The We Are Here Academy was created from Wij Zijn Here, a movement of undocumented refugees, which formed in October 2012 and is still active today. It was in an abandoned area (without basic rudimentary infrastructure such as housing, health care, or available work), where the initiative for the occupation and self-organisation design of public spaces in Amsterdam started in order to demand these basic rights. In this context, the We Are Here Academy was designed for the possibility of formal education with university-level courses for all without papers. The Academy understands itself not as a charity but as a political project, which addresses refugees as refugees, and as acting and knowing subjects. In the Here We Are Academy, another project developed in cooperation with Campus in Camps, refugees act as instructors in the educational program set in refugee camps in the Middle East
This session will be from a refugee’s perspective on questions like: how do we organize whose education is notoriously disputed, denied? Or, who are those who– as soon as they have papers – forced into education (there is a right not to learn!)? How do they intervene in the public discourse, how do they interfere with the hegemonic production of knowledge?
As refugees in the EU do not have the right to free-movement, representatives of the Academy, Yannis and xxx, cannot travel in person to Vienna. They will hold their session at the Night School via Skype moderated by one of the Academy’s co-initiators, Savannah Kolen.