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17 School of Missing Men;

At art academies throughout the Netherlands, more than 70% of students are women. How is it then that the art world continues to be dominated by men? The School of Missing Men took the underrepresentation of women in the art world as a starting point for a further discussion, widening its scope to include race and class, allowing intersecting positions to enter a collective conversation on systemic inequalities. The following conversation underlined the idea that change, whether inside or outside the academy, is claimed by collectives that organise together, take effort to listen and to offer ideas that resonate with a wide variety of people.

Led by Bachelor students from Base for Experiment and Artistic Research (BEAR), School of Missing Men organises workshops, lectures, screenings, and reading groups across the curriculum to unsettle certain societal hierarchies that also exist within the academy, but most certainly outside of it. Together with partners such as Museum Arnhem, Studium Generale ArtEZ, and WALTER books, School of Missing Men works to assemble, share, and generate knowledge and tools for empowerment and critical thinking. Students are motivated to position their art practice within broader societal frameworks and work towards change within their own environment and in collaboration with their peers.

As such, School of Missing Men recognises the value of a critical and engaged student body, to hold the academy accountable and steer towards self-reflexivity within art and art education. Only then might we be able to find solutions to the underlying, structural mechanisms of exclusion.

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