The Para-Site school explores education as artistic material and the university as a contested political arena. Taking place at the intersection between education, research, institutional practices and participatory art, and by operating from inside the university in a parasitical way, the Para-Site school appropriates the university’s resources in order to create alternative opportunities for minorities, undocumented migrants and artists facing immigration issues to attend college and access higher education in the U.S and Europe. Meanwhile, the school itself serves as a platform for artists, educators and researchers to investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, participation and social interventions in the public sphere as a form of artistic practice and social action.
The mission is to function as an elastic – and sometimes antagonistic – space for thinking, making and implementing alternative models where artistic practice, research and education engage underrepresented groups. The project seeks to spark political imagination through enactment, action and forms of co-production. Using experimental pedagogies, participation and social interventions in the public sphere, it seeks to fold inside out the intellectual discourse and allow other intelligences and postcolonial realities to take the center stage. Founded by Felipe Castelblanco, the project has so far been activated in Pittsburgh (USA), Columbus (USA), Havana (Cuba), Tehran (Iran), London (UK), Cologne (Germany) and Portland (USA).