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AASF: La Escuela ParaSitio / The Para-Site School



In anticipation of the Alternative Art School Fair hosted at Pioneer Works November 19-20, fair organizer Catherine Despont interviews multidisciplinary artist Felipe Castelblanco, discussing the alternative education program The ParaSite School. The ParaSite School (Escuela Para-Sitio) was initiated in 2010 by Castelblanco while pursuing his MFA at Carnegie Mellon University. By operating from inside the university in a parasitical way, the ParaSite School appropriates the university’s resources (faculty, classrooms, labs, equipment, researchers, etc) in order to create alternative opportunities for minorities, undocumented migrants and artists facing immigration issues to attend college in the U.S and Europe. Meanwhile, the School itself serves as a platform for artists/educators to investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, participation and social action.

Since 2010, The Para-Site School has held (sometimes in secrecy) bilingual extracurricular classes at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) and at The Ohio State University (Columbus, USA) for young Latino activists, some of whom remain undocumented and advocate for the immigration reform in the USA. The project has also served students in places like Portland, Oregon (USA); Havana and Camagüey (Cuba); and Tehran (Iran). Most recently, the ParaSite School initiated a new residency program in London, with support from the Royal Academy Schools. More info: http://escuelaparasitio.org.

Image: ParaSite School and Borderless TV. With support from CAT Cologne. Re-enactments of migrant stories in public spaces, Cologne 2016. Photo: Felipe Castelblanco.
 

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