We tend to consider aesthetic experiences as especially complete because of the unique operation of emotions and intellect. Aesthetic experiences thus offer a productive space for questioning and shaping individual and collective perceptions, representations and attitudes.
Often praised for its educational potential, art has continuously been used and misused as a normative tool, balancing its emancipating and disciplining functions.
This project aims to identify and experiment with arts-based pedagogies that engage with sensitive and complex questions, exploring commitments, beliefs, values and abstract concepts through aesthetic encounter, philosophical inquiry, and reflection on lived experience.
We believe that art indeed allows us to explore the human condition by creating the necessary distance for (self-)identification and (self-)reflection. In times when manipulative and hateful messages reinforce prejudice, polarize opinions and divide society into enemy groups, this kind of distance is crucial. In that sense art is a powerful way to break through filter bubbles, voice difference and engage in dialogue. In particular such an approach has the potential to transcend the moralizing dimension that often surrounds work on divisive issues.
With this project we wish to underline the need to create collective spaces that allow questions to be raised first, without attempting to answer them or to promote a message. We also want to reaffirm artistic experience not only entertaining but as potentially transformative.
Ultimately, the project seeks to support the development of innovative models of arts-based learning that enable teachers and students to engage in difficult ethical discussions – through aesthetic encounter.
You can read about the different parts of this project by selecting the links below.