The New World Academy was a school founded by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and artist Jonas Staal, with the aim to study the role of art in the context of stateless political struggle.
The curriculum of the academy consisted of five sessions, each co-directed by a different organization: Towards a People’s Culture (2013) with the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, Collective Struggle of Refugees: Lost. In between. Together. with the collective of undocumented migrants and refugees We Are Here from Amsterdam (2013), Leaderless Politics with the International Pirate Parties (2013), The Art of Creating a State with the National Liberation Movement of Azawad (2014), and Stateless Democracy with the Kurdish Women’s Movement (2014-16).
For each session, political representatives and artists from the invited organizations lived and worked together with artists and students from various backgrounds for a period of three days, during which concrete case-studies of artworks developed in their respective movements were exhibited, studied, and discussed.
At the end of each session lecturers and participants presented a collaborative proposal together, which the New World Academy helped to produce into new public projects. The We Are Here Cooperative for example, developed between We Are Here and participants of the academy, continues to exist today as a project of cohabitation between documented and undocumented citizens in Amsterdam. Another example is the Alternative Learning Tank (ALT), developed by members of the Pirate Party and participants to the academy as a school focused on teaching “digital literacy.”
For each of the sessions the New World Academy published a reader with key political and cultural texts of the invited movements, which were distributed by the academy, and can be downloaded for free online.
Lecturers of the New World Academy included: Lisa Ito (theorist and member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Manila), Luis Jalandoni (chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Utrecht), Walkie Mirãna (theater maker and member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Manila), Jose Maria Sison (founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, Utrecht), Matthijs de Bruijne (artist and union organizer, Amsterdam), Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (philosopher, organizer, and publisher, Tirana), Yoonis Osman Nuur and Thomas and Tawfik Adham (activists and members of We Are Here, Amsterdam), Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin (artists, Nantes), Emily Fahlén (curator, representative of Ahmet Öğüt’s Silent University), Savannah Koolen (coordinator, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam), Elke Uitentuis (artist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam), Dirk Poot (Pirate Party of the Netherlands, The Hague), Maša Utković (Pirate Party Croatia), Heath Bunting (artist, net activist, and co-founder of www.irational.org, Bristol), design collective Foundland (Ghalia Elsrakbi and Lauren Alexander, Amsterdam), Moussa Ag Assarid (writer and European Representative National Liberation Movement of Azawad), Mazou Ibrahim Touré (Artist Association of Azawad), Remco van Bladel (graphic designer), Iva Petkovic (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation), Gabriëlle Provaas (film maker), Rob Schröder (film maker), Dilar Dirik (Kurdish Women’s Movement), Dilşah Osman (Kurdish Democratic Society Congress in Europe, KCD-E), Havin Güneser (journalist, women’s rights activist, and the main translator of the work of Öcalan), Joost Jongerden (University of Wageningen), Jasper Blom (GroenLinks) and Jolle Demmers (Centre for Conflict Studies, Utrecht University).
IN COLLABORATION WITH:
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht
Jonas Staal (artist); Maria Hlavajova (director BAK); Paul Kuipers (architect); Remco van Bladel (designer); Arjan van Meeuwen (financial director BAK); Younes Bouadi (producer); Renée In der Maur (project coordinator); Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Şeyma Bayram (editors); Robert Kluijver (advisor); Gabriëlle Provaas, Rob Schröder, Rens van Meegen, Jan de Bruin (film makers); Niek van der Meer (communication BAK); Kasper Oostergetel (construction and development)
Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam (NL)