Educare al presente (Educating to the Present) is a programme for upper secondary schools in Tuscany offering encounters and activities in the classroom addressing the most important issues of our time through the eyes of contemporary artists.
Looking at the present to imagine the future
School may provide you with the tools you need to describe the world as we know it, but when and how can it offer concrete opportunities for reflecting on what does not yet exist? Can we build moments into school life devoted to analysing the world that we are part of by using different interpretative models useful for forging alternative visions of the future? And what role does art play in all of this?
Educare al presentewas first devised in conjunction with the Regione Toscana in 2011 with the aim of promoting familiarity with contemporary artistic practice in schools and of optimising art’s ability to act as a stimulus for a reflection on the main issues besetting the individual and society today.
From the spread of digital technology and the questioning of Western democratic models to the economic crises of late capitalism and the risks involved in climate change, the pathways trodden in Educating to the Present offer students the chance to read and to interpret contemporary phenomena through the viewpoint of today’s artists.
As the project has evolved over time, it has developed and proposed encounters, workshops and debates led by artists, educators and experts from various different disciplines who share the aim of promoting a multi-perspective vision of the present and of creating the space required for an idea of the future to emerge, starting with the school in its capacity as a physical, social and symbolic space.
Interest in environmental issues
Starting with the 2017/18 edition, the project has focused on the relationship between human society and the environment, and activities have been developed in conjunction with, and with the support of, Publiacqua and the Water Right Foundation. Artist Elena Mazzi and graphic designer and illustrator Nicola Giorgio cooperated in the 2019/20 edition, which ended in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This latest edition can be explored in greater depth through reading The Greatest Challenge, the article in our In Touch blog devoted to the project.
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