The Budapest Seminar

To open our inquiry on arts in education, the Evens Foundation invited practitioners from Europe and beyond for three days of challenging yet important conversations in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Navigating in the broad field that spans from art education to critical pedagogies, we started our research with an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the current practices and main questions at stake. Our particular focus was on the use of arts in formal and informal educational settings.

As a first step, we conducted a series of interviews with researchers and practitioners experimenting with art-based pedagogies, and more broadly, art education conceived as a critical practice. Alongside formulating the contemporary problematics, the interviewed practitioners also often mentioned the need to have dedicated spaces for collective reflection and learning.

As a response, we convened a group of around 30 practitioners – educators, artists, and activists from Europe and beyond – to a seminar in Budapest. A group of 20 students in the Master's in Visual Arts TRANS – Art, Education, Engagement at HEAD, Switzerland joined us enriching our exchanges with new questions and perspectives.

Key questions raised

The programme, consisting of thematic round tables and working sessions, was developed collectively by the participating practitioners who defined a list of topics and problematics to focus on. Questions included: changing power relations in education, questioning mediation practices and discourses, relations between artists and educators, the place of the public, collaborative practices and co-creation, community work and the traps of categorizing, transferability of practices, situated knowledge, effects and impacts of social practice, educational activism, relations with institutions and political context.

As a platform for peer learning, the seminar also offered the participants an opportunity to discuss the obstacles and stumbling blocks they encounter in their practice and collectively think about strategies to overcome them.

Renowned art education professionals such as Janna Graham (Goldsmith University, London), Gila Kolb (Hochschule der Künste, Bern) and Nora Sternfeld (Kunsthochschule, Kassel) acted as advisors and moderators of the discussions, to help us further explore the educational and philosophical implications of art-based pedagogies. The list of participants was drawn up with their help.

The Budapest Seminar participants

Barby Asante, Teresa Cisneros – Agency for Agency (UK), Renate Höllwart, Elke Smodics – Büro trafo.K (Austria), Tijl Bossuyt, Daan Simons – De Veerman (Belgium), Ayse Gülec – documenta 14 (Germany), Samuel Guimaraes – Douro Museum (Portugal), Káva (Hungary), Mariana Murcia, Sebastián Cruz Roldán – Laagencia (Colombia), Konstanze Schütze – Methode Mandy (Germany), Marianne Guarino-Huet, Olivier Desvoignes – Microsillons (Switzerland), Marianne Niemelä – Museum of Impossible Forms (Finland), Nora Böhler – OFF biennale Budapest (Hungary), Marie Preston (France), Nelly Alfandari, Olivia Chessell – Radical Education Forum (UK), Rosario Talevi – raumlaborberlin (Germany), Amal Khalaf – Implicated Theatre/Serpentine Galleries (UK), Albert Heta – Stacion. Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina (Kosovo), Viktoria Draganova – Swimming Pool (Bulgaria), Javier Rodrigo Montero – Transductores (Spain), Zsuzsa László, Dóra Hegyi – Tranzit (Hungary), Boseda Olawoye – Threshold (UK).

Finally, we also used this opportunity to envision next steps: future partnerships or joint experimentation initiatives allowing participants to enrich their practice and take it further. For example, we are currently developing Travelling School, a concrete idea that emerged during the discussions - as a peer-learning residency project.

To open our inquiry on arts in education, the Evens Foundation invited practitioners from Europe and beyond for three days of challenging yet important conversations in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Navigating in the broad field that spans from art education to critical pedagogies, we started our research with an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the current practices and main questions at stake. Our particular focus was on the use of arts in formal and informal educational settings.

As a first step, we conducted a series of interviews with researchers and practitioners experimenting with art-based pedagogies, and more broadly, art education conceived as a critical practice. Alongside formulating the contemporary problematics, the interviewed practitioners also often mentioned the need to have dedicated spaces for collective reflection and learning.

As a response, we convened a group of around 30 practitioners – educators, artists, and activists from Europe and beyond – to a seminar in Budapest. A group of 20 students in the Master's in Visual Arts TRANS – Art, Education, Engagement at HEAD, Switzerland joined us enriching our exchanges with new questions and perspectives.

Key questions raised

The programme, consisting of thematic round tables and working sessions, was developed collectively by the participating practitioners who defined a list of topics and problematics to focus on. Questions included: changing power relations in education, questioning mediation practices and discourses, relations between artists and educators, the place of the public, collaborative practices and co-creation, community work and the traps of categorizing, transferability of practices, situated knowledge, effects and impacts of social practice, educational activism, relations with institutions and political context.

As a platform for peer learning, the seminar also offered the participants an opportunity to discuss the obstacles and stumbling blocks they encounter in their practice and collectively think about strategies to overcome them.

Renowned art education professionals such as Janna Graham (Goldsmith University, London), Gila Kolb (Hochschule der Künste, Bern) and Nora Sternfeld (Kunsthochschule, Kassel) acted as advisors and moderators of the discussions, to help us further explore the educational and philosophical implications of art-based pedagogies. The list of participants was drawn up with their help.

The Budapest Seminar participants

Barby Asante, Teresa Cisneros – Agency for Agency (UK), Renate Höllwart, Elke Smodics – Büro trafo.K (Austria), Tijl Bossuyt, Daan Simons – De Veerman (Belgium), Ayse Gülec – documenta 14 (Germany), Samuel Guimaraes – Douro Museum (Portugal), Káva (Hungary), Mariana Murcia, Sebastián Cruz Roldán – Laagencia (Colombia), Konstanze Schütze – Methode Mandy (Germany), Marianne Guarino-Huet, Olivier Desvoignes – Microsillons (Switzerland), Marianne Niemelä – Museum of Impossible Forms (Finland), Nora Böhler – OFF biennale Budapest (Hungary), Marie Preston (France), Nelly Alfandari, Olivia Chessell – Radical Education Forum (UK), Rosario Talevi – raumlaborberlin (Germany), Amal Khalaf – Implicated Theatre/Serpentine Galleries (UK), Albert Heta – Stacion. Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina (Kosovo), Viktoria Draganova – Swimming Pool (Bulgaria), Javier Rodrigo Montero – Transductores (Spain), Zsuzsa László, Dóra Hegyi – Tranzit (Hungary), Boseda Olawoye – Threshold (UK).

Finally, we also used this opportunity to envision next steps: future partnerships or joint experimentation initiatives allowing participants to enrich their practice and take it further. For example, we are currently developing Travelling School, a concrete idea that emerged during the discussions - as a peer-learning residency project.