The Free/Slow University of Warsaw is a nomadic centre of interdisciplinary studies, critical reflection, and independent thinking about art and society. The FUW operates parallel to the official centres of artistic and academic education. Its principle is to combine theory with praxis and culture with its social context. The FUW is an informal research centre, within the framework of which we experiment with various forms of the generation and communication of knowledge.
FREE / SLOW UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
The Free University of Warsaw is a nomadic centre of interdisciplinary studies, critical reflection, and independent thinking about art and society. The FUW operates parallel to the official centres of artistic and academic education. Its principle is to combine theory with praxis and culture with its social context. The FUW is an informal research centre, within the framework of which we experiment with various forms of the generation and communication of knowledge.
CULTURE NOT FOR PROFIT
Non-profit oriented and located outside the official institutions of ‘high-brow culture,’ the independent cultural circuit has shaky foundations and a paradoxical status. We want to help improve the situation of those cultural institutions that base on enthusiasm rather than on the pursuit of profits.
The Free University of Warsaw deals with the tradition of this kind of activities (counterculture, independent artistic traditions), with innovative methods of artistic production (self-organisation, networking), and their functioning in the broader social context (gift economy, free exchange, free culture movement, ‘slow culture’).
The FUW curriculum is rooted in the everyday experience of (in)dependent producers of culture. It is also an attempt to situate them in the broader context of a society whose common experience includes an uncertainness of tomorrow, economisation of all areas of life, individualisation of risk, constant control, and a hypertrophy of professional activity accompanied by an atrophy of free time and free thinking.
The curriculum of the Free University of Warsaw will comprise a series of artistic events inspired by the idea and tradition of education in art and through art: performance pieces, actions in public space, workshops, discussion groups, film screenings, seminars and lectures. Our purpose is also to present and promote theoretical and practical solutions in the field of cultural policy that stimulate the international artistic circuit.
One of the fundamental principles of the Free University of Warsaw project is to promote and distribute knowledge as widely as possible, in a spirit of open education. All the texts, auxiliary materials and work documentations generated in the course of the project will be posted on the FUW website, available under a free licence. Admission to all FUW events is free.
The Free University of Warsaw has been directly inspired by the tradition of the Free International University founded in 1972 by Joseph Beuys and Heinrich Böll. The FUW connects with the idea of ‘social art,’ the Beuysian notion of art as a form of shaping not so much objects as social relationships. Furthermore, the FUW activities are seasoned with a nostalgic note of situationistic poetry, testing the limits of (in)dependence.
NOMADIC FREEDOM / THROUGH SLOWNESS
The Free University of Warsaw has no offices, nor is it located in any particular building. Its site is a network of independent initiatives and public spaces of Warsaw, through which it will move and whose hospitability it will make use of. The FUW will be a local hub of an international network of initiatives geared towards independent reflection and free education.
The motto of the Free University of Warsaw is ‘Freedom through slowness.’ The FUW is a reaction not so much to the pace of cultural production as, above all, to the attempts to impose one through a race of projects and an endless parade of applications.
Szymon Żydek, szymon[at]beczmiana.pl
Bogna Świątkowska, bogna[at]beczmiana.pl
THE CURATOR TEAM 2013-2014:
Michał Kozłowski, Jan Sowa, Kuba Szredere
F/SUW 2011 CONFERENCE'S CURATORIAL TEAM:
Michał Kozłowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Jan Sowa, Krystian Szadkowski, Kuba Szreder
PARTNERZY WUW 2013-2014:
F/SUW 2011 PARTNER:
Wydział Filozofii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Austriackie Forum Kultury w Warszawie
F/SUW 2009 PARTNER:
Fundacja InSitu, Stowarzyszenie Komuna Otwock, Stowarzyszenie Duopolis, Fundacja Res Publica, Stowarzyszenie Artanimacje
Fundacja Bęc Zmiana
Free/Slow University of Warsaw edition 2011 program "Social economy of creativity. In search of economic strategy to promote the circulation of independent culture" co-financed by the Polish National Cultural Centre under the Culture Observatory program
Free/Slow University edition 2011 conference "The labour of the multitude. Political economy of social creativity" was relised in partnership with the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Warsaw and Austrian Culture Forum in Warsaw.
In 2009-2010 the Free/Slow University of Warsaw's activities were co-financed by the grants received from the City of Warsaw