Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

Critical Images

( 30 ECTS Credits )

The Unknown Soldier, Abounaddara, 2012

The Syrian who wanted the Revolution, Abounaddara, 2016.







The one-year post master course Critical Images invites you to engage in a universal reflection on the right to the image and ethics of representation.

The course builds on the anonymous Syrian film collective Abounaddara’s framework to experiment with the production of dignified images and to develop a critical, ethical discourse on the right to the image.

The course fosters an international and interdisciplinary approach and builds on several institutional collaborations. It is led by artist Katarina Nitsch and will be additionally taught by national and international guest lecturers; artists, filmmakers, researchers, writers, activists, human rights lawyers, philosophers and political thinkers; Nathalie Delbard, professor of Visual Arts, University of Lille, Charif Kiwan, member of Abounaddara, Sylvie Lindeperg, professor of History, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Hani Sayed, professor of International Law, the American University in Cairo, Dork Zabunyan, professor of Film Studies, Paris 8, and others.

 The course is intended for those with a background in art, filmmaking, photography, visual media, human rights law, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy, activism and journalism who wish to advance and expand their critical, artistic and research skills, in order to contribute to a rethinking of the representations of injustices in the world. The students will work with practical assignments – image-making, sound, close reading, and writing – to develop an original work that reflects the points set out in the course, which will be presented at the end of the academic year.

Critical Images aims at equipping participants with intellectual and analytical tools to question and make visible the different practices of power and ‘aesthetic regimes’ that frame and condition the social practices for producing, disseminating and seeing images of war and rebellion. It also aims at taking seriously the task of collective experimentation in view of inventing new modes for producing, disseminating and experiencing images about the injustices of the world from the axiom that the dignity of the human persons must be respected. Students in the seminar will engage in a wide variety of theoretical, historical, philosophical and juridical reflections on the ethics of the image, and in the right to the dignified image as articulated explicitly or implicitly in the works of artists and by philosophers in the critical tradition.

Year plan
Critical Images is structured around approximately 3–4 days of lectures, seminars and workshops per month. Each occasion will introduce new perspectives to the discourse. The course comprises 30 ECTS. The academic year ends with a joint presentation wherein the students will present their work developed throughout the course.

Course syllabus Critical Images 2018 2019

Admission requirements
Admission requirements for the course is a Master of Fine Art or a Master in another relevant field or the equivalent knowledge. Documented work samples demonstrating a clear relation to the thematic of the course are required. The course particularly welcomes artists who struggle in their art with issues of ethics and politics of representation.

To pass the course, active participation in the lectures and seminars is required (minimum 70%), and to fulfill the workshop assignments, and to present a final project that altogether meets the expected learning outcomes.

Application should consist of a motivation letter, a portfolio with 5 work samples, CV, master diploma and a pass-photo.

Apply via this link:
Deadline for application: May, 7 at 13.00

Questions regarding content and structure:
Katarina Nitsch, Artist and Senior Lecturer,

Questions regarding formalities:
Helen Okou, Study Administrator,

Finance, Fees and Accommodation
Admission and tuition fees apply for students from countries outside the EU/EEA.
The tuition fee at the Royal Institute of Art is 313 000 SEK per academic year and the admission fee is 900 SEK. There is a scholarship available to cover the tuition fee. The scholarship is awarded to one student and the application is made through the digital application for the programme. International students who have been accepted to a study programme in Sweden must show financial means of support during study time to the immigration authorities in order to obtain a study visa.
Info about fees 2017-18.

Finding accommodation in Stockholm can be a challenge. For this reason, Kungl. Konsthögskolan – The Royal Institute of Art has partnered with Housing Anywhere to make sure you can book your room with priority and in complete safety. Only if you successfully find a room, a small booking fee will be charged. You can also use Housing Anywhere to offer your room to an incoming student during your time abroad. In this way, you avoid paying double rent and can move back into your place upon your return.

Signing up with the link below, you will receive priority access to all rooms available:–Sweden/the-royal-institute-of-art/sign-up

Keep in mind: The housing market in Stockholm is very seasonal. So if you don’t find a room listed right away check back regularly. Do you need more information or have a specific question? Send an email to and be treated with priority!