Sit-in Curriculum #1
Friday 3 September 2021 - Saturday 23 October 2021
Sit-in #1 artist Ruth Ewan has collaborated with Cooper Gallery to devise a sequence of online and in-person gatherings which activated radical forms of collaborative learning and grassroots knowledge creation.
Sit-in Curriculum #1 Autumn term
- 3 September – 23 October 2021
- In-person at Cooper Gallery unless otherwise stated
Foregrounding the revolutionary potential of education and keeping step with the contemporary necessity for collective action, in collaboration with The Ignorant Art School, Sit-in #1 artist Ruth Ewan has devised a sequence of online and in-person gatherings which activated radical forms of collaborative learning and grassroots knowledge creation. Deploying imagination in all its rich emancipatory power and literally unsettling the time and duration of conventional learning, Sit-in Curriculum #1 traverses multiple histories, alternative social structures and popular culture to empower a lucid pedagogy grounded in communities of care and resistance unconstrained by classroom hierarchies.
Wednesday 22 September, 18:00 - 19:30
Exploring the extent, impact and legacy of Dundee’s radicalism, Playwright John McCann will be developing a text through a participatory creative workshop. Drawing on first-hand historical and contemporary material; including speeches, pamphlets and newspaper articles, the session will be an invaluable opportunity to join a writer interrogating their own writing process and sharing their inspirations. The completed piece will be presented in Cooper Gallery later in October.
Wednesday 29 September, 18:00 - 19:30
Artist Ruth Ewan will be in-conversation with artist, educator, and writer Felicity Allen within the exhibition to unpack the research, intentions and ambitions for her new body of work brought together for the Ignorant Art School at Cooper Gallery.
Wednesday 6 October, 18:00 - 20:00 - Online
Empowering our collective voices, activist, singer and, voice coach, Frankie Armstrong will conduct an online voice exploration workshop. Catering for anyone open to discovering how to use voice with power and relaxation, playfulness and awareness, the workshop is designed to free the voice of everyone.
- No prior musical experience is necessary.
Thursday 14 October, 18:00 - 19:30
Building on the ideas in a workshop during sit-in #1, this workshop facilitated by designer Neil McGuire will explore ways of using words, letters and slogans, combined with some basic computer-aided randomisation, to create a collaborative digital protest generator. Participants will also explore hand-drawn lettering and design, looking at the (many) ways letters (and words) carry meaning.
Wednesday 20 October, 13:30-14:30
'Free Radicals?' is a script-in-hand reading of a performance text which explores the extent, impact and legacy of Dundee’s radicalism. The text is based on first-hand historical and contemporary material; speeches, pamphlets, meeting minutes, newspaper articles. The text will be read in the grounds of the Cooper Gallery and exhibition space.
Thursday 21 October, 18:00 - 19:30
To accompany the exhibition, We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted to Be and It’s Not Too Late to Change, Cooper Gallery will host a playwriting scratch night facilitated by SCRIEVE, where writers are invited to respond to the exhibition themes.
- If you are interested in writing a short play for this event or in volunteering to be a reader then please contact SCRIEVE directly by emailing: email@example.com.
Sit-in Curriculum #1 Spring Term
- 25 February – 24 April 2021 (online)
- View video documentation of selected Sit-in classes.
Sit-in Curriculum #1 featured ‘A History Class’ that explores Dundee’s radical political history and the city’s connection to the French Revolution; ‘An Optimism Class’ inspired by Ewan’s A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World; ‘A Play Class’ collaboratively developing an audio drama that takes freedom as unlearning , ‘A Strike Class’ contesting capitalist constructions of time and the potential of education on the picket line, 'A Beauty Class’ exploring beauty as a necessary feminist tool for regenerating society and politics, ‘A Radical Pub Crawl’ taking on the model societies espoused by the ‘Gothenburg pubs’, and ‘A Slogan Class’ for those with a desire for loud and resolutely public polemics.
- Sit-in #1 Launch Event
- Thursday 25 February, 19:30 - 21:00
To launch The Ignorant Art School at Cooper Gallery, artist Ruth Ewan, storyteller Erin Farley and historian Siobhan Tolland will present An A-Z of Dundonian Dissent, offering up playful and sometimes surprising anecdotes from the city’s past, including tales of feminist activists, revolutionary trees and striking school children. This opening event will feature specially selected songs performed by Tayo Aluko, Karan Casey, Tosh Flood and Lorraine Wilson alongside readings from Tam Dean Burn, Sarah Diviney, Poppy Page, Sit-in #1 Associate Occupier Hussein Mitha and playwright John McCann.
- Workshop in association with SCRIEVE
- Wednesday 3 March 18:00 - 19:30
The first of two script writing workshops facilitated by playwright and community theatre director John McCann, informed by An A-Z of Dundonian Dissent co-authored by artist Ruth Ewan, storyteller Erin Farley and historian Siobhan Tolland. The material generated from these workshops will contribute to the development of an audio drama to be shared at a later date.
- Thursday 11 March 18:00 - 19:30
An audio presentation and reading group, facilitated by researcher and Sit-in #1 Associate Occupier Hussein Mitha, exploring a particular conception of proletarian culture and art in the wake of the Russian Revolution, through readings of extracts from Leon Trotsky, Asja Lācis, Walter Benjamin, and ‘Proletkult’ publications.
- Workshop in association with SCRIEVE
- Wednesday 17 March 18:00 - 19:30
The second of two script writing workshops facilitated by playwright and community theatre director John McCann, informed by An A-Z of Dundonian Dissent co-authored by artist Ruth Ewan, storyteller Erin Farley and historian Siobhan Tolland. The material generated from these workshops will contribute to the development of an audio drama to be shared at a later date.
- Thursday 25 March 18:00 - 19:30
An in-conversation event with ex-Timex workers and activists Mary McGregor and Charlie Malone on the 1993 Timex Strike in Dundee, facilitated by artist and activist Stella Rooney, exploring education on the picket line and the capitalist construction of time. Introduced with a film by Rooney, shot at the location of the Camperdown Timex factory, this discursive event will draw on local histories and ongoing activism in Dundee, reimagining the location and hierarchies of traditional educational structures.
- Thursday 1 April 19:30 - 20:30
An event with author and social critic Minna Salami on how beauty could shape the sociopolitical, cultural and economic relationships that we have with each other and with the nonhuman natural world. The session will explore beauty as a necessary feminist tool for regenerating society and politics. It will cover topics such as knowledge, activism, decolonisation, and leadership. The question, “what would change if we seriously thought about how to beautify the crises of society?” will be at centre of the event.
- Thursday 8 April 18:00 - 19:30
A variety of artists perform a selection of songs addressing ideas of social transformation from Ruth Ewan’s ongoing project A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World. The event is a fundraiser for Optimistic Sound, a charity established by the family of Michael Marra, Scottish singer-songwriter and musician from Dundee, supporting the Sistema Scotland Music Programme in Dundee set up to transform the lives of young people and families through music.
- Thursday 15 April 18:00 - 19:30
Investigating the history of protest posters, this workshop facilitated by designer Neil McGuire will explore ways of using expressive lettering and political slogans to promote a cause, defend a right, or stake a claim. Through the process of honing and refining three-word slogans, a toolkit of protest materials will be created together. Following the workshop, at a later date the posters will be placed in public space, documented and shared in context.
- Thursday 22 April 19:30 - 21:00
Line up your drinks and come on a virtual pub crawl through time and space. Exploring the radical past and potential of the public house, artist Ruth Ewan will take you to ‘The Goths’ of Scotland’s east coast with writer Henry Bell, followed by Sylvia Pankhurst’s ‘The Mothers’ Arms’ in east London. The pub crawl will finish up at Dundee’s Tay Bridge Bar where we will meet Frida Kahlo and take part in a pub quiz with prizes hosted by artist Yara El-Sherbini and co-host Hussein Mitha.
Ruth Ewan is an internationally celebrated artist whose research-led and critically engaged practice has drawn attention within contemporary art and socio-political history. Engaging with the circulation of radical ideas and social movements, her work explores the processes by which ideas take form and spread from individuals to society.
Ewan’s work is recognised internationally and she has shown extensively at major venues including; Edinburgh Art Festival (2018 & 2020); Pitzhanger Gallery (2020); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2019); CAPC, Bordeux (2019); Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris (2019); Victoria and Albert Museum (2018); 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016); Camden Arts Centre, London (2015); Tate Britain (2009 & 2014); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Glasgow International (2012); Dundee Contemporary Arts and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (2011); The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2010); the New Museum, New York (2009). She has realised projects for The High Line, New York (2019); Glasgow Women’s Library (2018); Create, London (2012); Art on the Underground (2011); Frieze Projects (2009) and Artangel (2007&2013). In 2016 she was awarded the Arts Foundation Yoma Sasburg Award for Art in Urban Space. ruthewan.com