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?

Scheduled for spring 2020 to spring 2021, Life Lessons presents online and offline conversations and workshops 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 sixth session invites Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh and Zeyno Pekünlü, two artists who are committed to collective pedagogical models. In this session, they will discuss how they have developed these models within, outside, and despite the university, and the ways they contribute to larger solidarity networks in their cities and beyond.  

Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh is part of blaxTARLINES KUMASI, a collective and contemporary art incubator that is part of a lineage of radical art and community projects in Ghana in the 1990s. With blaxTARLINES KUMASI, Ohene-Ayeh develops cultural platforms, curriculums, residencies, social networks, studios, and public access art spaces. He is also a member of the Exit Frame Collective, which organises professional development programmes for artists and curators in Ghana. 

Zeyno Pekünlü currently runs the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Programme (ÇAP) for young artists and researchers. She is part of several activist initiatives that focus on commoning practices and solidarity spaces in Istanbul. She has been involved in the Istanbul Solidarity Academy and the Institute of Radical Imagination, both of which imagine alternative pedagogical platforms.

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

Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh is a curator, writer, and artist based in Accra and Kumasi. He is currently a PhD candidate at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) and is part of blaxTARLINES KUMASI, a project space and contemporary art incubator at the Department of Painting and Sculpture at KNUST. Ohene-Ayeh is co-curator of Akutia: Blindfolding the Sun and the Poetics of Peace (A Retrospective of Agyeman Ossei ‘Dota’) in Tamale (2020–21), co-curator of the 12th edition of Bamako Encounters: Biennale of African Photography in Mali (2019–20), and curator of Spectacles. Speculations… (2018) in Kumasi.

Zeyno Pekünlü is an artist based in Istanbul. She holds an MA from University of Barcelona and a PhD from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul. She is currently running the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Programme for young artists and researchers. Comprising a wide spectrum of material from the national anthem to Turkish melodramas, from cheat sheets to YouTube videos, Pekünlü’s works traverse public and private manifestations of subordination, and problematise the technologies of power. 

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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