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Do not give in to students

TV-tip that takes you on holiday currently rages a debate about how the national Academy in Oslo (Khio) shall relate to the fight against racism, which has f

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Do not give in to students
TV-tip that takes you on holiday

currently rages a debate about how the national Academy in Oslo (Khio) shall relate to the fight against racism, which has flamed up again after the assassination of George Floyd in may. Unfortunately, it is possible to fight for a good cause with dubious means, and in a petition from a percentage of the student population comes a demand for changes in curriculum, staff and offerings at the Khio, which borders the illiberale. The principal Måns and Anders Wrange has chosen, in an email to students and staff, to bend the knee to these requirements. This should worry anyone who is concerned about the quality of art education in Norway.

the Petition sent by six students and since signed by 137 students and others. In the letter, the accusations of the students, the management Khio for not having come with some "helping hand or recognition" of those students who have experienced cases from the united STATES as a "retraumatiserende". Students will among other things have "cultural misappropriasjon" into their teaching, they require that students at departments that only have white professors have to get their own mentors, and that the management "must be committed to the decolonisation of the curriculum" and provide for "mandatory antiracist training" of the employees. In his reply thanking the principal for "constructive ideas and suggestions, most of which (...) is fully feasible".

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It is healthy and good that regularly questioned the curriculum at a major institution, and by what kind of skills the employees have. But the type of measures that are proposed to be open not only to new perspectives, it also seems to would reject certain other people solely based on their background. In that sense, the petition authoritarian.

Art should be free, and be able to explore all parts of the human, also the dark and morally questionable. Artists or art students are not in any way obliged to fight specific political struggles, or to support activism in their own time. The regimes that have demanded that artists be brought up in a particular ideology, are the ones we usually do not like to compare us with.

It is also worth to remind Wrange though it is not unusual that a group of enthusiasts confuse themselves with the people, and that the 137 who signed the petition do not represent the majority of the students. In a post in this week's Morgenbladet responded six Khio students powerful on the proposed measures in the petition.

It is uncertain if Wrange is genuinely agree with the students behind the petition or if he is unwilling to challenge them. Whatever the answer is, he must be confronted with it.

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