ALTERNATIVE MODELS OF UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN EGYPT - SYMPOSIUM AND NETWORKING EVENT
(This event has passed)

Theme:
Format:
Date:
Apr 26, 2014 9:30am–5:00pm
Apr 27, 2014 10:00am–2:00pm
Organized by: Megawra
The Townhouse Gallery
Mada Masr
100 Copies Music Space
Cimatheque
Venue: Townhouse / Rawabet Space for Performing Arts
Address: Nabarawy Street, off Champollion, Downtown
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/270814059763178/271547479689836/


This event takes a critical look at current experiments with alternative models of education in the fields of architecture and urbanism, art, humanities, social sciences and development. It will address the reasons behind the move towards alternative education, interrogate what initiators and participants want to learn – and unlearn – through their involvement in these initiatives and discuss the ramifications of this trend for mainstream university education. The discussion roots itself within the local context of Egypt addressing issues such as the current spiral of academic degeneration of state universities, the effect of global accreditation systems, the neo-liberal business model informing private universities and the role of the universities in the current political upheavals. It uses the model of the anti-universities and free universities of the 1960s and 70s (as discussed in its sister event – the Antiknow) to contextualise this current trend historically. It invites relevant institutions from the MENA region and from Europe to share their experience in alternative education within their specific geographical and cultural setting.

It asks a number of what-if questions; what if the state’s paranoia towards university students peaks to the point where universities are outlawed? What if the educational market-based model is embraced to the point where art and humanities are deemed redundant? What if the neo-liberal trend towards absolving the state of its responsibility for higher education reaches a point where getting an education – or not - is the responsibility of the individual? What if alternative models in their rejection of the tyranny of knowledge and the hierarchy of structured education destructure to the point of oblivion? What if internet-based knowledge renders universities obsolete? What if internet-based knowledge implodes from within through information glut?
Public Panels

1. Visual Arts
10:30 - 12:30 - 26 April
- Moderators: Antonia Alampi (Beirut – Cairo) and Ania Szremski (the Townhouse Gallery)
- Speakers: Jurgen Bey (Sandberg Institute); Anneka Lenssen (Department of the Arts, The American University in Cairo); Saria Sedky, (Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University)
- Respondents: Magdi Mostafa (Faculty of Art Education, Ain Shams University); Farida Makar (Independent researcher & CILAS fellow)

2. Humanities, Social Sciences and Development
12:45 - 14:45 - 26 April
- Moderator: Karim Goessinger and Raju Hittalamani (CILAS )
- Speakers: Jakob Jakobsen (Copenhagen Free University – Denmark) ; Ahmed Zaazaa and Amr Helmy (Alternative Development Lab)
- Respondents: tba

3. Architecture and Urbanism
10:00 - 12:00 - 27 April
Moderator: May al-Ibrashy (The Built Environment Collective | Megawra )
- Speakers: Isshaq Al Barbary (Campus in Camps – Palestine); Kareem Ibrahim (Tadamun); Magda Mostafa (Department of Architecture, The American University in Cairo; International Union of Architects)
- Respondents: Nabeel ElHady (Department of Architecture, Cairo University), Abdel Khalek Ibrahim (Faculty of Urban and Regional Planning, Cairo University); Mohamed Salheen (Integrated Urban Sustainable Design Program, Ain Shams University)

General respondents: Andeel (Cartoonist); Ahmed 
Borham (Mapper)

Closed Sessions
14:00- 17:00 - 27 April & 28 April
This will be followed by two closed networking sessions. The first will take place in the afternoon of the second day and will be limited to the panelists. Panel conclusions and potential future collaborations will be discussed. The second session will take place in Ain Shams University in collaboration with the Ain Shams Neighbourhood Initiative and will include short presentations on some of the panelists’ institutions followed by a discussion about the 
university’s social responsibility

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About Adad
Adad is a program initiated by Townhouse in collaboration with Megawra, Mada Masr, 100Copies and Cimatheque. Starting April 2014, and for a period of six months, the five cultural institutions will jointly curate a week of programing during the last week of every month in Townhouse’s Rawabet theatre.
The contribution of Megawra and the Townhouse to the opening show interrogates the process of production and suppression of knowledge in university education in Egypt. The interrogation follows two paths that at points run in parallel and at others come together to inform and provoke each other. The first is through inviting Danish artist Jakob Jakobsen to organise the Cairo edition of the Antiknow exhibition. The second is through a three day panel and networking event that brings together Egyptian models of alternative education with international counterparts in a critical dialogue that aims to unpack the reasons and ramifications of these practices.