1rst Symposium of Art.School.Differences, 4 octobre 2014, HEM de Genève
© Maëlle Cornut


September 2013 to September 2015

Project managers: Philippe Saner, Pauline Vesserly and Sophie Vögele

Research team: Tina Bopp, Dora Borer, Maëlle Cornut, Philippe Saner, Catrin Seefranz, Pauline Vessely (HEAD), Sophie Vögele (ZHdK)
Research Field: Theoretical design art (Art & Design Studies)
Duration (start-end): 2013 -2015
Partners: University of Art and Design in Geneva (HEAD-Geneva), Geneva High School of Music (HEM), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Institue of Art Education (IAE).
Funding: SEFRI, HES-SO
Outcomes: analyze self-reflexive way the field of high art schools and their operating rules, in terms of openness and exclusion. The project should, inter alia to develop concrete proposals for democratization and social diversity of the high schools.
Planned recovery:
5 Symposia:
- "Researching and Normativities Inequalities in the Field of Higher Art Education: Art.School.Differences et d'autres exemples", Geneva, Oct. 2014
- "Sociologies des Arts et de l’Education ", International Symposium with first meeting of the Scientific Council of International Art.School.Differences, Zurich, 28 and 29 Nov. 2014
- "De-Privilégier les écoles d’Arts", Geneva, 27 and 28 February 2015
- "Internationalité. Diversité. Exclusion globale et Migration ", Zurich, 24 and 25 April. 2015
- "Recherche Participative", June 2015, Geneva
A good practice guide will also be written and several publications.
Keywords: Inclusion / Exclusion, High Art Schools, Social Equality, Equal Opportunities, Artistic Education

In international research, high schools of art have been described as a sector that remains "the preserve of the privileged" (Malik Okon, 2005) and thus tends to reproduce social inequalities. Various studies show "how art studies continues to be seen primarily as a privilege reserved for members of the educated and affluent strata originate in European Union" (Holert, 2010). The preliminary study Making Differences: Schweizer Kunsthochschulen [Making Differences: high art schools in Switzerland], conducted by the Institute for Art Education, has sought to analyze and verify the relevance of these theories for Switzerland through quantitative and qualitative surveys in three high schools of art (in Bern, Geneva and Zurich). The study enabled a complex and nuanced picture of integration and exclusion in the higher education sector specifically, far from being content to teach the "l’art à une élite" (Burke / McManus, 2009), undoubtedly creates and reproduces significant asymmetries and exclusions.

Art.School.Differences is a transdisciplinary research project based on these findings and conducted jointly by three Swiss art schools, the University of Art and Design, Geneva (HEAD), Geneva High School of Music ( HEM) and the University of the Arts Zurich (ZHdK). Its aim is to explore in depth the different situations of inequality in the high schools of art (by combining the methods of the social sciences and cultural sciences), understand and develop them. To do this, account is taken of both the transformation of the institution that is the high art school in European higher education as the effects of globalization and migration to integration and exclusion.

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