In Search of Otherwise (A)Positional Paper: Social Practices

Social Practices

Project details

Project Leader
  • Michelle Teran
  • Sumia Jaama
  • Duration2021-2022
    Affiliated activities
  • In Search of Otherwise (A)positional Paper: Social Practices

  • Social Practices Positioning Paper

    What is a Position paper?

    A Position paper is an essay (or manifesto) that presents a statement representative of collective discussions on a particular subject/area. It aims to encapsulate the goals, aspirations, and (present and future) positioning of the curricula and research agenda within the Social Practices study program.


    In 2017, the writing team (Nana Adusei-Poku, Iris Schutten, Roger Teeuwen & Peter Troxler) co-authored the positioning paper: Social Design as a Political Act.

    We are now in the process of rewriting the positioning paper, to reflect the current environment and conversations occurring within the classrooms, group chats, assemblies, cultural spaces of our external partners, and other informal spaces that contribute to the ongoing critical discourse within Social Practices.

    In May 2021, teachers within Social Practices gathered to perform and workshop a Choral Reading facilitated by Tom K. Kemp from the School of the Damned. School of the Damned is a free postgraduate art course run by, and for, its students. The Choral Reading exercise was originally performed by Jane Lawson, class of School of the Damned (2017).

    Moving forward May 2022 onwards:

    In 2022, we (teachers, students and researchers) in Social Practices continued working on the Positioning paper with these activities.

    >>May 2022: Workshop with Social Practices teachers and external writer, alumni and Curator Collective Learning at Kunstinstituut Melly, Jessy Koeiman

    >>June 2022: Workshop with Research Lecturers, Clara Balaguer, Seecum Cheung, Sumia Jaama and Kari Robertson, in Social Practices.

    >>July 2022: Writing sessions with the writing team, Sumia Jaama, Jessy Koeiman and Michelle Teran.

    >>December 2022: Presentation of final draft to Social Practices teachers and students during the Social Practices General Assembly.

    The collective writing process and workshops was centred around a physical setting in the Research Station @ WdKA. During the writing process we welcomed those passing by the opportunity to engage and offer commentary.

    Social Practices:

    Social Practices frames cultural production – art and design and how it is (re) produced, circulated, and consumed – as a political act that challenges notions of power in order to redistribute it. For social practitioners, cultural work is rooted in social and actual landscapes to which one actively listens and responds. This department believes that the act of making public is fundamental to a socially and politically engaged practice. It commits to building bodies of knowledge in common.