Self-organisation for a co-operative art school

12 June 2020


Venue: LARC [online location]

Organiser: Sophia Kosmaoglou

A workshop on self-organisation and collectivity for a cooperative art school.

What would a cooperative art school look like? What would the benefits of membership be? How would a co-operative art school work? What would the membership responsibilities be? How would we organise ourselves in a non-hierarchical way to address inequalities and include everyone in decision-making?

Alternative models of art education abound, but as Richard Sennet argues in Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation (2012), we don’t have opportunities to practice the necessary skills in self-organisation and cooperation that are required to create and maintain commons-based economies. Alienation and exploitation can only be countered by social, collective and co-operative practices that foster community, equality, inclusivity and mutual aid.

The workshop will begin with a reading seminar on self-organisation and conclude with a workshop on leadership roles for leaderless groups, based on The Empowerment Manual: A guide for collaborative groups (2011), by the writer, teacher and activist Starhawk.

Please book your place. For more information and to download the texts please visit The texts highlight aspects of group dynamics in collectives and groups, providing starting points for the discussion. We will unpack the concept of self-organisation and address a series of questions in the seminar. Please read the texts in advance of the workshop and bring your own questions along.

This workshop is part of A co-operative art school? a research project that explores potential models for a co-operative form of art education. It is an extended call for collaborators who want to address the problems of art education and work together to establish an alternative model to the corporatised, marketised and financialised capitalist university. For more information please visit