Education from Below is a two-year collaborative programme organised between the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, MACBA, Barcelona and WHW, Zagreb.
Education from Below explores art as a place for dialogue, collective learning and imagination. Education doesn't belong only in institutions, but it can be horizontal and come from below, from communities.
The project recognises that art practices can dislocate the usual hierarchies of what should or should not be learned and traditional divisions between theory and practice, and that knowledge does not have to be based on accumulation, but rather on sharing and mutual learning.
The partners will explore new models of art practice based on collective learning and will generate a network of institutions and professionals for sharing methodologies.
Education from Below links three independent programmes for artists, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, PEI at MACBA, and WHW Akademija that each provide important opportunities for artistic development outside of formal education systems. The project will be realised over the course of autumn 2019 – autumn 2021 through seminars, study groups, artist residencies, exhibitions, series of lectures, an international conference, a collective reader and a common web platform, involving many artists, thinkers and educators.
La Cocina del MACBA is a kitchen situated in the context of the eco-social crisis. In its third year of operation, the participants reaffirm the importance of "sentipensar" an ecofeminist cuisine and are particularly interested in the knowledge of people, projects and experiences that work on displaced knowledge in relation to food sovereignty.
Wars and colonialism leave their mark on food systems - the circulation of food, the conditions in which it is grown - and these marks can be read from the kitchens. It is also through the kitchens that we come closer to the intimate experience of this violence, both in its impact on daily lives and in the infinite ways of fighting for dignity, not through confrontation but through care, custody and creation.
The healing of the colonial wound through historical, ritualistic memory and culinary celebrations, and the art and processes of food justice are themes that run through the daily life of La Cocina. This year we open La Cocina and invite artists, thinkers and specialised collectives to reflect with us and anyone who shares the same concerns.
Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian-American writer and journalist. Her work focuses on the situation in Gaza and the intersection of food, culture, and politics. She is the author of 'Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between' and co-author, with Maggie Schmitt, of the critically acclaimed 'The Gaza Kitchen'. She is an avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast. She makes her home in Clarksville, Maryland, with her husband, four children, and seven chickens.
Maggie Schmitt is a translator. She also works in various media - writing, photography, video, food - to explore how everyday life intersects with historical narratives, political imaginaries and ecological realities. She has participated in initiatives ranging from militant research collectives to municipal pilot projects, always with a feminist gaze and inhabiting the friction between different social worlds. She is co-author, together with Laila El-Haddad, of the book 'The Gaza Kitchen'. She lives and breeds (bees, plants, children) in a village in Segovia.
Marina Monsonís is a visual artist who works with hybrid and heterogeneous processes of social transformation rooted in territories, in collective, community and pedagogical projects that link marine sciences, place-based design, gastronomy, graffiti, radical geography, ethnography and critical, oral and gestural memory. She works on projects that connect cuisine with political, critical, social and transgenerational aspects to create debates and transmit knowledge about the complexities and conflicts that inhabit km 0. She is interested in the coexistence of radical spaces where people are constellated in research, techniques, local and global, ancient and emerging knowledge, maintaining a generous and enriching ecosystem, where enjoyment, exchange and harmony dominate at the table. She has run La Cocina del MACBA since its inception in November 2018.
Yayo Herrero is a consultant, researcher and teacher in the fields of political ecology, ecofeminisms and education for sustainability. She holds a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, a diploma in Social Education and Technical Agricultural Engineering, and a diploma of advanced studies in Theory of Education and Social Pedagogy. She is currently a member of Garúa Sociedad Cooperativa and a lecturer at several Spanish universities. She is the author or co-author of more than thirty books and is a regular contributor to various media. She was coordinator of the Centro Complutense de Estudios e Información Medioambiental of the Fundación General Universidad Complutense de Madrid and general director of FUHEM. For decades, she has combined her professional activity with active participation in social movements, especially the environmental movement. She is a member of Ecologistas en Acción, an organisation of which she was confederal co-coordinator between 2005 and 2014.