Seun Kuti and Egypt 80
5-6 October, 2008
Cargo, Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London
Seun Kuti is Fela Anikulapo Kuti's youngest son. Seun's father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was Nigeria's most beloved popular musician and most acerbic social critic until his death in 1997.Seun started learning to play saxophone and piano when he was eight, and not a year later he was already performing in front of live audiences. He began his career as support band for his father's band, Egypt 80. It is with this same band that he now performs; meaning that Seun is just about the youngest in the band; all of whom have performed with the legendary Fela Kuti on stage.
Seun Kuti songs, are filled with the corruption, ignorance, malady, sadness, pollution and the many other ills that ravage contemporary Africa, but none the less are absolute musical treasures, flamboyant, jubilatory songs that make you want to get up and dance. With the same energetic and booming voice as Fela, Seun has added his own raging rhythm clearly influenced by rap. He cites Chuck D, Dr Dre and Eminem among his musical heroes. Seun has been playing with Fela’s Egypt 80 for the last 20 years, making them more than just an orchestra, they are a musical family who have the absolutely terrifying precision of the rhythmic reflexes down to the thousandth of a second that makes their ultra-syncopated polyphony the perfect ‘swing/funk’ model. Seun Kuti is a great live performer with charisma and energy radiating from every pore.
Having packed out The Barbican Seun Kuti will now perform in a more intimate setting, where you can move your feet to the sounds of the true heir to Fela Kuti's throne. For more information:www.myspace.com/seunkutiwww.cargo-london.com/event/seun-kuti-felas-egypt-80-0
Public Debate: What is The Future of Art Education?
Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS
Monday 6 October 2008, 6.30-8.30pm
A debate about the future of art education is raging on the pages of Art Monthly. In October readers will have the opportunity to come along and put their questions to our panel of educational professionals. The panel will debate the future of art education – is further privatisation, corporatisation and instrumentalism inevitable or are there alternatives? Each of the panellists will answer the question What is The Future of Art Education? Before opening up the debate to the floor.
Pavel Büchler, artist and lecturer and Manchester Metropolitan University
Phyllida Barlow, artist and former lecturer at Slade
Michael Corris, writer and Professor of Fine Art, Art & Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
Vaughan Grylls, artist and Director of Kent Institute of Art and Design, 1996-2005
Chaired by Patricia Bickers, Editor of Art MonthlyRead all the articles from this debate at www.artmonthly.co.uk
1968 and all that
Will the 40th anniversary of the 1968 protests inspire today's students to demand radical improvements in art education?
Students at the London College of Communication have had enough and have officially registered their dissatisfaction by demanding the return of their fees in protest at staff shortages and the lack of organisation. Staff, for their part, are over-burdened by bureaucracy, rising student numbers, low pay and low self-esteem. Vice chancellors, meanwhile, are focused on corporate-style branding and the commissioning of gleaming new buildings. The legacies of St Martins School of Art in the 60s, or Goldsmiths in the 80s, should serve as reminders that it is not buildings that make for a dynamic teaching environment but people.Extract from editorial April 2008
The sad truth about art education today is that New Labour has finished what Thatcher started
Ironically, Thatcher's plans for factory-style education were only to be truly achieved under New Labour. It was the setting up of the dreaded inquisition, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), by the first New Labour government in 1998, barely one year after the election, which made the institutionalisation of what Stephen Lee in his letter aptly describes as 'educational Taylorism' possible. The QAA, and its spawn, the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA), became the means by which the product, broken down into bite-sized pieces as a result of the imposition of American-style modularisation, could be tested. Since the government had already begun to refer to the arts as the 'creative industries', a term first coined when Labour was still in opposition, this must have seemed like a perfect fit between the so-called 'aims' and 'outcomes' of an art education.Extract from editorial May 2008
Can't Get No Satisfaction
Anyone considering studying fine art (at undergraduate level) in England and Wales should google the National Student Satisfaction Survey, particularly the Results By Institution. Six of the bottom ten are or were art schools. Bottom of the survey, that is to say the 'least satisfactory', is the University of the Arts London. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has studied or taught there recently.Extract from letter by Graham Crowley published in April 2008
I can appreciate the current state of educational Taylorism and the overbearing, corporate-style management that Graham Crowley describes. The corporate model is a powerful one. It tends to be one-dimensional and seamless, where accountability and success can be clearly measured. To understand the impact of the corporatisation of art schools it's important, I think, to examine the language or jargon used to organise and disseminate learning, then look at the extent to which fine art students adopt this language. Fine art graduates talk of promotion and marketing, or finding a niche market for their work. If a critic writes about a graduate student's work, the artist may not necessarily see this as participation in an independent critical arena. On the contrary it's likely they may see it as an opportunity to gain an additional promotional tool with which to market their work. My point is that the corporate model is pervasive in our wider culture industryExtract from letter by Stephen Lee published in May 2008
Estelle Morris posed three questions for debate. 'Will the structure in the paper - with all its committees - actually damage creativity? Will the accountability mechanisms jeopardise risk-taking? And, will mainstreaming discourage some people from wanting to work in the creative sector in the first place?' Extract from report on the government's new strategy document Creative Britain: New Talents for a New Economy published July-August 2008
This event is free but booking recommendedTo book call 0121 248 0708