What makes a truly inclusive and diverse art school?
This was one of the main questions, that brought this project into being. Through a self-critical approach the research however transformed the question, whilst unraveling a plethora of uncomfortable insides into the current state of art education. This means the question to ask is much more: What are the possibilities for teachers and students to make a Difference and what kind of Difference is really desired? Given that Diversity Politics and Policies consistently fail to challenge century long hierarchies of power and exclusion this project is not about inclusion or Diversity but about a dismantling of hegemonic ways of thinking, teaching and the production of art and design, whilst challenging an ongoing colonial amnesia within the Dutch context.
WdKA makes a Difference was an action based research project lead by Nana Adusei-Poku and Teana Boston-Mammah. Interested in the possibilities of decolonial approaches within the Willem de Kooning Academy, it was conducted from January 2015 till December 2016. The project included monthly reading and discussion sessions with teachers (The Brown Bag Lunch), an exhibition with lecture series and symposium, film screenings, the creation of a ‘Minor Plus course module and many more initiatives and collaborations, which sought to challenge the way in which art and design is taught, perceived and produced in order to imagine a self-reflective future for the field. The driving force for this project is not so much what has to be done, but how can it be done.