(Un)framing Knowledge

Shaking the institution

The understanding of the local, national, European and international strategic issues at work in cultural environments requires diverse forms of knowledge, which are usually divided between knowledge concerning the know-how and skills and, on the other side, academic knowledge in a wide range of social, political, scientific, artistic or cultural issues. These two sorts of knowledge are, especially in European academia, mostly fed by dominant discourses and submitted to a classical epistemological framework. They also remain too often confined within the national borders of each country. Knowledge, thus considered, alters the capacity of its various recipients, be they academics, professionals, students, citizens, etc., to appreciate, produce, and use it in an autonomous and emancipated way outside the labelled frames of institutions (especially when it comes to international cooperation).
The common representation of what knowledge is supposed to be makes alternative or subaltern knowledge invisible – even within contemporary European academia: submitted to funding cuts and staff reduction, it widens the gaps between mainstream and canonized knowledge and the more hidden and marginalized ways of producing it. The material presented in this thread challenges the dominant discourse on knowledge and offers new perspectives on other forms of knowing.

Further readings

  • Gómez-Barris Macarena, The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, Durham, NC, Duke University Press, 2017 (excerpts)
  • Lane Jill, Marcial Godoy-Anativia and Macarena Gómez Barris, emisferica “Decolonial Gesture”, Volume 11-1, 2014, https://hemisphericinstitute.org/en/emisferica-11-1-decolonial-gesture.html
  • Mignolo Walter D., Catherine E. Walsh, On Decoloniality. Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, Duke University Press, 2018
  • Young Robert J. C., Post-Colonialism. A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, 2003



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Anthropocene Curriculum

Keywords: anthropocene, experimental co-learning, international project, knowledge production, knowledge sharing

What should a body of “earthbound” knowledge contain that traverses from the global to the local and back?

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Constructing the Pluriverse: Geopolitics of Knowledge

Keywords: anti-development, decoloniality, non-western epistemology, ontological politics, pluriverse

The contributors to Constructing the Pluriverse critique the hegemony of the postcolonial Western tradition and its claims to universality by offering a set of “pluriversal” approaches to understanding the coexisting epistemologies and practices of the different worlds and problems we inhabit and encounter.

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Education from below

Keywords: collective learning and imagination, embodied knowledge, meaning making in museums, multiplicity of definition

The project recognises that art practices can dislocate the usual hierarchies of what should or should not be learned and that knowledge does not have to be based on accumulation, but rather on sharing and mutual learning.

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Freiburger Filmforum

Keywords: decoloniality, ethnology, eurocentrism, transcultural cinema

The film festival is particularly interested in paying attention to groups, cultures and milieus that are often overviewed by the ethnocentric gaze of many European film festivals.

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Fribourg declaration et reviewing

Keywords: cultural democracy, cultural diversity, cultural rights, recognition

In 2007, the "Fribourg group” concluded that the universality and indivisibility of human rights still suffer as a result of the marginalization of cultural rights and published the Declaration of Cultural Rights as a legal framework for cultural rights.

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How to make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation

Keywords: diversifying learning environments, neoliberal university, research-creation, situatedness

„[..] to do research – of any kind – is not simply to ask questions ; it is to let our curiosities drive us and allow them to ethically blind us ; it is to tell stories and to pay attention not only to which stories we are telling and how we are telling them, but how they, through their very forms are telling us.“ p. 24

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Keywords: artistic and social innovation, arts ecosystem, collaborative models, solidarity, sustainability

The aim of RESHAPE is to imagine an alternative to the European arts ecosystem by rethinking its instruments and collaborative models, placing them in line with artistic and social innovation and the principles of fairness, solidarity, geographic balance and sustainability.

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Roundtable: Undoing Discrimination? Diverse in Berlin?

Keywords: diversity, inclusion, individual and collective stories, institutional change, power structures in arts and culture

Are diversity measures in cultural institutions just another set of methods of solidifying what they claim to change? What are the inconspicuous formal routines, the small informal habits, the official and unofficial rules that create the feeling of running into a wall that one claims is not there?

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Searching for the Fountain of Age: A Danced lecture

Keywords: aging in arts and culture, danced lecture, embodied knowledge, sharing knowledge through arts

Susanne Martin proposes an alternative way of lecturing and transmitting her knowledge with a very situated approach : To look and sense her research object, the “fountain of age”, she divides it into 2 smaller fountains : the Fountain of Knowledge (talking) and the Fountain of Experience (dancing).

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Students' Project

Stupid Togetherness

Keywords: collaborative practice, commonness, embodied knowledge, playful urban exploration, psychogeography, public space, subversion, urban pedagogy

The project Stupid Togetherness seeks to question existing spatial mechanisms and explore the possibilities for collaborative engagement within the urban spaces.

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The New Alphabet

Keywords: artistic research, digitalization, global thinking, knowledge production, languages, learning practices, situated knowledge

The New Alphabet is intended both as a diagnosis and a provocation: vernacular, opaque, or marginalized ways of knowing are increasingly subsumed into abstract universalizing structures. What strategies of resistance against such processes of forced alphabetization exist or could be developed? And which role do artistic methods of appropriation and creolization play in this context?”