Current information about the program can be found on the following website: foundationclass.khb-berlin.de
*foundationClass is a study preparation program at weißensee school of art and design berlin where prospective students can learn about art and design, share their own artistic practice, and build/reconstruct a strong portfolio to apply to German-speaking art and design schools.
All prospective students who have fled to Germany and applied for asylum here and have been affected by racism are eligible to apply. The *foundationClass is aimed at people who wish to take up or continue art or design studies or who have already begun in their country of origin and wish to change their study programme. The most important application requirement is a high level of motivation and the willingness to participate regularly.
The program consists of artistic-creative workshops, theory courses and excursions in the fields of painting, digital media, drawing and printmaking, graphic design, product and textile design as well as plastic-spatial-installative design. Teaching is led by professional artists, designers, scholars and activists who are BIPoC or who themselves and/or whose families have migrated to Germany. Some of the teaching staff of the *foundationClass have been working together successfully for several years, they also teach in other artschool contexts and are experienced teachers:
Salwa Aleryani - visual artist who works primarily with sculpture and installation. Former guest lecturer at the Studium Generale Berlin University of the Arts
Amora C. Bosco - writer, poet, multifaceted artist, performer and activist. Pioneer of ‘Poetry_Lab’ an extensive creative writing mentorship program for BIPOC writers.
Nadira Husain - visual artist with focus on painting and expanded painting, guest professor at the Berlin University of the Arts
Marina Naprushkina - artist, feminist and activist. She is a former guest professor of printmaking (Ludwig-Stiftungsprofessur für Druckgrafik) at weißensee school of art and design berlin
Dr. Rena Onat - art and media scientist, among others part-time women's representative at weißensee school of art and design berlin
Krishan Rajapakshe - visual artist and designer, former guest professor for drawing in the Art + Design Foundations at weißensee school of art and design berlin
Raras Umaratih - painting student, co-teacher and tutor *fC
A *foundationClass year runs for several months (so far June to February). During this time you will receive the status of guest student and have, thanks to the support of the art school infrastructure, access to all facilities (including workshops, library, computer studio, lectures). As a guest student, you are not entitled to BAföG, but the JobCenter should recognize your participation as a preparatory measure for studying and support you. Participation in *foundationClass is free of charge. Unfortunately, as a guest student you cannot collect credit points and are not enrolled at the university. If you participate in the *foundationClass, we can build a strong application portfolio together with you, but we cannot promise you a place in the regular study program at the khb. Currently, only about 10% of all applicants are admitted to an art program in Berlin. Outside of Berlin, the chances of a successful application are significantly higher.
The *foundationClass was initiated in 2016 by Prof. Ulf Aminde with the support of the Department of Art + Design Foundation and since May 2023 has been led by a new team in close collaboration with the above-mentioned faculty:
Pedro Alexander Bravo Lavin - Co-director *foundationClass Working as an author, curator, film director and screenwriter, seeking to combine all of the above with empowerment and political work.
Shira Lewis - Co-director *foundationClass Visual artist with a focus on art education.
Paula Godínez - Student Counselor *foundationClass Media artist and filmmaker who combines her creative work with a commitment to foreign students.
An important founding goal was to create a space within weißensee kunsthochschule berlin that was critical of itself and of social power relation, where dominant views and narratives in art education could be reflected on and questioned. More and more, this claim has also translated into a university-related practice of helping to break down institutional barriers and discrimination in access to art and design education. The *foundationClass team is represented in the relevant university committees and is in close work relationship with the women's representative Rena Onat, the discrimination-sensitive research project +dimensions, and the psychological counselling Marie Uhrig, among others.
Over the past years, the *foundationClass has built a vast network in the areas of inclusion, diversity and power-critical perspectives in art and cultural institutions. We work alongside the projects Diversity Arts Culture, KontextSchule, IPäd, Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit, Moabit Mountain College and many more.
The program finds itself at a new beginning after seven years. The community agreement developed by Yemisi Babatola (former co-director) continues to be followed. The agreement is self-critically transparent and acknowledges where *foundationClass currently finds itself in its practice and work, what hurdles exist, and where its visions and aspirations for the future lie. At the same time, we use the text as a binding agreement between all those who are already part of *foundationClass or would like to become so, in order to strive for a more secure togetherness.
The *foundationClass is a publicly funded project at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and is currently financed by the Berlin Quality and Innovation Offensive of the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the WELCOME and INTEGRA funding programmes of the German Academic Exchange Service. Both DAAD programmes end this year and will not be relaunched, meaning that important funding for the *foundationClass will also be lost.