Damni Kain and Meenakshi Thirukode join us as part of #Almanaccare in a conversation which questions the currently available pedagogical spaces and their possibilities of teaching and fostering praxes of critique to openly oppressive apparatuses.
I invited Meenakshi Thirukode to share her experiences with School of Instituting Otherwise — an experimental pedagogical space of unlearning in the context of contemporary art — and, in turn, she invited Damni Kain to open up the scale of the discussion through her experiences in anti-caste activism within the context of Indian universities.
The conversation instigates a reflection on what education is and who it is for, what its material conditions and problematics are and, ultimately, what it denies, with the aim of imagining antagonistic and nomadic alternatives to it.
You can watch the conversation between Damni Kain and Meenakshi Thirukode here.
Damni Kain is an anti-caste and pro-democracy activist. Her academic research interests include democratic processes, gender, caste, political economy and education. She is Politics Editor at Decenter Magazine, and she has contributed to other publications doing research and writing on contemporary socio-political issues. Besides academia and research, she is engaged in student politics. In 2019, she contested for the post of President at Delhi University Student Union Elections, which is the largest student elections of India.
Meenakshi Thirukode is a writer, educator and feminist killjoy. She lives in New Delhi with her cats Ginger and Sundari and is working towards creating a way to be together otherwise, using anti-capitalist strategies via ‘School of Instituting Otherwise’ – a space of unlearning built on the ideas of ‘study’ (via Fred Moten and Stefano Harney) as a radical tool of political agency and collective consciousness. She works closely with her friend Arnika Ahldag, on ‘Pact of Silence – How to break it?’ – a project they initiated in 2018, in the post #metoo landscape in India, that seeks to build more equitable spaces and imagine that another kind of art system is possible. She identifies as femme and queer and goes by the pronouns, she/her.
The project is supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.