation go through the process of collective self-education. A generation consists of 3-4 working groups gathered around common themes, including participants from both Serbia and Macedonia. As the project is dedicated to collective self-education, the groups create their curriculum, decide about the formats of work, and choose their collaborators and guests. Currently active groups work in the fields of: Artivism, Cultural policy in/of independent scenes, and Art and politics.

The project is based on a strong experience that TkH has had in critical approach to the education in art and culture in the local scene, through the projects and initiatives such as: Self-managed educational systems in art and Knowledge smuggling.

Ana Vujanovic (1975, Belgrade) is a freelance worker in contemporary performing arts and culture and has a Ph.D. in Theatre studies. She is a member of the editorial collective of TkH platform for performing arts theory and practice in Belgrade and a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary post-graduate studies at the University of Arts, Belgrade. From 2010, she is in residence in Paris, in les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers.

She is engaged in many performances and artworks as co-author or dramaturge, and gives lectures and workshops at conferences and festivals in Europe. Her particular commitment is empowering the independent scenes in Belgrade (the Other Scene), ex-Yugoslavia (Clubture, THe FaMa) and Europe (PAF). She publishes regularly in journals (TkH, Maska, Frakcija, Performance Research…), and is author of the books Destroying Performance Signifiers; An Introduction to Performance Studies with A. Jovicevic; and DOXICID.

* “Contemporary Realities I: the Bodies” the programme organised by BilBAK (UPV / EHU. University of the Basque Country) collaborates in this activity through the organisation of “My private biopolitics” by Ana Vujanovic and Sasa Asentic.