myself and James Ellison will be speaking at the London Conference in Critical Thought on the 6th and 7th of June at the Royal Holloway
Learning to resist: on the universities ruins.
James Ellison & Paul Stewart
This paper aims to critique current trends in the neo-liberalisation of education, as well as explore our experiences with the creation of critical alternatives. Together we began our participation at university, as art students, in the wake of the global economic and social ‘crisis’ of 2008, albeit at separate institutions.Two of the main theoretical benchmarks we encountered while becoming art students were Jacques Ranciere and Pierre Bourdieu respectively. We have allowed these thinkers to permeate our education, they have aided us in the exploration of notions such as institutional critique and radical aesthetico-political dissent.
As the battle to stop the rise in fees exploded into the political imaginary of the student body, so did an extended period of experimentation with autonomous pedagogies. This shift in consciousness prompted Paul to begin his project The Alternative Art College in 2011, which created an experimental platform to question pedagogical processes, albeit temporarily. As both of us began the next stage of HE, as postgraduate students, we encountered further outlets for critical engagement. James became involved with the latter stages of the University for Strategic Optimism, a radical pedagogical and aesthetic anti-institution. While situated within a university we initiated projects together, such as Education as Experiment, May, 2012 and Holding Knowledge Hostage, February, 2012. Theoretically the work of Boris Groys, who’s transdisciplinarity and contextual critique, influenced our critical approach to autonomous art praxis.
Since graduating from Goldsmiths James has been involved in several occupied social centers including, Palestine Place and Cuts Cafe both ephemeral and unsustainable manifestations, while Paul has moved into a practical role in a private London business school, the forefront of the market based approach to higher education. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, ‘debt neutralises critical thinking, disciplining students into efficient components of the consumer economy’. As the university lies in ruins how will the next generation learn to resist?
you can download the full provisonal programme here http://londonconferenceincriticalthought.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/programme-and-registration/
You: Beep (“PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE.”)
Them: Bip-bip (“EXISTENCE AUTHENTICATED. PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE.”)
You: Beeeeep (“EXISTENCE AUTHENTICATED. DISCOURSE ENDS.”)
Cities outside London have grown from small beginnings to become active art centres; most have been built around artist-led activity. In Lincoln, an artist-led scene is building in strength and, for two connected reasons, there is potential for something particularly interesting. There was even a free Alternative Art College, run from student houses before it relocated to London.
By Andrew Bracey
Read more : http://new.a-n.co.uk/news/single/a-centre-on-the-periphery-lincolns-emerging-artist-led-scene
“Today, 2nd April 2013, around noon time, hundreds of police, arriving in full gear and in some 15 police vans, assisted bailiffs and private security guards in evicting Sussex students from the occupation on their own campus.” http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/brutal-eviction-of-sussex-students-today/
The police far outnumbered the protesters who occupied peacefully but yet were removed by brute force, the occupiers continued to resist and chant up on the 4th floor, others gathered outside to show support (both students and academics) but the 30/40 strong were nothing compared to the long arm of the law.
What is the outcome of this? Well it is a pure demonstration of the bullish police in action attempting to intimidate the passionate and bright voices of those who have joined together in solidarity.
This is an extreme and brutal demonstration of the level a institution will go to, even against their own students and staff. rather than conversation or a legitimate address to their students but instead to criminalize them and their activities, to isolate and victimize them.
Sussex should not be silenced, we will not be silenced,
Together in Solidarity.
IDS on 53 quid a week
This petition calls for Iain Duncan Smith, the current Work and Pensions Secretary, to prove his claim of being able to live on £7.57 a day, or £53 a week.
On Monday’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.”
This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the conservative party`s current mantra that “We are all in this together”.
This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax* [Source: The Telegraph]