Talk and Workshop on “Media and Cultural Education” @Education is Relation not Output?-Conference (Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden)

Education is Relation not Output

The conference

It has been a great pleasure to attend the recent conference “Education is Relation not Output? – Scenes of Knowledge and Knowledge Acquisition” (May 17th-19th 2016) at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden.

The conference was held in cooperation with the international scientific network Tacit Dimensions of Pedagogy. The conference’s purpose was as follows:

Re-thinking the idea of university and scholarly life means to critically examine the conditions for teaching in terms of the current policy discourses and freely develop an idea of university out of an international perspectiveUniversity does not exist simply to convey information or expertise. It is a society in which everyone is responsible for in a reflected way participating in diverse relationships to him-/herself, to others and to the world, and, based on diverse forms of knowledge and representation, actively forming them. In this conference combined with other spaces for discussion perspective on university as a place for social development will be opened up by academic scholars as well as by professionals in the fields of school as well as of art.

My contribution on “Media and Cultural Education”

My own contribution was a talk and workshop that was held within the panel “Art, Visual Culture and Media“.

In my opening talk, I was aiming for tapping into the idea of shaping a perspective on university as a place for social development from an international perspective beyond simply conveying expertise, but to see the university as responsible in helping people to advance in a direction of reflectively participating in diverse relationships to oneself, others and the world.

Especially since contemporary life is happening in spaces of intense proximity, where the interdependence of the diverse nations and cultures becomes more and more obvious, it is important to empower people to competently navigate those spaces. Hence, I proposed an increased emphasis on and discussion of media and cultural education as a means to social cohesion within the university as a place of public education.

The conference paper of the talk (ca. 10 pages) can be downloaded here (pdf-file). A book publication as a conference outcome is forthcoming. My paper will be found there as an official publication then, too.

Life after high school in urban Kenya

Life after high school in Nairobi often differs from people’s dreams. This episode of African Slum Journal vividly depicts the experience of many people in Nairobi by the example of Collin, who dreamed of being an aeronautical engineer. However, a lack of employment opportunities (i.e. long term contract work) in Kenya’s capital often makes it difficult to get into something stable.

As many people in Nairobi, he chose to take fate into his own hands, dipping into the rich so called ‘informal’ or ‘jua kali’ business sector that provides about more than three quarters of the urban population with a livelihood. Collins is selling earrings and shirts now, instead of passively waiting for a formal employment opportunity that is probably never going to come.

So now he is his own boss –  a thing to be  proud of. “Use your talents, with or without high school”, he says.

Life after high school – African Slum Journal