Alternative Curriculum (2017)

The curriculum is established with the introduction of a voting ballot listing 10 a-typical lesson options: cross-dressing introduced by a drag-queen / king, nautical knot tying, starting fires without matches, negotiation, self-defence & community defence, making a public speech, devising internet memes, conversations with young refugees, making protest banners and urban foraging. Students are invited to nominate their preferred lessons from 1 to 10.

Relevant practitioners are subsequently sought to run the four most popular ‘lessons’.

In this first iteration of the project, the longlist of lesson options was drawn from current They Are Here research / autobiographical interests, personal alliances and activities that function as a counterpoint to current state education in urban environments.

The location of the sessions - primarily away from school grounds or outdoors is integral to Alternative Curriculum - recognising the impact of one’s immediate environment on how knowledge is shared and absorbed.

Central to the process is the cultivation amongst the pupils of a heightened self-reflexivity around schooling itself, the politics of documentation and arguments for the value of art in the education system. The ballot and representation of voting data has been designed with Rose Nordin of OOMK. The photographs have been taken collectively by the students themselves.

Alternative Curriculum has been curated and commissioned by UP Projects. It was launched with St. Paul’s Way Trust School, London.