Creating Spaces. Non-Formal Art/s Education and Vocational Training for Artists in Africa between Cultural Policies and Cultural Funding

by Nicola Lauré al-Samarai (Author) Fouad Asfour (Author) Judith Reker (Author) Rangoato Hlasane (Author) Malose Malahlela (Author)

Scientific Study 2015 304 Pages

Art - Miscellaneous


Table of Contents



Authors’ Note


Chapter 1 Discursive Locating Framing the Field of Art/s Education and Vocational Artistic Training and Professionalization

Chapter 2 Prior to Entry A Critical Attunement to Field Research

Chapter 3 Fragmentary Depictions Shaping the Field of Non-Formal Artistic Education/Training and Professionalization

Chapter 4 Formative Effects Non-Formal Vocational Artistic Training and Professionalization within the Context of Western Cultural Funding

Chapter 5 Bigger than the Tick Box

Art/s Education to Funders in South Africa by Rangoato Hlasane and Malose Malahlela Keleketla! Library

Chapter 6 The Challenges of Interstitiality Reconsidering Cultural and Funding Policies for the Non-Formal Artistic/ Cultural Field


Contact Zones Nairobi


We need institutions whose primary function is to create spaces for the development of capabilities; capabilities in the sense of people’s ability to rely on their own strength and their own resources, intellectual as well as—if possible—financial.

Achille Mbembe


There are so many questions: What kinds of non-formal art/s education programs are on offer in Africa? What exactly is the specific focus of this study, and why is its examination of such great importance to the Goethe-Institut’s work in Africa? Or is this publication just another example of a study created in a “Western” academic analytic workshop whose readership comprises lecturers and students in the field of anthropology and African studies, perhaps even Western European educational theorists? While this may indeed be true, the study is also—indeed primarily—rooted in the need to develop a systematic approach towards deter- mining creative and artistic processes on the African conti- nent and defining existing local structures to support and encourage them.

This interest was motivated above all by the active commit- ment of a number of centers and initiatives involved in the contemporary arts—particularly by their approaches to cul- tural education and vocational training. At the same time, however, we sought to develop a critical examination of our own position as an internationally active funding institution operating within a cultural landscape that is dependent on, or at least influenced by, Western support in many of the countries at issue.

With education forming a key focus for the Goethe-Institut, in addition to organizing further training for teachers of German as a foreign language, the Institut is becoming increasingly active in art/s education. The Goethe-Instituts in Africa have been committed to this issue ever since the Aktion Afrika campaign initiated by the then German for- eign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in 2008 made it pos- sible for us to enter into structural, large-scale, and sustain- able projects—some of them at an intercontinental level—in conjunction with local partners, with the aim of strengthen- ing the cultural sector. Actors in Africa and Europe, accord- ing to a first hypothesis, could join forces to learn a great deal about art/s education. A second hypothesis posited that in many African countries, innovative forms of art/s educa- tion actually tend to be located in the non-formal sector, for a third of the population on the African continent have no access to schooling, much less university education.

The Goethe-Institut has sought groundbreaking approaches situated beyond established Western educational structures, following the twin aims of reflecting upon its own educa- tional work and creating a whole new basis for this work in terms of local contexts. It has endeavored, therefore, to come up with new ideas and techniques that could allow specific projects to be implemented in conjunction with local part- ners. In order to determine the Institut’s current positioning it was crucial to first commission a study that would exam- ine the existing “non-formal” structures in vocational artistic training, offer a critical analysis of any opportunities for tak- ing action, and highlight potential for innovation.

Our actions in this respect, however, are not solely moti- vated by pure altruism. The concept was devised with the clear aim of participating in future developments, and in light of the ever-faster pace of globalization, forming a part of whatever trends are also—indeed, even particularly—rel- evant for Germany, Europe, or the rest of the so-called West- ern world.

This study was not intended to be a “classical” mapping of non-formal vocational training structures in art/s education in Africa, something that would in any case not be possible. Instead, by being based on specific representative case stud- ies, it is intended to tackle the not-so-simple task of setting out the interests, visions, and approaches found within the contexts in which local actors operate. And it is here that the Western-dominated funding landscape plays a signifi- cant role, for, in attempting to achieve its own developmen- tal policy goals, it has exerted considerable influence on various art scenes with its often one-sided focus on the eco- nomic aspects of creative industries and applied arts.

The case studies from four different countries presented in this work are typical of the sheer variety of innovative strat- egies for implementing artistic processes and education/ training. Equally, they show us what is—and what would be—required in order to establish sustainable cooperative programs between Western institutions and local partners. A further key goal of the study was to make existing local knowledge both visible and available—not merely within the framework of international cooperation, but for the formal sector in particular—by cooperating with art academies and, if appropriate, by reforming curricula through the introduc- tion of new formats and methods.

This study was never intended as an all-embracing examina- tion of the above areas. It does, however, shed light on the important field of non-formal art/s education while provid- ing an examination of the concepts that would enable the stabilization and expansion of this sector—in Africa and beyond. The 2012 conference “Condition Report: Symposium on Building Art Institutions in Africa,” held at Raw Material Company in Dakar and sponsored among others by the Goe- the-Institut, analyzed the current state of centers for the visual arts in Africa, and the resulting publication provides an excellent complement to this study.2 We hope that trans- lating these two works into English and French will enable them to reach their target audiences on the African conti- nent and at the same time encourage “Western” funding organizations and partners to critically examine—or allow for the critical examination of—their funding criteria.

This study is just one component of the Goethe-Institut’s focus on culture and development, specifically examining the non-formal sector of art/s education in the sub-Saharan African region. It forms the basis of what we hope will prove to be productive and concerted collaboration with our part- ners in various countries, and it will undoubtedly lead to fresh and innovative methods and practices that will in turn generate new theories.

It is our great fortune that the Institute for Art Education at the Zurich University of the Arts under the direction of Car- men Mörsch pursues similar research interests. Conse- quently, the results of this study will be integrated into the international research project “Another Roadmap for Arts Education and Arts Education Histories Workshop,” which is undertaking a critical examination of UNESCO’s guidelines on art/s education. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank members of the project team who were commissioned by the Goethe-Institut South Africa to pro- duce the study, first and foremost the author Nicola Lauré al-Samarai, in cooperation with Fouad Asfour, Judith Reker, and the guest authors Rangoato Hlasane and Malose Malahl- ela.

Special thanks also goes to all of those individuals and organizations who allowed the research team to investigate their structures, methods, and visions, particularly the staff at Studios Kabako (Kisangani, DR Congo), Netsa Art Village (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), École des Sables (Toubab Dialaw, Senegal), Market Photo Workshop (Johannesburg, South Africa), and Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Dr. Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte and Henrike Grohs


The present study is the result of a research process spanning approximately two years. It owes its existence to the generous support of numerous individuals, organi- zations, and institutions.

We owe the greatest debt of gratitude to the organizations that allowed us to observe their everyday activities during our fieldwork and who generously gave their time for conversa- tions and interviews. Without their cooperation, their expert knowledge, and, of course, their organizational efforts, this project could not have been realized.

Market Photo Workshop (Johannesburg, South Africa) Special thanks to John Fleet- wood, Theresa Collins, Bandile Gumbi, Jacklynne Hobbs, Tebogo Kekana, Claire Rousell, Molemo Moiloa, and Thenjiwe Nkosi, as well as to all the participants of the Advanced couse 2011-12

École des Sables (Toubab Dialaw, Senegal) Special thanks to Germaine Acogny, Helmut Vogt, Patrick Acogny, Karine Milhorat, Didier Delgado, Ndaye Seck, Virginie Sagna, Adama Ndiaye; to Nita Liem and Bart Deuss of Don’t Hit Mama; to Melissa Flerangile and Archie Burnett (visiting artists); to the Ensemble Jant-Bi; and to all the partici pants of the War and Peace audition workshop. Studios Kabako (Kisangani, DR Congo) Special thanks to Faustin Linyekula, Virginie Dupray, Jean Louis Mwandika, Eddy Mbalan- ga Ebuda, Papy Ebotani, and Axel Ali Amboko; to Boyzie Cekwana (visiting artist); and to all the participants of the Regional Workshop.

Netsa Art Village (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) Special thanks to Mihret Keb- ede, Henok Getachew, Solomon Tsegaye, Leikun Nahusenay, Mulugeta Kassa, Tamrat Geza- heghe, Helen Zeru, Daniel Alemayehu, and Tesfahun Kibru.

Much credit is due to Rangoato Hlasane and Malose Malahlela of Keleketla! Library (Jo- hannesburg, South Africa) for their willingness to participate in this study as guest authors, for the open, productive exchange of ideas, and for the inspiring nature of the joint work process. For their support during the preliminary work that was con- like to extend thanks to Konjit Seyoum of Abro Ethiopia (Ethiopia), Igo Lassana Diarra of Balanise (Mali), Malcolm Christian of the Caversham Centre (South Africa), Princesse Marilyn Douala Bell of Doual’art (Cameroon), Hilda Twongyeirwe of Femrite (Uganda), Gaston Kabore of Imagine (Burkina Faso), Zenzele Chulu of Insaka Workshop (Zambia), Carole Karemera of Ishyo Arts Center (Rwanda), Danda Jaroljmek of Kuona Trust (Kenya), Claire Rousell of Market Photo Work- shop (South Africa), Henok Getachew of Netsa Art Village (Ethiopia), Odile Tevie of Nubuke Foundation (Ghana), Krishna Luchoomun of pARTage (Mauritius), Patrick Mudekere- za of Picha ASBL (DR Congo), Virginie Dupray of Studios Kabako (DR Congo), Reginald Bakwena of Thapong Visual Arts Centre (Botswana), and Kate Tarratt Cross of Thupelo Workshops (South Africa).

For sending information and providing contacts, we are grateful to the Goethe-Instituts in South Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Angola, as well as to the Goethe-Zentrum in Madagascar, especially Katha- rina von Ruckteschell-Katte and Henrike Grohs, Folco Naether and Tenagne Tadesse, Uwe Rieken, Christiane Schulte, and Eckehart Olszowski.

Recognition is also due to Khalid Abdullahi, Berhanu Ashagrie, Ntone Edjabe, Jack Gouveia, Khwezi Gule, Bandile Gumbi, Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya, Michel Noureddine Kassa, Donald Kuira Maingi, Senam Okudzeto, and Lye M. Yoka for giving support and advice and for sharing their expertise. The Goethe-Institut Johannes- burg, which commissioned and funded the present study, thoroughly deserves our thanks for its trust and cooperation. We are particularly obliged to Katharina von Ruckteschell- Katte and Henrike Grohs, who made themselves available as interview partners and shared their experiences and thoughts.

Finally, we thank the Institute for Art Education at Zurich University of the Arts, which offered us the best possible support for realizing the study in the form of their internal and external colleagues Anne Gruber, Miriam Landkammer, Nora Landkammer, Magdalena Roß, and Sascha Willenbacher. Our special thanks go to Car- men Mörsch, whose farsighted critiques were invaluable throughout the entire duration of this research project.

Authors’ Note

In the process of researching and writing up this study, the team has made a number of terminological decisions that " " context of these investigations.

To reflect on the experimental and ambiguous element of inter- stitiality within non-formal con- texts, we will allow it to remain visible by means of multilingual, variable usage and by the or- thography chosen for certain terms. For example, the term “art education” is commonly used for the training of artists, while “arts education” refers and the more specificaslly to the normal and non-formal general cultural education of children and adults. Because of the complex overlap between the different ' * " % studied, it would seem appropri- ate to combine these terms by writing “art /s education” throughout the study. To allow the intertwined simultaneity of “art /s education” and the train- ing of artists—where both teachers and students are art- ists—to remain discernible, we have adopted “art/ists’ educa- tion” as our chosen spelling. By analogy, we speak of “art/s education and training,” which aims to show that, while the training activities of the surveyed organizations cannot be separated from art/s education, there are still some '' " two. It follows that unambigu- ously written terms such as “vocational artistic training” ' ' " overall process.

Another terminology decision made for this study is to avoid the regional designation “sub- Saharan Africa.” Although this term tends to be used with a superficially geographical con- notation, it most frequently serves as a synonym for “Black Africa” and therefore triggers a chain of associations that, while less evident linguistically, is nevertheless comparably colo- nial in character. Like other compound terms such as “White Africa” or “Afrique-Occidentale,” sion of an arbitrary division of the continent undertaken in the course of European colonial expansion. “Sub-Saharan Africa” constructs a region whose historical and present-day cultural and social plurality is not expressed in the terminology and is thus oblit- erated. For this reason, we will either use the term “African contexts” or explicitly name the countries to which we refer.

Additionally, we will acknowl- edge the enduring presence of colonialism by means of a con- trapuntal spelling of the term “post-/colonial” using a slash and hyphen in order to stress nonlinear, intersecting tempo- ralities. In this way we hope to disrupt a purely chronological dimension of meaning that conceives colonial conditions as “completed” and, instead, highlight a dynamic processual constellation that is character- ized by an engagement with historical entanglements and the simultaneity of colonial dominance and its multi- present structural conse- quences and realities.


In the first half of 2011, the Institute for Art Education (IAE) at Zurich University of the Arts was approached by the Goethe-Institut South Africa with a commission for a large research project on non-formal vocational artistic training and professionalization in African contexts. The study aimed to provide a detailed overview of non-certified artist training facilities that would serve as a basis for developing fund- ing recommendations.

This commission was of special interest to the IAE. Having previously cooperated with Goethe-Instituts in Latin Amer- ica, it wished to compare and contrast this experience with joint projects conducted in a different geopolitical context. General questions raised by the management of the Goethe- Institut South Africa during initial talks corresponded with issues that had repeatedly come up for discussion at the IAE during international collaborative ventures: namely, what exactly it means in practice when a Western academic re- search institution operates on the basis of equality and the redistribution of symbolic and economic capital within historically determined power relationships in post-/colo- nial contexts. Here, too, funding and research institutions appeared to be grappling with similar contradictions that needed to be put to productive use rather than being ig- nored. The IAE’s existing expertise in combining research into art mediation with post-/colonial theory—acquired in prior projects and publications mainly on the subject of art mediation within the context of the migration society—was another aspect in favor of this collaborative venture, as well as the ability firstly to perform context-specific analyses at the interface between art and education by using differenti- ated and well-founded criteria, and secondly to evaluate art mediation as an autonomous cultural practice.

The first step of the project took the form of a preliminary study. Conducted between August 2011 and February 2012, it served as an outline to provide orientation, frameworks, and an agenda of main points that would enable the development of a coherent research design, while also presenting a well-founded selection of actors operating in the field of non-formal artistic training. From the earliest, ten- tative stages of our conceptual, thematic, and practical engagement with the “field,” we were embarking on an ex- traordinarily complex and dynamic interstitial space with barely definable parameters. A research project about non- formal artistic training and professionalization cannot avoid dealing with the diffuse interfaces between art/culture/ education, and it is thus inevitably forced to grapple with the conflicting priorities of social, cultural, and educational policymaking. This is particularly true of post-/colonial con- texts, where these conflicting priorities are dominated to a significant extent by economic and development policy issues and entrenched in globalized North-South constella- tions. As a result, they must be studied from the perspective of hierarchical dependencies that determine a crucial struc- tural component. Localizing and delineating an interstitial field among these structural conditions therefore presented a challenge for our research at both the theoretical and the practical level.

Firstly, we had to think about approaches and leading ques- tions that would allow “non-formality” and “artistic educa- tion/training” to be appropriately embedded. Since the mul- tiplicity of interdependent external and internal factors precludes any isolated examination of local, regional, and transcontinental developments in the fields of art, culture, and education, framings and points of entry should ensure beneficial selective insights into their specific interactions and the concomitant field-defining effects. Differentiated theoretical approaches and discussions in African contexts served as important epistemological points of departure here, opening up a field of thought that not only offered critical examinations of universalizing concepts of “art,” “culture,” and “education” but also provided historical cont- exts for specific cultural/artistic concepts and practices, as well as important analyses of representational, cultural, and educational policies. Within a hierarchical, globalized dis- course gap, these approaches and discussions are usually so marginalized that they are barely—if at all—perceived as intellectual criticism in the West and are frequently conducted within the African continent. The deliberate engagement with and the equal epistemological inclusion of diverse related approaches, perceptions, and viewpoints into processes of knowledge production thus represent an indispensable prerequisite to accessing the issue.

Secondly, it was necessary to reflect on the practical research aspect. In order to compile the present study, we—as a West- ern research team with a commission from a European insti- tution of cultural funding and exchange—had to think about what it means to be “on the spot” in various African coun- tries. Even though access routes may be temporally and spatially restricted, they do exert a lasting formative influ- ence—for example, in terms of our choice of actors, our selection of key subjects, our direct interactions with inter- viewees, and, of course, our write-up of what is generally referred to as “the findings of the study.” This dominant and, within a Western research context, “classical” mono-direc- tional impetus is aggravated considerably if, as in our pre- liminary work, local experts are not actively involved in the process of concept and content formulation or in the re- search itself, since their exclusion hampers or renders impossible any chance of creating participatory spaces of knowledge and discussion.

The numerous ambivalences with which we were confronted during the preliminary work proved to be “constructively limiting” contradictions; constructive, because they sharp- ened our eye for power relations and constellations, structur- al influences, and the strategic interests of different actors on different levels; yet limiting, because the density, the wealth of interrelationships, and the multifaceted dynamics and cultural practices in the field of non-formal art/s educa- tion/training in African contexts resist the (always reduc- tionist) imposition of “creating order.” Thus the following attempts to “locate interstitiality” are in no way intended to fix the dynamic field of non-formal art/s education/training within a specific referential framework. Rather, in view of the severely marginalized status of this field in African and other contexts, we intend to study several unevenly corre- lating frames of reference and put them into relation in such a way that the “locations” and especially the “dis-locations” of the field within a complex array of structures can be iden- tified and examined. In our view, this is a crucial prerequi- site for the development of forward-looking funding criteria in the region.

The following localizations should be read as a provisional and necessarily incomplete result of a mapping, as an open and augmentable cartography. The first chapter will begin with a “discursive locating” of the field. Given its lack of discursive encoding, this attempt is not limited to the field of non-formal art/ists’ education/training but also deals with the frameworks of the larger field of art/s education. Three delimiters or “waymarkers” have been set in order to exam-ine where and how such a field can be localized in African contexts, which and whose concepts, guidelines, and terminologies underpin it, and which discussions are expli- cable and which are not. By studying national and suprana- tional discourses as reflected in policy papers, official communiqués, and similar documents, and by analyzing dis- courses from the print media (using representative examples of press reports) along with the approaches taken by aca- demics and researchers, it is possible to identify an initial situation that, on the one hand, is marked by grave discur- sive disparities and, on the other, features highly divergent argumentation objectives and levels of knowledge, resulting in concrete and far-reaching real-world effects. Things “known” and, more importantly, not known about art/s edu- cation in general and non-formal art/ists’ education/training in particular (including who knows it on what level) exert a considerable influence on and prove decisive for asking which knowledge is exchanged and negotiated within the context of cultural, educational, and funding policies. This, in turn, has marked consequences in real-life practice, i.e., in the specific working conditions and options open to cultural actors in the field.

This is illustrated in the chapter “Fragmentary Depictions” by the expertise and experiences of the organizations we surveyed: Market Photo Workshop (South Africa; photogra- phy), École des Sables (Senegal; dance), Studios Kabako (DR Congo; dance, performing arts), and Netsa Art Village (Ethio- pia; visual arts). Here, too, three waymarkers were defined: “Funding and Financing,” “Self-Positionings,” and “Teaching and Learning.” The purpose of these is to illuminate the interrelationships between structural conditions that, albeit applying to different countries and artistic genres, are de- termined by similar instabilities and imponderables, and between the respective cultural practices that, in each orga- nization, go far beyond non-formal artists’ training activities and continually—in some cases, for many years—link these activities with cultural education, artistic practice, and civic involvement. As will be shown, non-formal art/s education/ training in the context of the organizations we surveyed takes the form of both complex and specific interstitial mediation models. Although these models are based on the principles of inclusivity and participation, communality, accountability, and commitment, and always aim (with respect to their addressees) to counteract structural con- straints by creating training opportunities, acquiring fund- ing for vocationally oriented artistic education in particu- lar—i.e., for teaching/training—is proving to be remarkably difficult.

This finding is significant, for cultural actors in most Afri- can countries face a situation whereby government support is the exception to the rule and the funding landscape is dominated by Western institutions. In the following chapter, therefore, we will focus firstly on the “formative effects” of Western funding policies that are currently more or less financially “skirting around” the field of non-formal art/s education/training. Secondly, yet related to the previous point, we will use the specific funding needs of the organi- zations mentioned above as examples in order to elaborate on the concrete conceptual and practical issues that Western funding institutions should tackle and come to terms with if they are interested in providing appropriate support for the interstitial long-term process of “non-formal artistic training.”

As the chapter “Bigger than the Tick Box” by guest authors Rangoato Hlasane and Malose Malahlela shows, the funda- mental problems thus identified are limited neither to the field of non-formal artistic training nor to Western funding institutions. Keleketla! Library, founded by the two authors, is an independent, interdisciplinary long-term project—and simultaneously a library and a media arts project—based in the Drill Hall, a historical building complex with an eventful history in the Johannesburg inner-city district of Joubert Park. The project was founded in 2008 to create ways of using art and media strategies as alternative education models and mediation tools in the field of non-formal art/s education and to initiate and provide platforms for joint experimental multimedia projects in the field of artistic work. In the space of only a few years, the organization has succeeded in establishing long-term links between the non-formal and formal education sectors. It pursues an in- clusive, intergenerational approach, integrates so-called “dis- advantaged” communities, provides opportunities for artists to turn professional, and aims to constructively incorporate issues that are considered culturally relevant by official (governmental) institutions, such as the inclusion of cultural heritage. Nevertheless, the organization has difficulty acquir- ing funding for its interdisciplinary work—partly because this work cannot be “categorized” in a manner conducive to funding applications. At the same time, the authors’ experi- ences and reflections clearly reveal that public and private sponsors in South Africa ascribe very little significance (in terms of culture, education, and funding/sponsorship poli- cies) either to the non-formal sector of art /s education or to cultural project formats and practices that represent a pro- nounced interstitial and process-oriented thrust.

The interaction between Western and national public-pri- vate cultural and funding policies continues to contribute towards the formation of structural conditions that make it very difficult for African actors in the field of non-formal artistic education/training and non-formal art/s education to meet the demands and objectives of their work. The final part of this study discusses the challenges faced by Western funding institutions when, like the Goethe-Institut, they are explicitly pursuing the goal of developing specific frame- works for supporting cultural actors and fostering civic involvement. If these frameworks in the field of non-formal artistic education/training and art/s education are to be sustainable in the long term and bear fruit for all partici- pants, it is necessary to collaborate with the actors in think- ing about ways of “opening up” and extensively expanding concepts and contents. In this way, the current segregation of art, education, and training in funding policies can be productively overcome and the “challenge of interstitiality” can be faced.

chapter1 Discursive Locating Framing the Field of Art/s Education and Vocational Artistic Training and Professionalization

Preliminary Remarks

Waymarkers and Orientation Points

Anyone entering the words “art/s education” into a standard Internet search engine will obtain results ranging from the obligatory Wikipedia article and diverse websites associated with networks and projects to extensively themed dossiers, professional academic publications, and interdisciplinary degree programs in Great Britain, North America, and Aus- tralia. Similar results are achieved in German-speaking coun- tries when the respective German search terms are submit- ted. Despite the field’s somewhat marginal position, its dif- ferentiation, manifold discussions, and, last but not least, the existence of critical counter-discourses all help to illustrate its acknowledged significance in Western societies.1

Were we to compare these random results—bearing in mind that their “random” nature might indicate they are actually symptomatic—with those results referring to the African continent, we would notice the following:

— An overweighting of communiqué and survey literature

A deficiency of accessible literature discussing specific contemporary contexts and concepts

A deficiency of accessible literature discussing specific historical contexts and concepts A deficiency of accessible literature that comparatively examines and systematizes historical and contemporary concepts in a local, translocal, and/or transcontinental fashion

A deficiency of accessible literature that comparatively examines and systematizes the cultural, social, and economic aspects of non-formality

A deficiency of accessible literature that addresses non-formal opportunities for the professionalization of artists

“Diagnosing” this deficiency by no means indicates an ab- sence of practices, theories, and methodologies of art/s education in general and the non-formal education/training and professionalization of artists in particular; neither does it show that no efforts have been made to systemize or amend the research requirements. On the contrary, the field’s lack of inscription signifies an initial situation char- acterized by considerable discursive disparities. It also rais- es a number of fundamental questions: Where and how can the field of art/s education in African contexts be localized at all? What are the underlying general conditions? Which external and internal factors lend it structure? With which and whose concepts, guidelines, and terminologies is it navi- gated? Which discussions can be traced and which cannot?

Even the conceptual pairing of “art/s” and “education” (see Authors’ Note, p. 16) indicates that the field represents a com- plex interstice, overlapping and interacting with other fields. In terms of the history of ideas, key concepts such as “education,” “art,” and “culture”—to name just three obvious relational aspects—have never offered any definitional, clear- cut, or even fixed explanatory models. Rather they refer to a set of constantly shifting conditions that are historically and currently highly contested, and within which the field of art/s education is situated. Given the distinct manner in which African and other post-/colonial societies of the Glob- al South are confronted by the economic, political, and cul- tural effects of globalized power imbalances, a locating of this nature must consider many different aspects.

In light of the initial situation, it seems appropriate that we first approach the field of non-formal art/s education by means of critical discursive analysis. Here we have applied Foucault’s definition of the term “discourse,” which refers to enunciative fields that must be read both as dependent upon and embedded within the context of existing power struc- tures.2 Even though this study cannot claim to represent a complete analysis, the examination of various discursive enunciative fields does allow us to identify obvious tenden- cies. These shed light on how promoting particular concepts, ideas, and perspectives influences, determines, and normal- izes social frameworks of perception and ways of speaking, or how certain knowledge in a society is applied, evaluated, categorized, and assigned. Most importantly, however, they mark the multilayered realities that arise from this process3 in which divergent visibilities, strategic interests, as well as substantial debates and disputes among various actors are expressed. These tendencies serve as “waymarkers” that, on the one hand, allow us to determine some of the relation- ships necessary for further examinations and, on the other, enable us to uncover the equally relevant discursive gaps. This should help us to identify reputed or real absences, highlight their implications, and consider areas of research and knowledge in which the multiplicity of theoretical and epistemological contexts as well as experiences and perspec- tives can be adequately represented.

The communiqué and survey literature mentioned in this study refers to an extensive and varied corpus of African positionings that includes official—mainly in the sense of state or supranational—policy papers, cultural policy draft programs, speeches, position papers, and reports. Oftentimes supported by statistics or other empirical investigations, this text corpus is primarily aimed at an institutional audience of officials and functionaries. It reports on the current situa- tion at the national, regional, and continental levels and, building upon these, formulates desirable goals and strategic solutions for the ideal future situation. Due to its descriptive character, this corpus will here be treated as primary litera- ture. With its declarations, political objectives, and recom- mendations for action that are geared towards institutional and procedural structure formation, it does, however, play a key role in creating a general framework for the field. One reason for its pervasiveness, particularly in relation to other available literature on the topic, is the fact that for over a decade now, most efforts to establish a defined field of action for art/s education in African contexts have been traced back to international guidelines.4

Such universally conceived guidelines are intended to help determine how a whole range of problem areas should be organized on a global basis. Ideally, this assumes not only comparable conceptual, empirical, and normative points of entry, but also similar initial conditions concerning the state itself, the material situation, and civil society. However, this parity simply does not exist within what is termed the “world community.” In African contexts, for instance, those UNESCO5 statements, action plans, recommendations, and resolutions particularly relevant to the field of art/s educa- tion are discussed in terms of a hierarchically arranged field of economic cooperation known as “development coopera- tion.” The often re -active tendencies found in the communi- qué and survey literature must therefore be viewed as discursive manifestations of globalized real-world power relations whose economic and global political “gravitational center”6 —including the capacity to define and interpret— lies outside the African continent. Below we shall examine in greater detail the effects of these dominant frameworks of reference at various levels in the field of art/s education.

Art /s Education within the Context of General Education Important parameters and international orientation points for determining the field of art/s education are provided by the UNESCO world conferences held in Lisbon7 in 2006 and Seoul8 in 2010. They constitute the preliminary results of a process initiated and dominated by Western states whose history stretches back to the 1940s.9 Of particular relevance to this study is the resolution adopted by the 1999 UNESCO General Conference to discuss “arts education” at interna- tional preparatory meetings with the aim of implementing the findings at the first World Conference. Attendees in Lis- bon presented the Road Map for Arts Education document, which defined cultural education as a human right that should “enable individuals to follow their own cultural inter- ests, develop artistic and aesthetic perception as well as judgment, and participate in cultural life.”10 However, the motivation behind these guidelines primarily sought to pres- ent arguments in order to locate “arts education” within the framework of regular schooling and to stress the necessity of introducing it to school curricula.11 Furthermore, there is a clear focus in the document on “the fields of the western art forms of theatre, music, dance and the visual arts.”12 Repre sentatives from non-Western countries objected to this restrictive emphasis and demanded the inclusion of other areas of arts education that in the Western world would fall under the category of “handicraft techniques,” as well as greater consideration of non-formal contexts.13

The conference in Seoul addressed three further topics: evaluating both the progress made and the first reports con- cerning the implementation of the Road Map’s recommenda- tions; reinforcing the sociocultural dimension of art/s educa- tion; and creating and expanding the volume of scholarly research. Western assessments of the conference claimed a “change in direction”; the fact that the countries of the Glob- al North had in the meantime agreed to a wider approach to the subject meant that: the struggle between different approaches to arts education did not have to take place again in Seoul and participants [. . .] could concentrate this time on joining forces for better ideas in advocacy for arts education at local, regional, national and international levels.14


2 Koyo Kouoh, ed., Condition Report: Symposium on Building Art Institutions in Africa(ostfildern, 2013)

1 See Chapter 1.

2 See Chapter 5.

3 This includes, for example, projects by Western artists and other creatives financed by cultural exchange funds and other similar initiatives. Such funds are, however, always part of an institutional mission to represent national art and culture on the international stage. On the need to discuss ambivalences of this kind against the background of post-/colonial unequal power relationships and representational politics, see Chapter 1, Waymarker 3: Theory and Research, subsection on Fragmentary Approaches in Non-Formal Art/ists' Education (Reference Point: Post-/Colonial Ambivalences and Representational Politics in International Discourses on Art and Art/ists' Education). See also the reflections of Achille Mbembe, who frames co-acting global trends in relation to the introduction of "Culture and Development" to "Arts, Markets and Development in Our Times" (for full reference, see Chapter 1, note 60).

4 This is expressed both by non-financing or under-financing training and by neglecting and partially discrediting the knowledge and experience of actors working in the field. In this context we should recall the dubious and cynical official argument that the current lack of training/professionaliz-ation among actors is seen "as a major reason for the sector's weaknesses in terms of output and competitiveness." See Chapter 1, Waymarker 1: Communique and Survey Literature, subsection on Art/s Education within the Context of Creative Industries.

5 Gau and Schlieben, "Caught Between Two Stools" (for full reference, see Chapter 3, note 50; text in square brackets added by the author as an extension of Gau and Schlieben's reflections to cover the field of non-formal vocational artistic training).

6 See Chapter 5, Whose Interests? Content and Relevance within the Keleketla! Library Cultural Programming.

7 See the various perspectives expounded in Chapter 3, Waymarker 1: Fundingand Financing, subsection on Inter/national Funding: Ambivalences, Potentials, and Alternatives; the needs analyses in Chapter 4, Requirements Identified by Funded Organizations within the Context of Funding Arts and Education and Vocational Training; and the structural implications for the field of non-formal vocational artistic training in the same chapter, Formative Effects of Western Funding Policies at the Interstices of Non-Formal Vocational Artistic Training and Education and Art.

8 See Chapter 4, Requirements Identified by Funded Organizations within the Context of Funding Arts and Education and Vocational Training, subsection on Reference Point: Project Fundingas Process Funding.

9 See Chapter 4, Requirements Identified by Funded Organizations within the Context of Funding Arts and Education and Vocational Training, subsection on Reference Point: FundingNon-For- mal Vocational Artistic Teaching and Training.

10 See Chapter 4, Requirements Identified by Funded Organizations within the Context of Funding Arts and Education and Vocational Training. These effects should be considered in the light of the experiences described in Chapter 3, Waymarker 1: Funding and Financing, subsection on Financial Frameworks and Funding Options (The Exception: State Funding) as well as the remarks in Chapter 5 in the section headed Flight!

11 See Chapter 3, Waymarker 1: Funding and Financing, subsection on Inter/national Funding: Ambivalences, Potentials, and Alternatives, paying special attention to the funding institutions named by the organizations we surveyed.

12 The aspects named constitute important reference points for the regional work of the Goethe-Institut South Africa.

13 See http://www.goethe.de/ins/za/ joh/uun/reg/str/deindex.htm (accessed September 17, 2013).

14 See Mbembe, "Arts, Markets and Development in Our Times" and also Chapter 1, Waymarker 1: Communique and Survey Literature, subsection on Art/s Education within the Context of "Culture and Development" as an Evolving Field of Action.


ISBN (eBook)
File size
5.7 MB
Catalog Number
creating spaces non-formal art/s education vocational training artists africa cultural policies funding




Title: Creating Spaces. Non-Formal Art/s Education and Vocational Training for Artists in Africa between Cultural Policies and Cultural Funding