Unlearn & Relearn

SHAKIN’ Training Curiculum
Subaltern knowledges for international cultural project management

Subaltern knowledge for international cultural project management is an extra-curricular seminar to bring subaltern knowledge and diverse cross-disciplinary themes absent from mainstream cultural management programmes. It also offers diverse theories, practices and teaching materials that promote progressive, non-hierarchical, inclusive and creative approaches in international cultural cooperation.

1. By whom and how can it be implemented?

Numerous universities can easily introduce and adopt it as an additional offer or a testing ground for future changes in their official, accredited programme. Other organisations active in culture or international consortiums can use it and adopt it as well. It can be organized both online and offline. The online version can be stretched to a longer period of time (a month, a semester, etc.).

Our training curricula offers guidelines and contents to help organizers adjust the implementation of the curriculum. Cultural organizations can use this curricula in the following contexts:

  • Support program for local community organizing
  • Training programs for professionals in the cultural sector
  • Summer camps for young cultural activists or artistic collectives
  • Cultural rights activists / Intercultural democracy
  • Training for policy makers in the cultural sector
  • Lifelong learning organizations (adult education and youth)

More generally, this program is a tool to support all artistic and cultural stakeholders pursuing objectives of social transformation, democratic transition (cooperative governance) and ecological transition (new forms of interaction between humans and their living environment). The arts and culture organizations will integrate this program in their diverse activist, artistic and educational programs and programs dedicated to young people, permeating it with their critical, bottom-up and contextualized  methodologies.

2. Who should participate?

Various and mixed audiences can use the training: students engaged in academic curricula, staff members of universities, other professionals in culture and other relevant fields, activists, etc. The training is aimed at diverse (future) professionals in the culture fields and beyond (urban planning, health, social care, education, etc.), who are looking for interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral ways of building collective action and cultural intervention.

The training could gather different kinds of participants – from emerging professionals to decision makers. For example, it can reinforce an already existing team; it can help form a new team (for a European project for instance); it can gather a team around a task, an action, people who want to building a network or put their institution in question.

Relevant questions about the participants
What means are used to choose and gather participants (open call, answer to an expressed need, implementation within an existing curricula, etc.)? The preparation of the curriculum by the participants (information, expected reading, etc.) must be adjusted depending on the situation.
Do participants already know each other? Do some participants know each other, and some not? Will participants meet each other during the curriculum? The organization of the first day must be adjusted depending on the situation.
Is it expected that participants keep in touch / work together after the curriculum? If yes, in which way(s) (join project, network, support group…). The organization of the last day must be adjusted depending on the decision related to the follow-up of the training, as well as feedback.

3. What is the expected impact?

General objective

  • Allow a wider range of participants to gain experiences, knowledge and skills in dealing with managing culture, media, heritage and arts in diverse, alternative and cross-cultural manners.
  • Allow numerous universities to easily introduce and adopt innovative and alternative programme and knowledge as an additional offer or a testing ground for future changes in their official, accredited programmes.

The curriculum helps

  • Institutions, other organizations, students, teachers, etc., to reflect on their specific positionalities (to unlearn their traditional constraints, to open their professional spaces.
  • Students of existing culture management programmes to meet new subaltern approaches, theories and practices and experience on accessible short-term basis a different learning environment.
  • Non-educational institutions (e.g. professional networks, public cultural institutions, etc.) to offer a novel educational experience to their membership.

4. How should participants get prepared?

The preparation of the participants is crucial. It indicates what will already be shared between the participants (knowledge, expectations, objectives…), and what kind of ignorance (Rancière) will be addressed.
It must be clear. Preparation requires time for reading or writing especially.

Depending on the topic, host, participants, ways of forming the group, and expectations, the following preparations can be asked from the participants:

  • Information about the curriculum: topic, but also practical organization (location, accessibility, etc.), accommodations…
  • Readings (length, difficulty, etc. must be adjusted)
  • Self-presentation of the participants (free or guided, for example, participants can send an image that would represent them/their position in advance)
  • Description of the expectations for the curriculum
  • Other

5. Programme: inspirational frames and shared experiences

A) Unlearn and relearn international cultural cooperation: subalternity and opening to others

Who should implement it?

  • If the curriculum is implemented in a non-institutional organization specializing into these questions, time (esp. Day 1 but also along the week) will be dedicated to the in-depth presentation/analysis/reflection of the organization, its daily life, etc.
  • If the curriculum is implemented in a university, time (esp. Day 1) will be dedicated to an explicit presentation of this frame, and what it could / should / could not provide while addressing the topic.
  • If the curriculum is implemented in another organization, time (esp. Day 1) will be dedicated to an explicit presentation of the expectations for the participants, but also for the organization.

B) Unlearn and relearn international cultural cooperation: subalternity and opening to others (institutional critique)

6. General guidelines and tips

Topics and pedagogical methods are not “fixed” and limited – diverse knowledges and methods can be introduced.

Learn, unreal and relearn – this is how the process of decolonizing knowledge could go. The programme is structured with this in mind. The first goal of decolonizing knowledge is to understand why certain knowledge has become mainstream/official and discover what and whose interests does it serve. Second goal would be to unlearn it – using examples, cases. Third phase of the decolonizing process would be learning new – subaltern knowledge. Furthermore, it is not only about what is learned, but also how it was learned. Knowledge does not have to be based on accumulation and reproduction, but rather on sharing and mutual learning.

Empowerment for social change – Trainees (teams, collectives) should be empowered for reshaping cultural policies and practices – from the local to the international/global level.  

Action-oriented approach – Teams should conceptualize a framework for a direct action, a campaign, advocacy action, project proposal etc. or at least, they should make an agreement on the practical action.

Co-creation/collaboration (universities and other organizations and collectives) – training organizers should co-create training with organizations dealing with chosen topics and form partnerships together with international networks such as Culture Action Europe, TransEuropa Halle, IETM, ENCATC, ELIA, etc. including numerous human rights and other types of organizations that are more involved in cultural rights and equity promotion.

Trainers as trainees – Trainers can be chosen from the inside or/and outside of the trainee group. Trainees can therefore act as trainers – respecting a rotating principle or interactive classroom. Trainees could make a list of potential trainers and choose as a group (implying voting principle or a similar method). Anyone with experiences, capacities and skills can be a trainer. Trainers can be invited to share their knowledge on concrete subjects and/or to share know-how related to certain methods of acting and learning.

Diversity of participants – Diversity of trainers and trainees is desirable, both in the terms of equal representation (sexes, nationalities, professions, etc.) and intellectual/ideological perspectives and experiences. 

Learning environment – Training can be organized in a physical space or online. The physical space is a better option for the teams who are just being formed or have an easy opportunity to meet. Being together in a physical space helps people concentrate on the learning process and creates greater emotional and intellectual bonds. Online training can help connect professionals and young students from all over the world; they are also easier to attend (in terms of travel costs, free time for travels, etc.). Online training can be organized in a course of a longer period of time, e.g. every week or month a new topic can be introduced, so that participants can have more time for researching and reflecting.