We are glad to announce that the third edition of WHW Akademija launched at the beginning of April 2021. In order to navigate this period of immense disruption, we have developed a tripartite program for March to September 2021, comprising one-on-one tutoring, a summer school in collaboration with The Tree School by DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Research), and the public program Evenings with WHW Akademija.
Through open-ended artistic and educational formats, the program will explore the new conditions of art production, with an emphasis on collective imagination in a time of limited resources, travel restrictions, remoteness, and isolation.
The participants of the third generation of WHW Akademija are Luna Acosta (Medellín/Barcelona), Eva Ďurovec (Berlin/Košice), Teuta Gatolin (Zagreb), Lama El Khatib (Berlin/Beirut), Yulia Krivich (Warsaw), Ghita Skali (Casablanca/Amsterdam), and Raluca Țurcanașu (Bucharest). They are participating in the tutoring program with mentors Marwa Arsanios (Berlin/Beirut), Alex Baczyński-Jenkins and Kasia Wlaszczyk (Kem) (Warsaw/London/Berlin), Vlatka Horvat (London), Pablo Martínez (Barcelona), Aude Christel Mgba (Amsterdam), Dan Perjovschi (Sibiu), and What, How & for Whom / WHW (Zagreb/Vienna).
Engaged in developing a new working model in unpredictable circumstances, the participants of WHW Akademija 2021 were chosen in dialogue with the mentors.
This year’s program will migrate from the premises of the WHW office and Gallery Nova in Zagreb to all the cities in which the participants are based, creating a widespread network despite the fact we cannot travel as we would like to. The program is based on individual encounters, and yet it doesn’t give up on collectivity, rather rethinking possibilities of being together in new and sustainable ways.
The mentorship process is designed to restore the possibility of engaged, thorough discussion of artistic practice, and to build evolving, slowly unfolding conversations that gather strength with time, serving as an antidote to the overwhelming digital saturation we all experience. Each program participant will work closely with their mentor over several months, critically reflecting on their artistic practice, its relationship to this particular moment, and possible paths it might take in the future. The foundations of the mentorship framework will also be rethought, and directed toward less hierarchical models of collective thinking and collective making.
As in previous years, the 2021 program remains focused on strategies that take art practices from the Kontakt Collection as the point of departure and as a source of inspiration for bridging divisions between theory and practice, with an emphasis on topics of care, locality, resilience, and anti-fragility.
If circumstances allow, the summer school will take place near Zagreb in July in collaboration with The Tree School by DAAR, involving seminars and workshops developed together by all participants. An ongoing project developed by DAAR, The Tree School generates different ways of learning that cut across conventional disciplinary knowledges and welcomes the insights of marginalized forms of lived experience connected to various communities. The tree, a living being with its own characteristics and history, creates a physical and metaphorical commons, where ideas and actions can emerge through critical, free, and independent discussion.
The third part of WHW Akademija 2021, the ongoing public program Evenings with WHW Akademija, invites a variety of artists, curators, and activists to share lectures, workshops, and other types of participatory programs. WHW Akademija treats “learning by doing” as a crucial element in a dialogic educational process. This year, the production of works and the need to “show” will remain in the shadow of exchanging knowledge, engaging research, sharing experiences, and supporting emerging artists in the context of a global pandemic and ongoing crisis.
More information about participants and mentors is available on the WHW Akademija website.
WHW Akademija is an independent, tuition-free, interdisciplinary study program for emerging artists, founded in 2018 and realized in partnership with the Kontakt Collection, which focuses on experimental and neo-avant-garde art in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe from the late 1950s onward. The main funders of WHW Akademija are Kontakt Collection / ERSTE Foundation and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives.
The program of WHW Akademija 2021 is realized in conjunction with the two-year collaborative project Education from Below, conceived in partnership with the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam and MACBA – Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
Evenings with WHW Akademija are supported by the Culture of Solidarity Fund of the European Cultural Foundation as part of the collaborative project Communities of Learning, Bridging the Gap of Isolation.
WHW Akademija is supported by:
Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
City of Zagreb
European Cultural Foundation
Foundation Kultura nova
Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia
Trust for Mutual Understanding
Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Republic of Croatia