Pool 1: Art & Politics: Negotiating Civil Rights? October School 2020 (gLV)

How can we use art to debate and stand up against the current global violation of basic civil rights? This research seminar on contemporary public art deals with public issues and asks how to initiate public debates.

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Nummer und TypMFA-MFA-Po00.20H.001 / Moduldurchführung
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungChristoph Schenker, Franz Krähenbühl
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 10
ECTS3 Credits
VoraussetzungenCourse language: English
Interest in public issues, in contemporary public art, and in intercultural collaboration
LehrformSeminar, guest lectures, workshops, group tutorials
ZielgruppenMA Fine Arts and MA Transdisciplinary Studies students.

Interested students of other study programmes can contact studium.dfa@zhdk.ch and will be informed at the end of calendar week 36 about a possible participation.
Lernziele / KompetenzenYou learn to understand the outreach and complexity of civil and human rights in diverse cultures. You develop, experiment with, and apply artistic, social and digital tools to negotiate civil rights in our daily life. You expand your competence in multicultural collaboration.
InhalteThe current pandemic makes us aware of basic human rights. Because of the lockdown, quite a few Western clothing companies refused to pay the factories in Asia for the fabrics and garments they had ordered, and, in many cases, which already have been produced. As a result, many factory workers in Bangladesh, Indonesia and other production countries, who live below the poverty line anyway, are left without pay from one day to the next.
The globalized garment industry benefits from the social, economic and regulatory inequalities worldwide. Production is outsourced to countries with weaker labour and legal standards. NGOs like Public Eye point out the injustice and demand minimum standards for minimum wages and job security. Donations soothe the sense of guilt, but hide the fact that a change in our consumer behaviour would bring about a much greater transformation.
According to a survey, 96% of young consumers in the West are aware that in Asia clothes are produced under precarious working conditions - even before the pandemic. Yet they are not changing their consumer behaviour. We seem to accept the violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Through the transnational trade and consumption of goods we are involved in human rights violations abroad. What needs to be done here, in our context? What can we do as artists?

Partners of October School are universities in Hong Kong, Delhi, Johannesburg, New Mexico, Akita, Quito, and Zurich (see: inoctober.org).

Teaching formats: Daily joint online sessions for exchange and group work; individual and cooperative on site public art projects in Zurich; contribution to be broadcasted in the overall program (discussion, walk, research etc.).

The October School offers the unique opportunity to interact with international peers on contemporary global issues and to build up an enduring network of contacts around the world. You get a deep understanding of the approaches and methods of contemporary public art not only on a theoretical but also on a practical level. It will substantially influence your future artistic practice and your life as a citizen.


About the teachers:

Christoph Schenker is Prof. at the DFA and head of the Institute for Contemporary Art Research. He is involved with contemporary public art, and in this respect he works with artists worldwide. See: https://www.draftprojects.info.

Franz Krähenbühl is an art historian and curator with long time interest in contemporary public art and public issues, and with interest in the function and relevance of art in our society. 2019-2020 Co-Leitung Shedhalle Zürich, https://shedhalle.ch.
Bibliographie / LiteraturA bibliography and texts will be distributed a month before the seminar starts.
About October School, see: inoctober.org .
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungMandatory attendance 80%; active participation
TermineTime: 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock

CW 39: 27 September
CW 40: 28 / 29 / 30 September, 01 / 02 October
BemerkungThe detailed program will be sent a month before the seminar starts.
October School 2020 (this pool seminar) lasts 6 days. Due to the time difference between Asia, Africa/Europe and Latin America the daily online sessions may take place in marginal hours of the day.
Termine (6)