Organised as part of AAA’s twentieth anniversary, Life Lessons is a series that enquires into models for education led by artists. We ask: What was the most influential lesson they learned in school? And how have they, in turn, passed on what they learned about forms of knowledge and care to their students or communities of learners?

Launched in spring 2020, Life Lessons presents online and offline conversations with artists and art collectives who teach at universities, build educational programmes at arts organisations, and run their own schools. Each session addresses their unique teaching methods. 

The final session of Life Lessons brings together Noor Abed, Lara Khaldi, and Ahmet Öğüt to discuss school as a form of intervention. Abed and Khaldi will introduce the School of Intrusions, which they co-founded in Ramallah in 2019. This educational platform, which has no permanent space and tuition fee, facilitates peer-led seminars where participants discuss site-based learning, community formation, collectivism, and alternative economic models. Öğüt will speak about the Silent University, which he initiated in 2012 as a solidarity-based knowledge exchange platform run by displaced people and forced migrants unable to use their skills and professional training due to migration laws and language limitations. Over the last decade, the Silent University has led platforms in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Jordan, Greece, and Denmark.

This series is part of AAA’s ongoing research on the role of academic and alternative pedagogy in the development of modern and contemporary art in Asia and beyond.

Noor Abed is an artist who works at the intersection of performance, media, and film. Her practice examines notions of choreography and the imaginary relationship of individuals, creating situations where social possibilities are both rehearsed and performed. Abed received a BA from the International Academy of Art Palestine, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. She attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York (2015–16), and Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut (2016–17). She was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (2014), and a fellow in documenta thirteen’s Department of Maybe Education and Public Programs in Kassel, Germany. She is part of the curatorial team of documenta fifteen.

Lara Khaldi is a cultural worker based in Jerusalem. She is an alumna of the De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam (2013), and the European Graduate School, Switzerland (2015). Recent projects she has co-curated include: the exhibition and symposium Overtone: On the Politics of Listening at Goethe-Institut, Ramallah (2019); Unweaving Narratives: Performance Program, the Palestinian Museum, Birzeit (2018); Shifting Ground, a satellite project of Sharjah Biennial 13, Ramallah (2017); and Desires into Fossils: Monuments Without a State, a series of research exhibitions with Reem Shilleh, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah (2017). Khaldi has taught art history, theory, and exhibition practices at the International Academy of Art Palestine and Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, Bethlehem. She is part of the curatorial team of documenta fifteen

Ahmet Öğüt is an artist based in Berlin and Istanbul. He works across different media and has exhibited widely, with recent solo presentations at Kunstverein Dresden, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Chisenhale Gallery, and Van Abbemuseum. He holds a BA from the Fine Arts Faculty at Hacettepe University, Ankara, and an MA from Art and Design Faculty at Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi, Istanbul. He participated in Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in 2007–08. Öğüt has been a guest mentor, guest professor, advisor, and research teacher at The Universität der Künste Berlin; Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht; Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam; Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki; TransArts - Transdisziplinäre Kunst, Institut für Bildende und Mediale Kunst Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien; and DAI (Dutch Art Institute). He co-represented Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).

Moderator: Özge Ersoy, Public Programmes Lead, Asia Art Archive

This event is part of the AAA Learning and Participation Programme, supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited and C. K. and Kay Ho Foundation.

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AAA’s newly renovated library and The Collective School exhibition are open by appointment only starting Monday, 3 October. Register here to arrange a visit.