Since 2018 we focus our programme on the question Diversity for What? Aiming to explore, together with the teaching staff and students, what diversity means to ArtEZ and how strongly people feel about the subject, while at the same time initiating a continued debate. We share insights that have been reached, questions that have come up and new knowledge that emerges in this ongoing process and in these continually changing times. We explore diversity from several different perspectives. We do not only want to talk about gender, race and ethnicity, but we also want to consider economics, the environment, diversity of thinking, of methodologies etc. The question Diversity for What? was a reason to delve more specifically into the topics of Climate, Feminism/Equality and Belonging (and of course how everything is connected!). Next to that a fourth line of research is Future Art School in which we bring together the insights we have gained within our other lines of research. Our research questions:
1) On inclusion/equality and the politics of care-making.
In what way are our actions determined by normative ideas about gender, origins and culture? Can art expose structures of inequality in society and actively engage with questions about equality and freedom? Which power relations are being upheld by art or the art world itself and can the art world acknowledge these power relations and redraw them? Do we really care enough to create change?
2) On A Sense of Belonging. The body in relation to space, time, legal, political and economic power structures.
Technology/data, politics, laws, regulations, time and space determine where we are and where we feel at home. A human is not a being that is restricted to one place but rather a combination of all these strands. Where do we feel at home, how do we relate to these external forces and to other people? And where do we find the relationship with the other, where do we find solidarity?
3) On Humans and their relationship with the earth in times of climate or environmental crisis, the Post-Anthropocene.
How can we reconsider our relationship with the world and with nature and treat the earth in a different way, thinking beyond the political and economic systems that shape our relationship with the earth at present? Can we present new narratives that do not only adopt the human perspective? What role can art play in this respect and what are its possibilities and limitations? And how can art, science and technology mutually support each other? Are there existing methodologies and what are they?
4) On the values we want an art school to represent.
In this line of research we share visions on the art school of the future. How can art education cultivate a rich and safe learning environment in which diverse voices are amplified, and where makers strive for a more just and inclusive society? Are we able to decolonize the curriculum in order to empower students to get rid of the dominant narratives and write new ones? Can we educate students to become change makers, as ArtEZ wants them to be? And what does this mean for the values and teaching standards that we are used to working with?