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NYU Art + Ed and Astor Fellows in Germany

Art + Education fellows in Germany stand against a colorful wall.

Inspired by the Race, Education and the Politics of Visual Representation class taught in the Art + Ed Initial Certification program, faculty members Dipti Desai and Jessica Hamlin led a trip for 11 New York City public school teachers from a wide range of schools, subject areas, and grade levels to Berlin and Kassel, Germany this summer. Our thematic focus was: The Power of Stories: Contemporary Art, Identity, and Race. The group spent a jam packed 10 days visiting contemporary art spaces, meeting with radical educators, and experiencing two very different German cities considering how Germany continues to address and memorialize its traumatic past. The group visited the Berlin Biennial - a bi-annual exhibition that focused on decolonial memory and history - and experienced the city-wide installation of Documental 13 - another prominent international art show curated this year by an international artists collective that took over the city of Kassel for the course of the 100 days of the exhibition. 

Using the lens of contemporary visual storytelling the group also explored diverse neighborhoods and school spaces. We talked with artists, school principals and curators, with gallery educators who shared their experiences working between art and education in museums and schools, and with a recent immigrant from Syria who told us about his harrowing journey. In the end, we generated amazing ideas about the potential of art and education as a site of repair and restitution for past harms. We circled back to the work of the educator and the need for community building, creativity and critical questioning. The group produced 4 banners when we returned to New York City to affirm our experiences and commitments going forward as educators:

Two banners created by Art + Ed fellows; on the right a collage of photos is arranged around the central question against a yellow background; on the right, a collage of photos is arranged into the shape of a tree with branches, leaves, a trunk, and roots.

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Learn more about the trip and related resources on the Astor Fellows Padlet board.


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