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Critical Pedagogies

Critical Pedagogies

Project Lead

Professor Carolina Rito

Project Overview

Prompted by the centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019, Carolina Rito devised the Critical Pedagogies curatorial project at Nottingham Contemporary in collaboration with national and regional partners. It explores questions around alternative modes of education and how we learn and produce knowledge collectively. The research strand aimed to engage with the current scenarios in education and investigate the educational role of cultural organisations. 

Curatorial Programme

CAMPUS Independent Study Programme

Director of Studies Carolina Rito launched CAMPUS in October 2019. CAMPUS is a new city-wide and free-to-attend independent study programme on curatorial studies at Nottingham Contemporary. CAMPUS is a year-long and city-wide independent study programme in curatorial, visual and cultural studies, based on collaborative knowledge production and innovative research practices. CAMPUS is a free-to-attend programme of monthly closed-door gatherings and free public talks. Taking place in different locations in Nottingham (Nottingham Contemporary, Primary, Bonington, Backlit), CAMPUS welcomes participants from different backgrounds who wish to engage in conversations about contemporary debates and further explore interdisciplinary practices. CAMPUS is a space of encounter between researchers, practitioners, activists, scholars, institutions and organisations.

The forum is open to 20 participants, selected via an open call (Jan-Mar 2019). The programme starts in October and runs for 9 months. As part of CAMPUS, participants will devise and deliver a collective curatorial project throughout the year at Nottingham Contemporary, with the support of a guest artist, the guest speakers, and Nottingham Contemporary curators. Alongside the closed seminars and public lectures, guest artist Céline Condorelli supports the participants to deliver the collective project in response to the year-long conversations and reflections.

CAMPUS Faculty:

Gurminder K. Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the Department of International Relations in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.

Tina Campt is Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women at Barnard.

Céline Condorelli is an artist living in London and Lisbon.

Elvira Dyangani Ose is director of The Showroom and lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths.

Anselm Franke is the head of visual arts and film at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW).

Quinsy Gario is a visual and performance artist from the Dutch Caribbean living in the Netherlands.

Nora Sternfeld is an educator and curator. Sternfeld is a documenta Professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and a Professor of Curating and Mediating Art at Aalto University in Helsinki.

Project Outputs

Rito, Carolina, 2020. “Critical Pedagogies: The Learning Collective in the Awakening of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The Contemporary Journal, no. 2 (July). 

Rito, Carolina, ed. 2020. ‘Critical Pedagogies’. The Contemporary Journal, no. 2 (July). (

Carolina Rito is the Executive Editor of The Contemporary Journal. From June 2019 to June 2020, Critical Pedagogies issue investigates contemporary pedagogies and explores questions about how we learn and produce knowledge collectively. Given the current scenario in education, with the implementation of student fees and the disinvestment in cultural education in primary and secondary levels, Critical Pedagogies explores the educational role of cultural organisations and rehearses new forums for critical thinking and practice. The Contemporary Journal is the digital platform of the Public Programmes and Research (PP&R) department at Nottingham Contemporary. 

Rito, Carolina, Nick Axel, Nikolaus Hirsch, Bill Balaskas, and Sofia Lemos, eds. 2020. ‘Architectures of Education’. e-flux Architecture, January.

Conference Papers:

Carolina Rito, ‘Education Otherwise: CAMPUS’. October 2019. In Fresh Eye International Conference. Prague.

Carolina Rito, ‘CAMPUS: A collective learning’. June 2019. In Art Education Conference. University of Loughborough.

Project Events

Conference: Architectures of Education

Nottingham Contemporary

Nov 7-9th 2019


Throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, as pedagogical ideals change, so have their architectural form. The spatial organisation of learning is a field of design that includes the positioning of bodies, the texture and colour of surfaces, the proportionality of objects, programmatic offerings, time scheduling, and beyond. This is not even to touch on learning itself as a subject of design, as the process of crafting of minds and characters. And today, with the encroachment not just of new learning models but new learning technologies, the classroom, but perhaps also the student, of tomorrow may not need to look anything like how it did today.

Participants include: Ramon Amaro, Sarah Amsler, Kehinde Andrews, Aoife Donnelly and Kristin Trommler, Tom Holert, Anna-Maria Meister, Irit Rogoff, ruangrupa (farid rakun), Ho Rui An, Ola Uduku and Mary Vaughan Johnson.


Nottingham Contemporary and Bonington Gallery (NTU)

Oct 2019-Jun 2020

Alongside the programme of closed-door seminars of CAMPUS Independent Study Programme, Carolina Rito has programmed a series of talks by CAMPUS faculty exploring alternative modes of education, decolonial practices, Black studies and anti-fascist movements. CAMPUS Faculty include Gurminder K. Bhambra, Tina Campt, Céline Condorelli, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Anselm Franke, Quinsy Gario and Nora Sternfeld.

CAMPUS Episteme

Jun 13 2019

CAMPUS Episteme is the third in a series of events exploring ideas around education and critical pedagogies. ‘What do we mean by meaning?’ explores ways of sensing that challenge the norms of knowledge production and knowing. Tina Campt (Barnard College-Columbia University) and Ayesha Hameed (Goldsmiths, University of London) look beyond what one usually sees and attune their senses to the other affective frequencies through which images and sound register. Through listening closely to images, Tina Campt engages with lost archives of historically dismissed photographs of black subjects taken throughout the black diaspora. Engaging with discourses of fugitivity, black futurity, and black feminist theory, tools of colonialism are repurposed, hearing and sharing their moments of refusal, rupture, and imagination.

CAMPUS Fugitive - with the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme Graduate Projects 2019, Royal College of Art, London

May 4 2019

This event was the second in a series of events exploring ideas around education and critical pedagogies. Through a series of performative gestures, this event will consider how the fugitive learner navigates institutional space and refuses legibility. Featuring performance, reading, installation, sound and video works, this event asks: how can we be fugitive within formal educational models? How can illegibility generate new and disruptive practices?

This day-long programme includes responses from the artists Rosa Johan Uddoh, Christopher Kirubi, Raju Rage, Holly Pester, Jules Sturm, Dorine van Meel, Department for International Dance Development (DIDD), and a film screening by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman. CAMPUS Fugitive is curated by Pablo Luis Álvarez, Giulia Antonioli, Teal Baskerville, Chloe Carroll, Emily Hale and Laura Luempert as part of the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme Graduate Projects 2019, Royal College of Art, London.

CAMPUS Alternative

March 28 2019

This event explores how progressive and emancipatory architecture, pedagogy and art practice align. Focusing on learning, arts and social spaces that deem themselves alternative—from experimental schools, to community art centres—this event brings together speakers invested in research and practice on such spaces, including Andrea Phillips, BALTIC Professor and Director of the BxNU Research Institute, Xavier Wrona, architect and founder of Est-ce ainsi, and Anna Colin, Director of Open School East and PhD researcher at the University of Nottingham. Taking the diverse attributes and connotations of the term “alternative” as a departure point, this event examines how alternative spaces that position themselves as in-between, non-linear and open-ended, translate these qualities into physical and organisational conditions. CAMPUS Alternative is curated with Anna Colin.


e-flux Architecture, Kingston University, Nottingham Contemporary, Royal College of Art, Midlands Higher Education Culture Forum, Bonington Gallery (NTU), Primary and Backlit.

Image credit: 'Serpent Rain', a film by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman, 'The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase' at Nottingham Contemporary, 2019. Photograph by Samuel Kirby

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