by Roel Griffioen
This time a year ago, this blog published contributions written by students for the course ‘Arts and Humanities in Times of Corona’, which was designed rather ad hoc as a substitute for the MA internship at a moment that institutions had to close their doors, cultural agendas were wiped clean and the pandemic was still relatively new but already seemed to last forever. The idea was to help students, as a substitute for work experience that cannot actually be replicated or simulated, to orientate themselves in the professional field in which they will operate after their studies. At the same time, the course aimed to assess the aesthetic, social, political and economic impact of the pandemic by collaboratively studying texts and analysing cultural products.
At the time, it was hard to foresee that a year later, life would still be dominated by Covid-19; that academic education would still be (largely) digital and remote; that cultural life had still not fully taken off; that, in fact, culture would still be primarily consumed through screens. It was equally difficult to foresee that due to these circumstances a rerun of this course would be necessary.
In this edition too, we want to use this blog to showcase a number of student contributions. Written blog posts, but also – and this is a first for this platform – videos. Some students chose to reflect on concepts that have been covered in class, such as crisis, mobility, precarity, or commoning. Others have chosen a more practice oriented subject, or selected one particular case study to discuss in detail. Together with last year’s student contributions, that can still be found on this blog, the texts and videos form a valuable cross-section of thinking about art, culture and cultural work in times of pandemic.