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Social and Ecological Activism in the Visual Arts – workgroup


Admission requirements

No admission requirements for this course.


In this workgroup, students will learn how to critically analyse, interpret, and discuss in detail a range of tactics and approaches used in the fields of the visual arts in relation to social protest, critique and activism. They range from digital methods such as hacking and scraping, to visual modes such as critical collage and cartography, and extend to the building of probes and prototypes and co-creative social interventions and organisational structures. Working with specialised practitioners and researchers, students will deconstruct key examples of, and gain their own hands-on experience with, visual techniques that can help to address the global challenges of the 21st century as well as to sharpen and enrich the research process, argumentation, and dissemination of scholarship more generally.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will have gained: · Practical and analytical knowledge of how different materials, tools, and techniques are deployed in the visual arts · Basic skills needed for experimenting with a range of materials, tools, and techniques in order to create a portfolio of work the context of visual arts in activism and protest in the service of social justice · Skills in critical thinking, argumentation, substantiation and clear expression (oral and written).


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:

  • Group discussion of key texts

  • Excursions

  • Self-study

  • Hands-on workshops

Assessment method


The course is assessed through a performative final presentation, portfolio, and a short paper, (final), and active participation in the discussions, excursions, and related learning activities.


50% Participation in class discussion of key texts and preparation for excursions

50% Final presentation, portfolio and paper


To be determined.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Indicative reading list:
Liz McQuiston, Protest!: A history of social and political protest graphics, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2019)
Iris van der Tuin and Nanna Verhoeff, Critical Concepts for the Creative Humanities, (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)
T.J. Demos, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020)
Otto van Busch, Making Trouble: Design and Material Activism, (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2022)
Dirk Vis, Research for People Who Would Rather Create (Eindhoven: Onomatopee, 2021)

Additional texts will be announced at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Rogier Schneemann (


For other courses in the domains of music and fine arts, please visit:

Elective courses music and fine arts