WHW Akademija is an independent, tuition-free interdisciplinary study program for emerging artists founded by the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom/WHW in 2018. 

The name of the program, like that of the collective, includes the acronym for the three crucial questions of economic organization, What, How, & for Whom. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, the program accepts 8–12 fellows per year. Its aim is to work with the participants in Zagreb over the course of seven months on new forms of self-determination based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity, and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars, and practitioners in various disciplines. The program consists of a series of intensives, experimental exercises, workshops, and seminars, as well as a range of exhibitions, performances, and discursive programs that are in large part open to the public. 

WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with the Kontakt Collection, Vienna. The collection focuses on experimental and neo-avant-garde art in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe from the late 1950s onwards.
The members of the advisory board of WHW Akademija are: artist David Maljković, Zagreb; Emily Pethick, the director of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam; Kathrin Rhomberg, artistic director of the Kontakt Collection, Vienna; and Christine Tohmé, director of Ashkal Alwan and the Home Workspace Program in Beirut.
Participants in WHW Akademija are practicing artists with or without prior formal training, who are selected through an annual open call, open to artists from all over the world. Candidates are considered on the merit of their previous work and their motivation to take part in the program.

The call for the 2024 academic year will be open soon.

For more information, please contact ana.kovacic.whw@gmail.com
The working language of WHW Akademija is English.
WHW Akademija is a new program for emerging artists. It starts from the idea of the “conscious citizen” and aims to offer a broad educational spectrum as well as to incorporate principles and values applicable to wider social and political life. The program of WHW Akademija treats “learning by doing” as a crucial element in a dialogic educational process that encourages participants to actively co-produce critical content while emphasizing collective methods of co-learning.

As it is envisaged as a place for testing ideas, making discoveries, and encouraging trial and error, the program of WHW Akademija includes a number of practical and creative exercises. Structurally, the program is geared toward hybrid formats between exhibitions, performances, and collective action. The curriculum alternates between two-week intensives by invited guest professors and an ongoing series of shorter workshops and seminars. In between, a number of smaller-scale events such as masterclasses, collective guided walks, presentations, and research meetings take place.

Curators, artists, activists, and theorists within and outside of the cultural field are invited to present and discuss their ideas with participants in various co-learning formats, without the limitations of the usual academic structure.

WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with the Kontakt Collection, Vienna. The collection focuses on experimental and neo avant-garde art in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe from the late 1950s onwards. The manifold artistic positions included in the Kontakt Collection serve as one of the foundations for discussions and interventions in the program of WHW Akademija. WHW Akademija is generously supported by Foundation for Arts Initiatives.
What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin. Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibition and publishing projects and it has been intensively developing models based on collective way of working, creative use of public space and collaboration between partners of different backgrounds. Primarily shaped by the format of the exhibition, WHW projects are conceived as platforms for progressive modes of cultural production and reflections of social reality. What, how and for whom, the three basic questions of every economic organization, concern the planning, concept and realization of exhibitions as well as the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labor market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project dedicated to the 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, in 2000 in Zagreb, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the title of the collective.

Since 2003 WHW collective has been running the program of Gallery Nova, a city-owned gallery in Zagreb. Gallery Nova program had been conceived in opposition to dominant representative understanding of culture, and streams towards opening space for public discussion on issues that are ignored, made unfashionable by their lack of glamour and non-marketability, swept under the carpet or even openly suppressed. Gallery Nova program consists of international group exhibitions and solo shows by Croatian and international artists; discursive program encompassing lectures, workshops, seminars and public discussions; as well as a series of publications, whose aim is to create the links between the art practice and wider social context.

WHW is the first recipient of Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in 2008, awarded by Erste Stiftung in recognition of cultural activities related to the Central and South Eastern European region.

In March 2019 members of WHW Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović were appointed as artistic directors of Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. WHW as a collective will continue working in Zagreb with collective activities coordinated by WHW member Ana Dević.