Cannibal pedagogy or learning to resist as learning to ask
“No one can foretell the power of a meeting.” [Invisible Committee]
The premise of the educational curatorial project is to ensure the emergence of spaces where the various publics that attend Sesc Sorocaba can meet. The strategies for that are based on educational and artistic actions and their possible intersections and knock-on effects, from encounters between educators, school groups and the exhibition, to specific activities endowed with creative potential.
By encounter we understand the act of one standing before the other, or many before many others, a jumble of people moving in different directions or towards the same point: collision, conference, confluence, conjuncture, sporadic crossings. As the artist and educator Mônica Hoff put it, based on Paulo Freire’s theories of literacy: “the knowledge-production process effectively happens when it touches us emotionally, awakening emancipated processes of world-relatedness, seeing as we are touched first as individuals, in such a singular and, all too often, irregular way”.¹
In this process, the figure of the educator occupies the space of a facilitator of eye-to-eye exchange, the in-between. “In terms of intermediaries, there’s no mystery whatsoever, as what goes in perfectly determines what comes out: the effect will contain nothing that was not already there in the cause. […] For the mediators, on the other hand, the situation is quite another: the causes presuppose nothing about the effects, because they afford only occasions, circumstances and precedents.” ²
Part of the educator’s work lies in jumbling the conceptions of art and education, mixing not knowing with learning. “Art pedagogy is important to me because I don’t see much difference between art and education […]. Given the division of disciplines into which we fragment our knowledge, I believe that the order in which I mention art first and education second holds a certain importance. In accordance with that order, a possibility opens for one to include the other and we have to choose which we want to absorb which.”³
Some actions planned for the creation of a circuit on which the public can explore the chinks opened at the meetings:
Sesc School – based on an existing project with schools in the Sorocaba region, artists and educators were invited to propose everyday school activities as ways of integrating the Triennial’s artistic and educational proposals;
Educational publication – with the collaboration of the artists Graziela Kunsch, Rivane Neuenshwander, Traplev and Matheus Rocha Pitta, this material is also based on the premise of learning through one’s encounter with the other and through reflection on the interstices that will open up within the school environment, at the exhibition itself and in the experience of students and teachers;
Educational space – located at the Sesc Sorocaba Recreational Center during the Triennial, the educational space is a place in which to create and imagine, produce visual art and other possibilities, such as discussion groups, reading and writing sessions, graphic production, walks, cooking and sound experiments. The conventional classroom here gives way to a mix of kitchen, library, print shop and radio station.
“You have to learn to resist, but resist will never mean surrendering to fate, bowing to some inevitable future. How much of learning to resist is not learning to ask the right questions?”4
Even today, running an educational program at a cultural institution whose public largely consists of students and teachers is an act of resistance. Acting in consonance with the possibilities of experimentation in art, education wields a power of transformation—perhaps not permanent transformation, and not worked upon society as a whole, but on the student and teacher as political subjects. In 2017, when laws concerning education are amended without consultations with the school community and the budget for culture is frozen and cut, and the ministry itself abolished altogether, students Brazil-wide are not content to have their fate determined by the State and have risen up in resistance against these impositions. Witnessing this is to be sure that learning to question, learning to ask, is the driving force behind other possible ways of being in the world.
1 HOFF, Monica. “Notas para a construção de teorias refutáveis, pedagogias sem importância e escolas de garagem ou: um bom nome para o amor” in Fábrica de Conocimiento / Escuela de Garaje. Mexico City: Laagencia, 2016.
2 LATOUR, Bruno. Reagregando o social: uma introdução à teoria do Ator-Rede. Salvador. Edufba, 2012.
3 CAMNITZER, Luis. Arte y Pedagogía. <http://esferapublica.org/nfblog/arte-y-pedagogia>. Acessado em: 5/5/2016.
4 FUKS, Julián. A resistência. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2015.
Fabio Tremonte is an artist and educator. Art enables wandering through various areas of human knowledge and free experimentation. Morning cook, afternoon anthropologist, night DJ, and so on. Traversing diverse paths, he has maintained some projects of long duration: Escola da Floresta, Deriva culinária and valderramas_project. He is currently writing projects in Portunhol.