Studio of Urgency (Aciliyet Mektebi) is an autonomous pedagogic laboratory space. It started with an urgent need to rethink alternative models for the current education system in Turkey. It aims to engage the existing capacity of knowledge between professionals and academic users and turn itself into a collective learning center.
Why and How?
Aciliyet Mektebi started with an urgent need for an alternative, independent and autonomous platform for an experimental pedagogy that is beyond our current experience of education system in Turkey. It is indeed imperative to instert the possibility of such a space and it is definitely needed for the academy to be non-hierarchical and independent at a time like this, when both lecturers and students face unfair circumstances from the boards and administrations of higher education institutions. Aciliyet Mektebi, has been founded to respond to the urgent need for a space that allows for working and learning collectively and collaboratively for users coming from different disciplines yet sharing similar concerns.
Rather than a manifesto, we have a diagram that facilitates and grounds a strategical road map for our reseach. Instead of a fixed manifesto, we take the ‘Diagram for Non-hierarchical Participatory Radical Democracy’ as a constantly growing, changing, practical, as well as theoretical resource.
We don’t think of it as a hierarchical distinction between the two. This is a space without the repression that academics and students face in institutions that they have thought and trained. It provides a participatory space for mutual knowledge exchange. Instead of ‘professionals’ and ‘students’ we prefer the definitions of ‘academic users’ and ‘guest lecturers’. In this sense, it is a collective responsibility and research space that seeks to preserve its autonomy.
Unlike conventional academia, the users of the Aciliyet Mektebi are coming from different academic and artistic backgrounds. Everyone brings their own research abilities to the platform. There is no preset curricula. We decide on presentations, studio visits and events together. There are no exams at the end, we are creating a space of discussion where information and experience flow freely. We are not affiliated with an institution. SALT is kindly hosting us, but not involved in the initiation, programming or funding of the project. The users take initiatives to keep the model working. As mentioned before, the dedication of Aciliyet Mektebi to become a non-hierarchial participatory space marks it different from ‘many’ institutions.
Academic users are focusing on different disciplines such as sociology, architecture, gender and women’s studies, art history, visual arts and comperative literature. Aciliyet Mektebi brought 12 individuals together and created a platform as everyone has experiences in their fields. We help each other in our projects (can be a thesis project or an art project) and it enables to share directly with someone that has different approaches to the subject. It brings ‘different eyes’ together.
Aciliyet Mektebi, while including users from other fields among itself, aims to sustain itself as autonomous space.
Our meetings only open to contributors; us; academic users and guest lecturers. these number is constantly growing. Sometimes we have exceptional meetings that could be open to other guests depends on the topic.