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Reconstructions

Reconstructions 2024
Reconstructions 2024

Course Syllabus Reconstructions 60 ECTS

“You got to make your own world, you got to write yourself in.”
― Octavia Butler (2000)

Reconstructions seek to reimagine spatial practices “otherwise”––learning from black feminism. The course is experimental, interdisciplinary and practice-based at advanced level, bringing together an intimate group of practitioners and researchers to be in dialogue and engagement with each other alongside invited guests. It is led by Marie-Louise Richards, Lecturer in Architecture, and is part of the Department for Research and Further Education in Architecture and Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

The course is reflective and process oriented. It invites participants to critically challenge their own positions, practices and approaches and is open to applicants who are well-oriented in black studies, gender, trans, queer, feminist, and critical race discourses, and have a documented theoretical or practical background in relation to these topics. Applicants may have a degree in art, black studies, gender studies, performance studies, writing, film, digital media, architecture, urban studies, or other related fields. 

Course Content

What might it mean to imagine spatial practices that center the emotional and affective labor required to refuse the world as we know it? The course asks what kind of reparative world-building practice could emerge if careful attention was paid to the bodily, affective work, and the physical and mental cost that are demanded in undermining colonial scripts. Critically, centering the refusal of the separation of mind and body, and separation from the land and other species––reimagining the reconstructions for black feminist futures seeks to reflect upon what it means to refuse, and not simply resist. Reimagining spatial practice through the lens of emotional and affective labor intends to learn and source from approaches which considers refusal as a generative rubric for understanding everyday practices of struggle, to seriously consider how such practices suggest alternative paths of responding to the challenges of our present. Black feminist refusal not only rejects the world as we know it, but also transforms it. It is the reconstruction of values, narratives, systems, and worlds. Refusal, therefore, is not just the withdrawal from unjust political and economic systems but imagines how such systems can be reconstructed to support pluralities of ecologies and options of living together otherwise. 

Sensing and attuning to social vulnerabilities—their complexities, intersections and unequal distribution—allows for respect, value, and credit to the affective labor and care that is required to reimagine future practices. This involves not only imagining other modes and forms of spatial practice, but also reflectively recovering and foregrounding modes and forms of thinking, being, and doing that have been erased, forgotten, ignored, and devalued. 

The methods that will be employed are relational; embodied and poetic, and will include experimental approaches that centers emotional and affective labor, forms of sharing knowledges and care, both in terms of envisioning future practice as well as future ways of living through a variety of mediums and expressions. These include introducing feminist methodologies and approaches rooted in black radical feminist thought, black study, cyberfeminism, science-fiction, afrofuturism, critical spatial practices––as well as a series of related art, architectural practices and research.

Course Structure

The course is one-year and full-time. The group meets monthly for five-day intensive sessions with lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies, and site visits. In dialogue with guests and collaborators, the sessions aim to facilitate a series of semi-public spaces, settings, programs, and activities that centers and rethinks affect, labor, knowledge and care both in terms of envisioning future practice as well as future ways of living. Between course blocks, participants continue to develop work and research independently informed by previous blocks. 

Credits60 ECTS
LevelAdvanced level
LanguageEnglish
Entry RequirementsDegree of Master of Fine Arts, or a Master’s degree in another relevant field of study, or prior learning (equivalent professional experience)
SelectionLetter of motivation max 1 A4, CV and portfolio of 3 work samples. The letter should clearly state the applicant’s theoretical or practical background in relation to queer, gender, feminist, or critical race discourses and how the theme and topics of the course are relevant to the applicant’s practice. The work samples should be related to the course’s theme. Interviews may be conducted as part of the selection process.
Academic YearAutumn term 240902 – 250119
Spring term  250120 – 250608
Responsible teacherMarie-Louise Richards
Contactmarie-louise.richards@kkh.se, studera.postmaster@kkh.se
Image gallery, scroll sideways to see images.
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WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY, video pilot for Reconstructions. Film by Marie Louise Richards. Photography by Caio Marques De Oliveira.
WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY, video pilot for Reconstructions. Film by Marie Louise Richards. Photography by Caio Marques De Oliveira.
WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY, video pilot for Reconstructions. Film by Marie Louise Richards. Photography by Caio Marques De Oliveira.
WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY, video pilot for Reconstructions. Film by Marie Louise Richards. Photography by Caio Marques De Oliveira.
WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY, video pilot for Reconstructions. Film by Marie Louise Richards. Photography by Caio Marques De Oliveira.
WATER HAS PERFECT MEMORY is the pilot for re:arc institute's initiatives supporting the research and development for the syllabus of Reconstructions, and experimental course and platform at the Royal institute of Art in Stockholm founded and led by Marie-Louise Richards, Lecturer in Architecture. Film and research project by Marie-Louise Richards. Photography, sound and editing by Caio Marques De Oliveira. Supported by re:arc institute.