Joseph Beuys co-founded the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research (FIU) in Düsseldorf in 1973. The FIU aimed to create a new platform for exchanging ideas among people with different expertise and cultivating creativity to shape a better society and future. Critically referencing Beuys’s original idea of the FIU, our lead associates endeavour to attune the topics of Eurasia, economy, ecology and education for discussions on contemporary urgencies with others across Eurasia.
Dominique Chen is attempting to invent artistic cartography over Eurasia by inviting visual artists, authors, scholars and critics to create mail art in a relay format. For the topic of economy, the Center for Reproductive Labor is revisiting Beuys’s exploration of the structure of economy and critically updating it by focusing on the issues of reproductive labour – how its devaluation is rooted in European colonialism and capitalism – and by creating a popular education platform about reproductive labour in collaboration with fellow activists and migrant workers. Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev from Kyrgyzstan are addressing the theme of ecology by organizing workshops with young artists and students to make an alternative art school in Issyk-Kul that incorporates the idea of “eco-vernacular buildings”, and sharing an online diary of their monthly happenings. For the theme of education, artist, educator and activist Taeyoon Choi and Jung-Yeon Ma, film and new media scholar are organizing an online summer school with participants from Japan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Kazahkstan for learning about each other and unlearning their ideas about education in art. Their discussion will also be shared online as monthly essays.