Tate Modern Conference

Alternative to What? A roundtable exploring alternative models of education

Allen Ruppersberg, ‘The Never Ending Book’ 2007
Allen Ruppersberg, The Never Ending Book 2007. Tate. © Allen Ruppersberg

This roundtable brings together speakers from established and emerging education initiatives to share their practice and experiences in devising and running so-called alternative education platforms. These include artist-led schools, community initiatives and institutional platforms, with discussions focusing on the history and contexts of self-organised models of education, the political and pedagogical tactics they employ, and their relationship to mainstream education.

The first panel chaired by Sam Thorne (Associate Editor, Frieze) will query the notion of the alternative, exploring the history and legacy of self-organised education platforms and situating current initiatives in the context of alternative art schools and grassroots projects. Speakers on this panel are Caleb Waldorf (The Public School Berlin), Penny Evans (Assistant Director at Knowle West Media Centre), and Laura Marziale (Community Education and Employment Team Coordinator, The Migrant Resource Centre).

The second panel chaired by Emily Pringle (Head of Learning Practice, Research and Policy at Tate) will explore the political and pedagogical strategies and tactics of alternative platforms, and where these might have an impact on mainstream understanding of education. Speakers on this panel are Pelin Tan (Assistant Professor, Kadir Has University, Istanbul), Carlos Cruz Garcia (Learning Organiser, United Migrant Education Project), and Janna Graham (Projects Curator, Centre for Possible Studies, Serpentine).

Ahmet Ögüt will moderate a final plenary session.

This symposium is connected to the Silent University.


Penny Evans

Penny Evans is Assistant Director and a founding member of the award winning media arts organisation, Knowle West Media Centre. Evans has developed and produced a large number of nationally acclaimed projects and has been key in developing their programme. Including creative digital and technology projects with the community, artists commissions and collaborative projects with public sector, business, government agencies and universities. She currently sits on the University of Bristol, Centre for Public Engagement steering group.

Carlos Cruz Garcia

Carlos Cruz Garcia studied Linguistics and Literature at Quindio University, in Armenia. Since coming to the UK in 1991, he has contributed to Latin American newspapers, magazines and radio programmes, alternating all these activities with his participation and support to migrant workers through diverse Human Rights, migrant and asylum seekers organisations. Currently he works for Unite the Union as a Union Learning organiser and he is in charge of the coordination of the United Migrant Workers Education Project (UMWEP) where there is a programme of ESOL, ICT, Numeracy, Art and others courses, specialised workshops and seminars for migrant workers.

Janna Graham

Janna Graham originally trained as a Geographer. She has initiated a number of pedagogical, artistic and research projects in and outside of the arts. Graham is currently Projects Curator at the Serpentine Gallery, where she works with others to create The Centre for Possible Studies, a research space in the Edgware Road neighbourhood of London where artists and local people develop ‘studies of the possible’ in response to social inequalities in urban spaces. She has been an educator, researcher and curator at institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Vanabbemuseum, Eindehoven, Plymouth Art Centre, Plymouth. As a teacher and Phd candidate at Goldsmiths University, she has been mapping aesthetic practices across key texts and practices of critical education. Graham is a member of 10 person international sound and political collective Ultra-red, works with the Precarious Workers Brigade in London and is part of the band and neo-liberalism study group Chicago Boys: while we were singing they were dreaming.

Laura Marziale

Laura Marziale works at the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC) as Community Education and Employment Co-ordinator. She is responsible for all the educational and employability activities of the centre: ESOL and IT classes, the National Careers Service, European mobility projects and a variety of informal and formal educational activities. Marziale has been working at the MRC since August 2006. She has experience of matrix quality standards and partnership work with organisations such as English Pen, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Serpentine Gallery, Transport Museum among others.

Ahmet Öğüt

Ahmet Öğüt was born in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Öğüt currently resides in Amsterdam. He has been a guest artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2007–2008. Winner of the Volkskrant Art Prize 2011, Öğüt's recent solo exhibitions include Ahmet Öğüt – Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Modern Essays 1: Across the Slope, SALT, Istanbul; Once upon a time a clock-watcher during overtime hours, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome; Stones to Throw, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon; Exploded City / MATRIX 231, The MATRIX Program at the UC Berkeley Art Museum; Ricochet # 4, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; Speculative Social Fantasies, Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Sydney; Europas Zukunft 2010, Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK) Leipzig; Mutual Issues, Inventive Acts, Kunsthalle Basel. Selected group exhibitions include 7th Liverpool Biennial, 12th Istanbul Biennial; 4th Moscow Biennial; 2011 Asian Art Biennial, Taichung; Trickster Makes This World, Nam June Paik Art Center; Performa 09, New York; 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art; Stalking with Stories, Apexart, New York and 9th International Istanbul Biennial. In 2009 he co-represented Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale together with Banu Cennetoğlu. Some of his upcoming group exhibitions are Moving for Wards Counting Back Wards, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC); TRACK, Ghent and Skyscraper, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA).

Pelin Tan

Pelin Tan is Assistant Professor at New Media Dept., Kadir Has University, Istanbul. Tan completed her PhD on the discourse of “locality” in socially engaged art practices; and her postdoc research on “artistic research” at ACT– MIT. She has contributed several publications in contemporary art, architecture and urbanism about ethics of locality, commons, dissemination and autonomy

Sam Thorne

Sam Thorne is an editor based in London, where he is associate editor of frieze magazine and a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art. Thorne is currently developing a free-to-attend art school in East London, which will open in September 2013. Next year he is co-curating 'Schizophonia', a touring exhibition about the intersections between ethnomusicology and recent artistic practice. 

Caleb Waldorf

Caleb Waldorf is an artist currently living in Berlin. Since 2008 he has served on the committee for The Public School, an open framework for pedagogy started in Los Angeles by Telic Arts Exchange. In 2007 he co-founded and is currently the creative director of the magazine, Triple Canopy

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

1 December 2012 at 11.00–16.00

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The Silent University

A knowledge exchange platform by and for refugees and asylum seekers