‘Where are we when we think?’ Space, time and emancipatory education in galleries

Graham, Janna. 2018. ‘Where are we when we think?’ Space, time and emancipatory education in galleries. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 37(1), pp. 21-39. ISSN 0260-1370 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Adult education in art galleries sits on a fault line, at once an apparatus upholding the affirmative aspects of museum culture cultivated by global elites, a propellant in the whirring of an increasingly dislocated set of events on trendy and consumable political themes, and a site for ‘allyship’ and other kinds of radical and socially transformative work. Resurrecting Hannah Arendt’s question,‘where are we when we think?’ this paper explores how we might move from a moment in which the ‘space’ of the gallery is replaced by the ‘time’ of the event (Helguera) and towards embedded space-times that attempt to address contemporary urgencies through situated practices that collectively analyse and respond to conditions. Drawn from examples derived from the author’s practice, the paper argues for the use of popular education and anti-colonial pedagogies in the production of adult education in galleries, suggesting that such processes support groups in collectively naming and thinking through conflicts to re-shape both the galleries in which they have congregated and the worlds beyond their doors. This paper suggests that the re-construction and use of the often forgotten genealogies of emancipatory education are pivotal to doing social justice work in galleries.

Item Type:


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adult education; allyship; popular education; critical pedagogy; art galleries

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


22 March 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Oct 2018 10:16

Last Modified:

22 Sep 2019 01:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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