How can we work and learn (together) in such a way that the multitude of voices are not only heard, but also actively fostered?
The world is getting more complex and diverse at dazzling speed. Integrating in a diverse society is therefore a question that concerns us all.

The (learning) processes at Western art schools, however, still remain largely based on (among others) avant-gardist and neoliberal principles. Avant-garde means breaking away from former practices. Neoliberalism preaches that ‘success is your own responsibility, and so is failure. Work hard and individually, build your smart network, and you will come out on top in this competitive world.” This results in a society that is individualistic, competitive and lonely, while putting a lot of stress on students. Given the complex diversity of the world and our student population, these two dogmas might also signify a narrow view on their artistic and art-educational development, and on what the arts and art education can look like in the contemporary context.

Which (learning) processes are subject to a dominant perspective and how can we break out of that in an artistic and multi-voiced way? How can we decolonise education and its related aspects such as teaching, assessment, and admission? How can we (co)operate and learn (collectively) so that the multiple voices are not just heard, but actively nourished?

These and other questions are explored in this artistic and practice-oriented design research, in which a group of students and teachers get together to form a peaceful, but disruptive and stimulating artistic ‘guerrilla movement’ This collective develops artistic strategies and interventions for the purpose of decolonising the (learning) processes in the arts education, and get to a multi-voiced working and learning method, to execute them in the various organisational levels of the HKU Fine Art school.

In this way, this research project lets us explore the possibility of a new model for organising an arts academy: a PLURIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, that has procedural decolonisation and multiple voices at the basis. The goal is to get to an arts academy where students feel at home, is more colourful, and where they can study in the best-possible way. Where students are prepared for a rapidly changing and very diverse professional sector, while they can act as the instigators of (social) change within this field.


September 2023 – December 2025

Staff involved:

Els Cornelis.


Senior Fellow Comeniusbeurs NRO