About Us

Gayatri C. Spivak, María do Mar Castro Varela, Aïcha Diallo, Fallon T. Cabral und Lalitha Chamakalayil (2018)

The bildungsLab* started in 2017 as a critical debating space in connection with the project "Schools of Tomorrow" carried out by the House of World Cultures (HKW) in Berlin until June 2018. Female* academics of Color and/or academics with migration histories, institutionally located in the fields of art and education, intervene into hegemonic discourses on questions of heterogeneity, plurality, marginalization and discrimination in educational institutions.

Inspired by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's idea of education as a "uncoercive rearrangement of desires" and incorporating the experiences of migration, discrimination, racism, classism, ableism and (hetero-) sexism, we imagine and discuss utopian designs of schools and pedagogical practices. How can schools be transformed into places that are not only open to everyone but also where education is desirable? What desires are to be instigated, what moments of resistance are to be articulated?

a) Counterpunctual Perspectives

How can experiences of migration, discrimination, racism, classism and sexism help to outline utopian ideas of school? And how can these utopian ideas become an irritation for the concept of the "reform school" which mostly focuses on members of the educated classes? In the spirit of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's idea of education as an "uncoercive re-arrangemant of desire" the possibilities of making schools attractive to those who have been actively kept away from education will be explored.
It is not only a matter of opening up schools, universities and institutions for adult education, but of transforming them into a place where education also appears to be desirable. Following the idea of an engaged pedagogy introduced by bell hooks, we develop strategies that aim to make a difference and put the teaching machine into motion.

b) resistance & desire

Important concepts framing our discussions and thinking are "resistance" and "desire". Desire plays a prominent role in Spivak's idea of education. The postcolonial theorist assumes that educational institutions produce specifically desirous subjects. Desire articulates itself, for example, in the desire to be part of an educational institution (or in the rejection of this desire) or in the coding of knowledge production as something worth striving for. Resistance, on the other hand, is repeatedly undermined within educational institutions by opting for a consensus that makes it more difficult to imagine alternatives to the hegemonic status quo. Desire and resistance are closely related to each other but are seldom taken into account in debates about education.

c) Third (Educational) Space

It is one of the aims of the bildungsLab* to enable other forms of knowledge production and to make the perspectives of "outsiders inside in the teaching machine" visible. In discussions about migration, racism, sexism and heterogeneity in the school system, as well as in the development of plans for a different future for the society, the visibility of female* migrant researchers and/or researchers of color
should become more apparent. Following a deconstructivist tradition, we describe this as a 'third space' in which something new can come to existence.