Symposium On Education – Art and Participatory Education
03 OCT (SAT), 14h30 – 18h00
Participants: Graziela Kunsch, Urbânia magazine (Brazil), Alessandro Petti e Isshaq Albarbary, (Palestine), Contrafilé, Artists (Brazil) and Cayo Honorato, professor and researcher in Art and Education (Brazil)
Moderation: Liliana Coutinho

The symposium ‘On Education – Art and Participatory education’ will begin with an exploration of the strategies of the education and mediation programme in the 31st São Paulo Biennial and move out from there to wider art education issues. Education within a mega-exhibition with a huge visitor base demands different kinds of approaches yet nevertheless strives to provide meaningful encounters for people with art and the public exhibition. The symposium will attempt to analyze the success of different educational strategies in terms of engagement and experimentation. In particular, education will be discussed in the light of the complex and pluralistic tradition of radical education, including the diverse legacies of Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich and Henry Giroux.

Is it possible for biennials and/or museums to learn from this radical education tradition that is anti-hierarchical, politically engaged and participatory? Given that its intentions are closely related to the struggles of the poor and powerless for equality and rights, how can art institutions shape their programmes to take account of its potential? How can its critique of traditional education practice be implemented in art exhibition programmes? The symposium will examine both the regular education programme developed by the São Paulo Biennial Foundation and other strategies developed by participating artists and curators that attempted different ways to address communities and urban cultures.

“How to (live with) things that don’t exist” features 28 artists and artist collectives selected from the 31st São Paulo Biennial, which was presented in the Oscar Niemeyer designed pavilion in the Ibirapuera Park between 6 September and 7 December 2014. The curatorial selection for Serralves has been made by Charles Esche, Galit Eilat and Oren Sagiv, three of the curators of the São Paulo exhibition.

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