NOT SCHOOL is a DIY school where everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.

A small group of invited participants propose and deliver an activity based around their own research interests, everyone in attendance participates. In exchange for others taking part in your activity you then take part in everyone else’s. NOT SCHOOL is a way to develop and test early stage ideas, to share energy, knowledge, resources, ideas and access to space with each other. Lunch is shared and a collectively compiled Reader is produced.

NOT SCHOOL ONE took place over two days in July 2019 and was held at UWE’s Arnolfini studios. Teachers and learners were; Eleanor Duffin, Jo Lathwood, Gregg Mcdonald, Julie McCalden, Ben Thomas, Harriet Bowman, Rachael Clerke, Jessy Young and Jen Conway.

We drew chairs, proposed Council departments and radical policy, made costumes for survival, took each others weight, sang a song, divided up Pedagogy of the Oppressed and read it all, visited the Arnolfini internet server, performed the internet, led each other silently through the city, thought about Bristol waste and gleaning and made models of galleries to try and understand them.

NOT SCHOOL TWO took place over two days in July 2022 and was held at UWE’s Arnolfini studios. Teachers and learners were; Esther Hesketh, Ben Hart, Bryony Gillard, Dan Guthrie, Sammy Paloma, Jack Young, Jessy Young and Jen Conway.

We thought about effluent ecologies, visited the Arnolfini’s sewage system, went on an improvised walk, foraged materials to assemble, made the right sounds with the wrong objects, thought about cruise ships, blew water out of a teapot, waggled maps, discussed the ‘retain and explain law’ and the removal of Stroud’s black boy clock, thought about destruction and made a ritual for it, played a table top world building game about monsters and colonisation, made ourselves in to webs, looked for narratives in archive material from Bristol’s tobacco history, started to translate Milk Report in to a film, made a crotch cam and imagined a nipple cam.

(2019 +)