This article is a part of the room: Education and (anti)Institutions



Critical Studies Department is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the process of curating the Museum of Care for the next two or three months. We would really love it to be a transformative and enriching experience, a network able to support different realities and initiatives around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed the light on many critical aspects of contemporary capitalism, but above all one of the most affected areas has been that of education. The completely uncritical and rapid shift towards distance learning has left a profound mark and trauma on the education and creation of knowledge as we knew it.

None of us were ready or able to foresee what would happen and none of us knew how to react, yet these almost 2 years spent online have not just changed the way we perceive education, but have also opened up unexpected possibilities of collaboration and some initiatives that beforehand were hard to imagine.

Critical Studies Department originated during the first italian lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic as a tool to re-imagine students’ role within the educational institution and to define new possibilities of interaction, mutual aid and self-organisation. We think that it’s the right moment to reconsider what has happened and try to build a connection with similar grassroot initiatives.

Which institutions or semi or anti-institutions have emerged, in what contexts, and initiated by whom? If during the 2000’s there was a lot to discuss about the Educational Turn in diverse academic contexts: what do we mean by an education today? Can the online context be seen as a threat, as a resource or is it an ambivalent condition? How can we map the different initiatives that have spread on a worldwide scale? What about non-academic, indigenous and other independent initiatives? What kind of lexicon can we use in order to escape the hegemonic logic implied by many institutionalized forms of knowledge? How can we connect these different groups and initiatives? What organizational forms can be used in order to facilitate a dialogue?

Once commercialization of knowledge has reached its peak and has become a mere system of extraction and profit making, extending the time of education to a life-long never ending vicious circle and transforming students into an endlessly indebted category, what can still be done to make education accessible as commons and not as an élite commodity?

We want to start this curatorial process by making an open call for initiatives similar to ours and create a digital platform to interact, a map where to find each other. We will organize a series of talks during which everyone can share his/her/their practices and during the last meeting there will be a final forum, with all the participants together: an informal online gathering as a virtual place where to meet and take care of each other.

We are looking for initiatives that are particularly interesting and that are moved from urgencies similar to ours. We’ll put them in the map, so it can be used as a tool to get in touch and create a network.

Please send us the full information about your initiative (title, address, email, website, description) to:

Please feel free to contact us here:

  • >> for information and/or if you want to propose some activities or collaborate, or if you are just curious about us!
  • >> if you want to take part to this mapping process and get in touch with us about this specific topic, and know more about this curatorial process for MoC, take part to the assemblies with a speech about your practices and get involved in this process, we are looking forward to know you!

We will have two assemblies:

the first an exchange of ideas about collaboration on 24-06-2021

and the second a conference with speeches and workshops on 29-07-2021