Care tutte,

this is just a small letter to share with all of you that this year we’ll be repeating the summer school experience we had last year for the first time! And, as last year, we opened an open call for it!

The summer (un/re)learning experience will take place in Topolove (IT), our heart-quarter, from August 7th to August 13th! It will be a shared moment where to reflect, act and explore dwelling practices, (un)domesticated spaces and rural territories, connected to questions opened by the project Topolò/Topolove: the Village as House and further in the project Village as Ecological Entity.

Explore the open call on this board or read it on this document, which you can also download.

About the Academy of Margins

The Academy of Margins is a long-term project started by Robida in 2022: it is conceived as a learning platform that stimulates collaborative and discursive learning and is based on intimacy and rootedness where the margins are not only the site but also the widely intended content of the Academy itself.

The Academy of Margins transforms Topolò into a learning site, where one can put in relation different knowledges brought to the village by researchers, professors, activists, artists who encounter the place and the landscape and are transformed by them. Contents are situated in the place, adapting to it, changing through it: the context ceases to be the scenery of learning, and becomes a participant to the development of reflections, questions and knowledge articulations.

What knowledge can we collect from abandoned micro-landscapes, the stream, the young humble forest, the fallen fruit trees, covered by brambles but still blooming? What do ruins teach us? How to inhabit a space not only by asking what is our role in it, but also by taking responsibility – by acting with our ability to respond (as, before Donna Haraway, Gloria Anzaldúa wrote in her Borderlands/La Frontera) to those questions. How to stay in the in-between of stasis and fluidity that characterises margins? How does praxis, when “action and reflection occurs simultaneously” (Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed), help us relearn and diffract collected knowledge?

Find more about last year's edition here and read this beautiful text written by the designer Hannah Segerkrantz, who participated in last year's summer school!

Reflecting on last year’s edition we decided to abandon the idea of having on one side invited lecturers and workshop facilitators and, on the other side, participants.

Last year’s edition closed with a moment during which we shared comments of the just ended experience and suggestions for the future! Many of the comments were about the opportunity of participants to propose, facilitate or share something to the rest of the group: we reflected about the term collective learning and realised that maybe by withdrawing the distinction between teachers and students we could come closer to that idea.

The activity you are applying with could take one of these shapes, or, even better, some other unexpected forms:

Lectures – dinners – drawing exercises – spatial practices – inventions – rituals – talks – writing exercises – roundtables – readings – screenings – embodied exercises – taste experiences – interventions – actions – observational exercises – mappings – archiving actions – radio experiments – performances – listening practices – planning moments – constructions – walks – sensory explorations – gardening actions etc.

These are the topics we would like to explore with you during the Academy of Margins summer school, all to be interpreted through the lens of dwelling practices and (un)domesticated spaces:

Co-dwelling – hyper-localism – commoning – seasonality – care – context – rootedness – domesticity – other-than-human inhabitants – living spaces – housing cooperatives – maintenance – sharing spaces – conviviality – hospitality – belonging – displacement – private – public – community – feasibility – support structures – (economic & environmental) sustainability – nomadism – inhabiting otherwise – rural epistemologies – cleaning – sleeping – eating – gardens – livelihoods – collaborative survival – kitchens – heating – landscapes – infrastructures – living in ruins – precarity – post-rurality – world-making – terraces – paths – pergola – oven – workspace – comfort – composting – ecologies of place – living with – materials etc.

To apply, send us an email (writing “Academy summer school” in the subject line) on with:

  • A text of half a page (approx 400 words) where you present your proposed activity and how it connects to the topic we’ll be researching and to Topolò (check the guidelines).
  • An image which gives the idea of what you want to explore while being here.
  • One article by an author/researcher to frame the topic you want to explore with your activity, to be included in a collective reader. (Please, not whole books: they can be articles, book chapters, academic texts, essays - whatever form)
  • Deadline: June 12th 2023

+ find all the useful information in the open call and don’t hesitate to write to us if you have any question

Looking forward to reading your words and proposals we send you

many hugs from all the places we are at the moment, from Vevey, from Villafredda plant and drawings exhibition, from the garden, from the bee terrace, from the Hawaii etc 

ciao ciao

Robida fam

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