"Give her the tools, she will know what to do with them!”
Some Thoughts about Learning Together
How can we learn something that doesn't exist yet? On the one hand this sounds paradoxical. But isn't it on the other hand exactly what radical education is all about? Learning as a political and emancipatory practice has always been understood as a process towards another possibility: as a way to understand the social relations in order to change them; to understand them as they might only be understandable in another world. And maybe by doing so this one might change… As this process of self-transformation is a collective practice we can only learn it together. Following this thoughts I will situate the partisan cafe project for bergen assembly in a framework of organic intellectual practices between public pedagogy, radical education and pre-enactment.
The Partisan café was an educational/performative/artistic practice as a coffee house in the Museum of Burning Questions – a Para-Museum realised in collaboration with the artist Isa Rosenberger – and one performative platform of the freethought infrastructure project for Bergen Assembly 2016. Located in the occupied historic fire station of Bergen the Partisan café was host as much as guest. It was a shared space and a contact zone.
The café was run by seven educators/performers/café workers: Tora Endestad BjØrkheim, Freja Bäckman, Kabir Carter, Johnny Herbert, Jenny Moore (coordinator), Arne Skaug Olsen, Nora Sternfeld.
As educators and café workers we thought about radical hospitality. As guests of the resident firefighters we thought about reciprocities and commonalities.
Nora Sternfeld is an educator and curator. She is professor for curating and mediating art at the Aalto University Helsinki and co-director of ecm — educating/curating/managing — Master Program in exhibition theory and practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She is part of trafo. K, Office for Art Education and Critical Knowledge Production (with Renate Höllwart and Elke Smodics-Kuscher) based in Vienna. She was a lecturer at the Academy of FIne Arts Vienna, the Viennese Art School, the Art Academy Kassel, the Zurich University of the Arts and the University of Education in Vienna. Moreover she is part of the editorial board of Bildpunkt — magazine of the Viennese artist association IG Bildende Kunst and publishes on contemporary art, exhibition theory, education, politics of history and anti-racism.