EMILIA-AMALIA SESSION IV: EDUCATION/PEDAGOGY

EMILIA-AMALIA SESSION IV: EDUCATION/PEDAGOGY

September 26, 10:00PM to September 27, 1:00AM

Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), 25 Seaforth Ave, Toronto, ON (in the back yard)
Director Adriana Monti in attendance

The fourth session of EMILIA-AMALIA focuses on examples of feminist pedagogy, both past and present, as modes of transmitting feminist knowledge across generations. Through a film screening and discussion, the session considers the generative function of experimental education and practices of collectivity in allowing feminists to develop survival strategies for the social sphere, as labourers, caretakers, mothers, teachers and students.

At the centre of this session is the 150 Hours Courses, an educational experiment implemented in Italy beginning in 1974, initially available to factory workers and farmers, and expanding to include women a couple of years later. The courses were non-vocational; they were not intended to improve one’s productivity at work, but rather to allow for personal and collective growth. The courses sought to help workers reflect not only upon their working conditions but also on their lives. A large part was devoted to the re-elaboration and reinterpretation of what was defined as the “lived experience” of those attending: their experiences with work, emigration, cultural and language discrimination, union struggles, and more.

Emilia and Amalia, the women who are the namesake of our working group, met as students at one of the 150 Hours Courses. Their friendship, and the role played by narration within it, is a cornerstone of the practice of affidamento, or entrustment, developed by the Milan Women’s Bookshop collective.

Adriana Monti’s film, Scuola Senza Fine (School Without End) (1983), shows how the experiment extended into the lives of women taking the course, most of whom were housewives. The film was produced in collaboration with these students as part of their studies for the class, turning the curriculum's questions about the representation of women into questions about the representation of themselves.

Building on our ongoing discussions about the function of autobiography as a vital space for shaping feminist subjectivities, this session will invite participants to share examples of meaningful or challenging pedagogical experiences from their own lives and to examine how writing and filmmaking might offer important avenues for self-narration.

To participate in this workshop, please RSVP to Leila Timmins at leila@gallery44.org.

text: Adriana Monti’s Scuola Senza Fine (School Without End) (1983), 36 min, to be screened
conversation: Discussion with Adriana Monti about feminist pedagogy, filmmaking and intergenerational knowledge transmission.
writing activity: “More Dust in Our Houses, Less Dust in Our Brains”: following the radical aims of the women’s university at the 150 Hours School, develop a syllabus for a radical feminist education. This can include readings as well as assignments, field trips and guest speakers.

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 EMILIA-AMALIA is an exploratory working group that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices.

Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group will investigate historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism that we have inherited.

EMILIA-AMALIA will critically examine how we fit in with those past iterations, and also, how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions.Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively, each monthly meeting will be structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity.

EMILIA-AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.

EMILIA-AMALIA is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions and is hosted by Gallery 44. Thanks to Helena Reckitt and the Feminist Duration Reading Group (London UK) for sharing Monti’s film with us and to Cinenova, as well as Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue for their partnership in presenting this session.