CHRIS FREMANTLE

Policy intervention renews free University movement

Posted in News, Research by chrisfremantle on July 2, 2011

The Copenhagen Free University existed from 2001 to 2007 as a radical pedagogical artistic project.  The aim was to reclaim power and undermine the ‘knowledge economy’.

“We wanted to turn the tide. We took power by using the available means: a mattress became a residency, the bedroom a cinema, the living room a meeting space, the workroom an archive, our flat became a university. Opening our private space turned it into a public institution. The Copenhagen Free University was a real collective phantom, hovering.”

The Copenhagen Free University was abolished for the same reasons it was established: it is as important to abolish power as it is to take it.

Recently, members of the Copenhagen Free University received a letter from the Danish Government,

“In December 2010 we received a formal letter from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation telling us that a new law had passed in the parliament that outlawed the existence of the Copenhagen Free University together with all other self-organised and free universities. The letter stated that they were fully aware of the fact that we do not exist any more, but just to make sure they wished to notify us that “In case the Copenhagen Free University should resume its educational activities it would be included under the prohibition in the university law §33″. In 2010 the university law in Denmark was changed, and the term ‘university’ could only be used by institutions authorised by the state. We were told that this was to protect ‘the students from being disappointed’.”

As a result a statement (available here CFU Statement) has been issued,

“We call for everybody to establish their own free universities in their homes or in the workplace, in the square or in the wilderness. All power to the free universities of the future.”

A number of independent radical projects have reposted the statement as an act of solidarity including,

The University for Strategic Optimism

The Provisional University

Edufactory

University in Crisis

Please repost the statement.

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