WHW Akademija, The Tree School
Sljeme, Medvednica mountain
Participants: Luna Acosta, Marwa Arsanios, Alex Baczyński-Jenkins & Kasia Wlaszczyk (Kem), Eva Ďurovec, Charles Esche, Teuta Gatolin, Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti/DAAR, Lama El Khatib, Vlatka Horvat, Yulia Krivich, Pablo Martínez, Aude Christel Mgba, Dan Perjovschi, Emily Pethick, Ghita Skali, Raluca Țurcanașu, WHW
After four months of intense online work, the participants and professorial team of the third edition of WHW Akademija are gathering together in person for the first time, to partake in the summer school session.
This encounter is happening under the framework of The Tree School, an ongoing project initiated by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti of Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR) that reclaims horizontal and convivial ways of learning. DAAR’s practice is positioned between politics, architecture, art, and pedagogy and explores the reuse, subversion, and profanation of structures of control or the demonstration of control.
The Tree School is a place where people gather together to learn communally and to produce knowledges grounded in lived experience and connected to 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 discussion and open-ended formats that presents participants’ research and in-progress projects.
The Tree School within WHW Akademija is a summer school that takes place in an open-air location on Sljeme, a peak of Medvednica mountain, near Zagreb. The Tree School emerged from a necessity for togetherness but also seclusion; it ensures a temporary distance from routine that tends to bind one to the same thought patterns and processes. Through open-ended formats, WHW Akademija’s summer school functions as a space for reflection and sharing without the pressures of artistic production and representation. It aims at building a collectivity through the simple yet invaluable act of being together. Our discussions will start from looking at trees as a social metaphor for togetherness, resilience, and resistance, to then delve into number of other topics pertinent to the group.
Alessandro Petti is currently Professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, where Sandi Hilal has initiated the living room, a series of spaces of hospitality that have the potential to subvert the role of guest and host.
This is Hilal and Petti’s second year of cooperation with WHW Akademija. Their workshop with participants of WHW Akademija in 2020 was based on the concept of “permanent temporariness,” a condition that includes a sense of isolation, alienation, and non-belonging, as well as job precarity and a lack of access to public services, that has become widespread in times of global crisis and continues to persist. Their installation Stateless Heritage at the 2021 Venice Biennale continues this body of work to further confront dominant Western conceptions of heritage.
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 EuropeanUnion
City of Zagreb
European Cultural Foundation
Foundation Kultura nova
Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republicof Croatia
Trust for Mutual Understanding
Office for Cooperation with NGOs of theRepublic of Croatia