Afield Study 2021 | Apolonija Šušteršič: Ethnographic Encounters and Pedagogies of Unlearning

Dora’s workshop within the strand was titled “No Use to Close the Door, Big South Just Walked In” questioned the responsibility of the art field and of art education, as supposedly visionary arenas for the troubles and anxieties of mankind; and how the lead in these visions is taken – for decades now already – by the “peripheries”, the territories labeled as “far” from the decision centers, the metropolis, the colonial powers.


In this talk Apolonija shares how she questions policies and social engagement through her creative process of implementing urban planning projects to examine alternatives that suggest various futures. Through urban planning projects, and by questioning urban policies and social engagement. She highlights the importance of local partners that know the context well, and usually works in cooperation with people on-site.


As the work is very much related to the context, she produces work in which is not movable from one space to another, rather, is very much related to the space in which it was produced, and to the people who were working with me, and to all the ideas that come from that place.


Apolonija Šušteršič is a visual artist, architect, researcher, writer, and teacher. Her situated research-based practice cross-pollinates different fields of spatial practice and critical theory with projects that activate cooperation between groups of people. She creates processes for engagement and platforms for action where people are able to reconnect with their own senses of agency by working with space and place.


Šušteršič has a PhD in visual art from Malmö Art Academy at Lund University. In addition to teaching, she is at work on various projects including “NJOKOBOK” in Norway and Senegal (in cooperation with Njokobok, 2016–ongoing) “Becoming Local,” Oslo(in cooperation with the neighbors, 2020–ongoing), “Neighbours and Citizens,” Gävle, Sweden (in cooperation with Stora Sätraskolan, Stigslunds skola, and Prolympia, 2015–on-going), “Suggestion for the (Next) Day,” Timișoara, Romania, (as member of the Zephyr, Art Encounters Biennial, 2019), and “Master Plan for Duamdong,” ( with Dari Bae, Gwangju Biennial 2016).