Summer School by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti/DAAR on Zagreb's Sljeme marks the culmination of the 3rd edition of WHW Akademija. Following the intensive four-month online work, participants, mentors and the managing team of the third edition of WHW Akademija gathered in person from July 12-16 on Sljeme as a part of The Tree School, ongoing project initiated by architects, artists and educators Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti/DAAR. The Tree School is based on horizontal and convivial ways of learning. In a simple yet invaluable act of being together, during three days, the group was building collectivity and entered the process of intensive sharing of experiences and knowledge. The Tree School is a place where people gather for communal learning and producing knowledge grounded in lived experience and connected to communities.
Starting from the tree and the forest as a social metaphor for commons, resilience and resistance, in their discussions the participants dived in numerous pressing issues of our current moment: institutional work in the pandemic mode, their role and responsibility in a wider social and cultural context, artistic agency and engagement, contradictions of urgency of artistic position, ecology, belonging to and relation with history and different communities. One of the relevant unavoidable issues discussed was the role of educational programs during the current social crisis. In open formats generated on the spot, summer school of WHW Akademija served as a space for sharing and reflecting on new models of education and knowledge production.
“During collective walks, discussions and being together on Sljeme we co-created a space that we have been denied for some time now. We are leaving Sljeme with charged batteries and a vision of future in which conviviality and rootedness in local and many other transnational communities as well as responsibility and solidarity are the key postulates not only for creating experimental educational programs but the notion of society as such. We are proud that the program of WHW Akademija realized during the time of isolation continuously positions Zagreb on the map of international activities as a place for encounters and experiment,” stated Ana Dević, member of WHW collective at the closing of The Tree School and 3rd edition of WHW Akademija.
The participants of The Tree School were artists Luna Acosta, Eva Ďurovec, Teuta Gatolin, Lama El Khatib, Yulia Krivich, Ghita Skali, Raluca Țurcanașu, their mentors Marwa Arsanios, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins and Kasia Wlaszczyk (Kem), Vlatka Horvat, Pablo Martínez, Aude Christel Mgba, Dan Perjovschi and the members of WHW collective, as well as Emily Pethick, director of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten from Amsterdam, Charles Esche, director of Van Abbemuseum from Eindhoven and Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti/DAAR.
WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with Kontakt Collection. The main funders of WHW Akademija are Kontakt Collection / ERSTE Foundation and 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.