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Interrogating Spaces

Author: UAL Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange

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Interrogating Spaces examines ideas around inclusivity and attainment in Higher Education. Each episode will explore democratic and decolonised teaching practices through dialogue with practitioners as well as staff and students from University of the Arts London.
2 Episodes
This episode of interrogating spaces features a conversation between South African Filmmaker Rehad Desai and Sandra Janette Poulson who studies Fashion Print at Central St Martins. They come together after a screening of Rehad’s film ‘Everything Must Fall’ which charts the #feesmustfall movement that took South Africa’s Higher Education institutions by storm in 2015. They discuss the film and its implications for universities and pedagogy from a global perspective.The film screening was programmed by Rahul Patel, Lecturer on MA MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central St Martins and Educational Developer at UAL’s Teaching and Learning exchange.BIOGRAPHIES:Rehad DesaiRehad Desai is a documentary filmmaker and socialist activist who runs Uhuru Productions. In 2018 he released ‘Everything Must Fall’, an unflinching look at the #feesMustFall student movement that burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015. The movement started as a protest over the cost of education, and morphed into the most militant national revolt since the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Janette PoulsonSandra Janette Poulson is a London based researcher, artist, fashion/print designer studying Fashion Print at Central Saint Martins. She was raised in Luanda-Angola and moved to Lisbon in 2013 to study Fashion Design at Faculdade de Arquitectura part of  Universidade Técnica de Lisboa.As a researcher/artist, design operates as a medium to explore and communicate her interests reflecting social/behavioural/political issues and traditional values whilst navigating her experiences from growing up in Luanda as one of her central influences. 
This episode of Interrogating Spaces profiles the latest Decolonising the Arts Curriculum exhibition at Central St Martins library, curated by Rahul Patel (Lecturer on MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central St Martins and Educational Developer at UAL’s Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange).The five featured artists are Maria Bendixen, Dr Jo Shah, Tobi Alexandre Falade, Siyan Zhang and Joanna Mamede who lead us through the ideas at play in each of their artworks and their social and political resonances. They speak openly about their personal experiences and help us gain new perspectives on race, bias, identity, ‘otherness’ and decolonisation.The feature is introduced by Rahul Patel.Biographies:Rahul PatelRahul Patel is an Educational Developer (Attainment) and lecturer on the Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice – Art, Design and Communications programme with University of the Arts London Teaching and Learning Exchange. He also teaches on the MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL). Siyan ZhangSiyan Zhang is a curator who is interested in cultural exchange and identity and has recently completed the MA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central St Martins. Her research interest is focus on the issues in the city regeneration, especially how to use site-specific city-based exhibition to revive the city. She is currently working at the Freud Museum in London.Instagram: @siyanartDr Jo Shah, SFHEAFounder of the Social Performance Network, Dr Shah holds academic positions at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London as Programme Leader of Learning Skills and Course Leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She specialises in visual and social cultures and her work is focused on the links between individual experience and social phenomenon.Joanna MamedeJoanna Mamede is a Brazilian born Visual Artist and Filmmaker based in London. She has currently completed the MRes Art: Moving Image Programme at Central Saint Martins. Her work explores language and discourse, and its aesthetical influence within a global context. Her research interests investigate difference and issues of translation from a critical and post-colonial stand-point. She has created together with the artist Ana Luiza Rodrigues, who also just completed her Masters in Photography at Central Saint Martins, the project Faceinthehole in order to dissociate political discourse from political image.  Instagram: @faceintheholeTobi Alexandra FaladeTobi Alexandra Falade is a London-based artist born in Nigeria and raised in Warri, Uyo, Eket, Port Harcourt, London, Rochdale and Liverpool. She is influenced by these several life narratives and believes that somehow her other self, her ‘shadow self’ continues to live on in Nigeria, whilst she continues life abroad, divorced from her country of origin. She graduated from Fine Art: Painting at Wimbledon College of Arts in 2019.Website: @tobialexandrafaladeMaria BendixenMaria Bendixen is a Brazilian-born London-based ceramic artist. She is influenced by African, Danish and Japanese cultures and became a full time ceramic artist in 2014 after a career in contemporary dance. Maria’s inspiration comes from the process of making ceramics itself and from experimenting with the materiality of clay. Website:
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