Minutes of the 9th meeting

Present: Paul-Henri Souvenir Assako Assako, Cameroon; Patrique deGraft-Yankson, Ghana; Katharina Hilgert (documenta), Germany; Mary Claire Akinyi Kidenda, Kenya; Avi Sooful, South Africa; Bernadette Van Haute, South Africa; Ernst Wagner, Germany

Activities in the context of documenta fifteen

Ernst explains the state of affairs: EVC can invite small teams (5 – 8 people per country) from EVC to the planned documenta summer school (in Kassel in August 2022) and to a final congress (in Augsburg in October 2022). The prerequisite for this is that these teams will have developed contributions for the summer school already in advance. These contributions should also be concretised in workshops that will take place in the respective countries between January and April 2022 – including partners from Germany.

It is suggested that the partners’ contributions to the summer school should

  1. start from the respective concrete situation (What problems, questions, opportunities do we have on the ground in Nairobi, Pretoria, Winneba, Yaoundé/Douala, Pretoria, Munich, to which we can contribute with a good Art Education?)
  2. show local concepts, approaches, practices of art education on the ground (What have we developed to contribute to the shaping of our respective futures?)
  3. share our experiences to learn from each other.
  4. develop joint activities to increase the mutual understanding and develop new ideas for the respective local practice.

In the discussion of these leading ideas, Paul addresses the issue of capacity building in Cameroon that has to be addressed in order to make a (transformed) art education relevant for the society in Cameroon. He suggests to put the focus on good practice examples to be reflected. This will contribute to the decolonisation of concepts and knowledge.

Avi suggests to specify EVC’s general topic “visual cultures” (that is too broad) in the direction of decolonisation, using terms like re-visioning, re-thinking, re-imagining, re-positioning, re-presenting, re-writing …

Bernadette inquires about the concept of art education. The panel agrees on a broad understanding, including all kind of social interactions that are related to learning, in formal, non-formal and informal contexts.

Patrique reports that in Ghana the revision of school curricula is a current challenge for art educators, as the government has a strong focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), whereas the team in Winneba follows the idea of STEAM (A stands for Arts): the creative arts are important for the development of the child.

Mary-Clare added that the situation in Kenya is similar. Setting “manufacturing” as a key competence means that art has to be included, a fact that is not always seen.

Ernst stresses the importance of overcoming eurocentrism in German art education

Conclusion: “Re-writing education” seems to be a crucial and overarching issue that all partners have a vivid interest in.

In respect to the format of the summer school the panel discusses a combination of internal workshops and public lectures within three days. The last section should be dedicated to “harvesting” the results of the discussions, also to prepare the conference in October. This will help to generate sustainable knowledge. Three additional days before the summer school should be taken to explore documenta and Kassel and to “come together”.

Katharina stresses the importance of connecting EVC’s efforts to already entitled lumbung members and to the “lumbung values” (https://documenta-fifteen.de/en/glossary/). We discussed how our project can be related to the lumbung values (see table below).

EVC’s central topics

lumbung values

Collective memory in art education

local anchoring

Decolonizing art education


Reform of curricula, including the “arts”. From STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to STEAM.

Regeneration (of educational systems)

The methods and the atmosphere of EVC’s work are characterised by lumbung values like …

generosity, humor, transparency, frugality

Our focus on local contexts and practice (that is theorized) is related to the lumbung value …

local anchoring

Katharina also introduces the opportunity to take part in online meetings with members of the ruangrupa team that takes place every Friday.

It was decided that these minutes shall be the starting point to further develop ideas and to clarify the concept.


Any other business

  • Exhibition "Collective Memory”: in progress
  • EVC is invited to edit a special issue of the registered and indexed journal “Image and Text” (University of Pretoria) in 2023, having 12 chapters. EVC is also invited to publish e.g. a review of the book “Visual Cultures of Africa” or of the exhibition “Collective Memory” or the lecture series in earlier issues.
  • Lecture series organized by documenta/University of Hildesheim/Academy of Fine Arts: Katharina sends more information about it. She will get in touch with the speakers individually.
  • Avi will present EVC online at a conference of German art teachers in Munich on Sept 23.