17th March 2015
Edward Said Library, Al Feneiq Center (Dheisheh Refugee Camp)

Decolonizing Pedagogies: Towards a Transversal Methodology

by Pelin Tan


I think the basic principals for a decolonizing education structure especially in a territorial context are firstly constructing a non-hegemonic knowledge through a collective process. Secondly, creating an instituting practice without remaining or never fully reaching to an “institution”. Education is by default a fully instituting structure that the institution itself becomes the machine for sake of sustaining itself. What is a collective process in education?: Collective self-teaching, learning by acting together, rejecting the gap between theory and practice, deconstructing terms in education that are sustained by institution upside down, preserving traditional knowledge from earth and nature. A transversal methodology ensures a trans-local borderless knowledge production that rhizomaticly reaches beyond topics of architecture and design such as citizenship, militant pedagogy, institutionalism, borders, war, being a refugee, documents/documenting, urban segregation, commons and others. I would like to read and discuss on under the light of thinkers such as Fanon, Freire, Guattari, Gibson-Graham through my institutional experiences in Mardin and on The Silent University.

Biographical note

Pelin Tan is a sociologist, researcher and writer based in Mardin, Associate Professor and Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Architecture, Mardin Artuklu University (MAU). She completed her post-doctoral research on “artistic research” at the ACT/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Co-director with Anton Vidokle of the “2084” series of films on the future of art history. Acting member of The Silent University. Co-curator of Adhocracy – Athens, May 2015. Tan is the Principal Researcher of a MAU funded project on refugee camps in Southeast Turkey (2015-16). Forthcoming book: ARAZİ (Critical Spatial Practice Series, Eds. MM & NH, Sternberg Press, 2015)