Paradox Fine Art European Forum Community Conversations

UPDATED: JUNE 25, 2020

Urgencies and Emergencies

PARADOX steering committee has been meeting recently to take stock of the unprecedented events unfolding globally and more specifically to declare our solidarity with all those who are suffering in the wake of the truly shocking recent events in the USA. Please see our Letter of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Update about: PARADOX 2020 Forum: Urgencies and Emergencies

This theme now seems more relevant and important than any one of us could have imagined when we first wrote to you on this earlier this year. As you know already from our previous correspondence (April 21st 2020), that we have proposed to you that we will sustain our engagement with our community in the present context, by convening online events in place of the Forum as it was originally previously conceived. In place of this year’s postponed Forum, we are hosting a series of Conversations under the banner of Urgencies and Emergencies to take place this Autumn. 

Please save the date of our first Conversation:

  • PARADOX Community Conversation – Urgencies and Emergencies – 7th October 2020.

As you know, PARADOX is changing from its previous biennial conference format towards a peripatetic, annual forum. We intend to build upon previous successes while placing greater emphasis on this unique opportunity for those engaged in Fine Art education in Europe, and beyond, to physically gather together. This year we adapted our format due to the crisis created by the widespread impact of Covid-19.

The aim is to generate an annual forum at which we can cooperatively identify and discuss emergencies and their urgencies, and think through concerns and challenges that will bear influence on the present and future conditioning of Fine Art education at all levels. We will simultaneously engage processes to consider new approaches, methods, forms, and models that can advance and nurture Fine Art education in pressurized, conflictual and complicated times.

In this moment of great global crisis, through our Community Conversations series, we are seeking to host a series of discussions that grapple with the issues we addressed in our Letter of Solidarity.

Our Community Conversations will call upon those engaged in the sector: cultural workers, students, educators, researchers, administrators, and academic managers. We are genuinely committed to supporting colleagues to discuss the temporal, ideological, political, pedagogical, ethical; and procedural, operational and governing dynamics that may inform how we define the emergencies of our time, and on whose behalf we are warranted to distinguish the urgencies and responses.

Our conversation reflections may include but are not limited to:

· What are the emergencies that Fine Art education is engaging with, and how does a collegiate respond and responsibly respond to this urgency?

·      How do we develop a “culture of care” and ” act in solidarity” in – potentially for – the academy? What “work” needs to be done to address longstanding systemic inequities perpetuated by entrenched racial bias and other forms of oppression?

·      What are the role of ethics, social justice and racial equity in the future of teaching and beyond?

·      How do we prepare students for ´life-after-school´ in ways that take account of employability and of precarity?

·      To what other arenas and disciplines may we look – and develop coalitions with – to produce a resilient and progressive dynamic for the future of Fine Art education and its management?

·      What skill sets for researchers, educators, students and academic administrators are needed to address these complexities in our classrooms and beyond?

·      What is the role and responsibility of the art academy in civic, national and transnational lives in our pressurized and trouble times?

·      What forms of coalition can be developed for art educators, students and managers at a moment when several regimes seek to decrease mobility and exchange? How do we work together effectively generate long-term change that will dismantle systemic racism and oppression? What new forms of support and training are needed?

The 2020 Paradox European Fine Art forum in Turku responds to feedback from previous Paradox European Fine Art forums: Riga (2019), London (2017), Poznan (2015), Granada (2013), Cork (2011), Palermo (2009), London (2007) and Utrecht (2006).