Decolonising Artistic Education Art

Thematic Focus:
Knowledge Production and Transfer
Involved Countries:
Switzerland, Uganda

Is Affiliated to:
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Received Funding By:

The Institute of Art Education at the Zurich University of the Arts seeks to develop a research collaboration with the Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design (NIAAD) in Uganda. Our plan is to kick-start our collaboration with a 24-month two-way exchange commencing in autumn 2014. Researchers from the ZHDK Institute of Art Education travel to Uganda twice in to work with colleagues at the NIAAD Culture/Research Workshop. And in turn, NIAAD’s Research Co-Ordinator travels to Switzerland twice to work with us here at the IAE.

Researchers based at NIAAD have been tasked with developing concrete strategies to decolonise the academy’s art education curricula but without compromising its graduates’ job market compatibility. This process entails a full-scale revision of the discursive framework within which this art school produces and disseminates knowledge, and a radical and far-ranging programme of staff development. NIAAD invited the IAE to partner with them in this challenging endeavour because of the IAE’s internationally recognised expertise the field of art education and art education theory, because of its fundamental commitment to social justice and to equity in discussion and exchange, and because of its world-class skills in teacher training and curriculum development.

The NIAAD Culture/Research Workshop (CRW) aims to develop strategies to decolonise NIAAD’s artistic education curricula without wholly compromising its graduates’ job market compatibility. For NIAAD staff participating in the first incarnation of the Culture/Research Workshop, this process will involve:

  • a critical analysis of the current curricula and of the cultural and educational policies that inform it
  • a profound process of collective reflection, supported by a collective reading of the relevant critical and cultural theories,
  • the development and/or acquisition, through research, of alternative knowledges concerning art, culture and education
  • the designing of alternative curricula

NIAAD aims to make its new decolonised curricula accessible both locally and globally in the form of much needed new text books and course materials, and through workshops, symposia and conferences.

The Institute for Art Education (IAE) aims to acquire new knowledge about how equitable intercultural partnerships are attained, looking specifically to devise innovative new methodologies for use in globally networked research projects that need to negotiate different knowledge systems embedded in different geopolitical contexts; to identify practical methods of dealing with translation, misunderstanding; and to develop strategies for collaborating that allow for horizontal exchange and production of knowledge between partners situated on different places in a global knowledge economy.

-Carmen Moersch, Zurich University of the Arts, Institute of Art Education, Zürich
-Emma Louise Malongo Wolukau-Wanambwa Nagenda International Academy of Art & Design (NIAAD), Namulanda, Kampala,