Complete Overview + Course Description:
The IHME Helsinki Commission 2022 entitled, Learning from Doubt, by Indian artist and filmmaker Amar Kanwar, is a ten-week online educational course. The course is based on and emerges from the art installation and exhibition, The Sovereign Forest, by Kanwar. The Sovereign Forest, is an art project that has been ongoing since 2009. It has been evolving, expanding and experimenting with different forms and presentations, and has been made in collaboration with Samadrusti/Sudhir Pattnaik and Sherna Dastur. Samadrusti is a fortnightly Odia political and social news magazine, Sudhir Pattnaik is the editor of Samadrusti and a social activist. Sherna Dastur is a graphic designer and filmmaker based in Delhi.
Experiences gained during the making and exhibiting of The Sovereign Forest and lessons learned from experiments about ecological sustainability with a unique seed bank in the state of Odisha, are integrated into the course. Over the ten weeks, participants will focus on the various elements that make up The Sovereign Forest exhibition—films, books, stories, seeds, images— and approach the concept of ‘evidence of a crime’ from a different perspective. The course aims to develop the ability to use a multi-disciplinary approach to research, integrate community experiences and develop the ability to positively engage with contradictions and doubts. Students will also experiment with the understanding of evidence through ‘a selected scene of crime’ from their own experiences and communities. They will also view previous films by Amar Kanwar.
The course will be taught online through films, readings, podcasts, and live interactive sessions with the artist. Some films will also be shown in a physical location in Helsinki.
The course will have one main assignment. While doing this assignment is not compulsory, it is encouraged. Students will be asked to explore alternative methods of evaluating and comprehending a crime selected by them, particularly in an ecological context.
Once the course begins, new modules will be added to the website each week, on Tuesdays. All previous modules will be available on the website for students to refer back to at any time during the course.
Module 1, February 15th : Elements of Preparation
Selected readings that present ways of thinking. (Approx: 2 hours)
Module 2, March 1st : Films
Viewing few previous works of Amar Kanwar. (Approx: 4 hours)
Module 3, March 15th : The Scene of Crime
Introduction to The Sovereign Forest exhibition and viewing of two films.
Opening up the question: What can be a scene of crime?
Interaction with Amar Kanwar. (Approx: 3 hours)
Module 4, March 22nd and Module 5, March 29th: The Exhibition
A closer look at elements from The Sovereign Forest Exhibition. (Approx: 4 hours)
Module 6, April 5th: Seed Bank
Learning from the Indigenous Seed Bank in Odisha, its idea, philosophy and politics. (Approx: 3 hours)
Module 7, April 12th and Module 8, April 19th : Evidence
Re-imagining evidence. Looking at the process and outcome of ‘evidence collection’ in multiple forms and in possible collaborations with communities.
Participants to collect evidence about a ‘scene of crime selected by them’ and to develop their own understandings and conclusions.
Week 8 includes interaction with Amar Kanwar and Sherna Dastur.
(Approx: 6 hours)
Module 9, April 26th: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Discussing the learnings, experiences and observations in Odisha.
(Approx: 3 hours)
Module 10, May 3rd: Assignment
Discussions between participants and Amar Kanwar about the assignment done during the course.
Links for students to know about Amar Kanwar:
Amar Kanwar: Louder than Words
Amar Kanwar Website
For more information see below.