Call for Applications: The Imaginary School Program

Beirut, Cairo, Egypt
30 Aug 2014

Call for Applications: The Imaginary School Program

Cartoon by Andeel

Wanting to start your own institution but not sure how? Working in one but with little time to reflect on what you’re doing and how? Looking for ways to actively resist the crisis of social and political imagination? Apply to the Imaginary School Program in Cairo.

Deadline is 30 August, 2014. 



The Imaginary School Program is an eight-month cross-disciplinary practice-based theory program designed for twelve participants, which is comprised of a series of workshops, lectures, fieldtrips, reading groups, and other hybrid activities. The curriculum focuses on institutions and forms of organizing (including collectives, non-movements, informal groups, etc.), with an emphasis on the landscape that Cairo offers.  The program intends to create a space for reflection and critical thinking on radical institution-building and examine how we understand institutions and their political potential. It will analyze and discuss the legal and economical frameworks in which institutions exist, looking into matters of legality and legitimacy, economy and ownership, infrastructure and language, both pragmatically and philosophically.  In this way, ISP will function as a kind of institutional clinic by closely scrutinizing a select number of existing organizations, placing emphasis on different ways of learning, organizing and sharing knowledge.



The ISP wants to incite political imagination that resists the reproducibility of institutional work, and reflect and encourage novel forms of political socialization and self-organization. It wants to pursue a critical reflection embedded in the reality we are experiencing here and now. It wants to imagine a future collectively, politically, ethically, responsibly and pragmatically. It wants to achieve propositions for alternative institutions that can finally exceed the status quo.



The program’s approach will merge the theoretical, the pragmatic and the experiential.  It will be articulated via three key areas of emphasis, curated by different individuals or organizations, including Amr Abdelrhaman (The Political Theorist), Jasmina Metwaly (The Artist and Activist) and Beirut (The Institution). By the end of the program participants will collectively conceive and implement a final project of any nature.



The program lasts for eight months, split up into two trimesters, with the last two months dedicated to the final project. It will be part-time and have a flexible schedule, with mandatory activities as well as optional ones. Activities will be held on an irregular basis, with each month having 9 full days of mandatory participation.



The program is designed for young adults, ranging from recent graduates to practitioners in existing organizations to freelancers. It is for individuals with an interest in learning more about the incredibly rich landscape of independent organizations, who want to critically reflect on notions of socialization, citizenship, infrastructure building and institutionalism in the fields of art and culture, history, journalism, literature, law, political sciences, design, architecture, sociology, education, among others. The program has been created with Cairo-based candidates in mind. There are no educational or age restrictions, but we are looking for individuals with a sincere interest and commitment to the program and what it offers. Command of Arabic is required, and a basic level of English.



Interested candidates should send a CV, a letter of motivation and an imaginary project proposal (a festival? a film? a song?) of up to 500 words or other creative forms to school @beirutbeirut.org, with the subject line Imaginary School Program. Applications may be submitted in Arabic or English and should arrive no later than the 30 th of  August, 2014. A preliminary selection of 20 candidates will be chosen on the premise of the submitted material. The final selection will be decided upon following an interview, to be held on the 14th or 15th of September, 2014.

Please note that the submitted project proposal is intended for the sole purpose of the application process.

For more information please click here.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to write at school@beirutbeirut.org, subject line: questions on ISP.

The Imaginary School Program is made possible with the generous support of Arts Collaboratory.





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