School of the Damned (SotD) is an arts and educational platform. Re-forming on an annual basis, each cohort has the opportunity to define the agenda and produce work and events individually and collectively. SotD was formed in 2014 as a reaction to the increasing financialisation of Higher Education in the UK. SotD has no tuition fees, is student led and peer supported. We use our collective resources and networks to make the things we want to happen, happen.
The Class of 2019 (23 participants with a wide range of visual/audio/performance practices and professional profiles) commenced in September 2018, and meets monthly for 2-3 days in a different geographic location each time. So far we have met in Liverpool, London, Sheffield, Glasgow and Newcastle. Each location has included local artists and educators in the programme of talks, visits, exhibition/performances and making. Upcoming locations are Plymouth, London and plans for Nottingham, Sussex and Berlin.
One of our ambitions is to actively engage in and facilitate public events that increase the transparency of the pedagogy, values and activities of the School. We want to promote self-awareness and an openness to critique, and to evidence that critical conversations are happening. We are motivated to interrogate practices of the School as an “institution” as well as by our individual practices. We interact with other alternative arts programmes, social enterprises and artist-led organisations to share ideas and practices.
Sharing our creative work with each other, with other artists and the public is high on the agenda. We also have ambitions to make work collaboratively through interactions, and value participation as highly as any outcomes. We recognise that as a group we are not as diverse as the communities we often work in, and value the opportunity to make art practices and artists more accessible so we can break down barriers.