Notion of Neutrality, Workshop I, Questioning the Neutrality of Art Education

Written by Alexandra Eguiluz, Ida Flik, Gloria López Cleries and Zoya Feltesse

  • neutrality
  • objectivity
  • invisibilisation
  • neoliberalism in academia
  • structural racism
  • institutional violence

This workshop was developed as part of the Teaching to Transgress Toolbox programme by the working group “Questioning the Notion of Neutrality” in educational settings. We facilitated the workshop for the first time in December 2020 at “Rencontres et ateliers : les pédagogies critiques en écoles d’art” at Villa Arson, in France.

Read more about the context of this workshop or watch the related interviews that we recorded. Read also about Workshop II, Radical Inclusivity facilitated at Paris College of Art, in May 2021.


2 hours
For 25-30 participants
Download workshop slides as PDF


15 mins

Before starting, check language barriers and access needs

We introduce ourselves: names and pronouns

Camera policy

Introduction round

Which image represents how you feel right now?

a grid of 9 different cat images with very expressive facial expressions

Facilitate positioning games to check people's attitude to and perspective on the topic

screenshots of these questions: 1)  How do you feel about the word neutrality (Do you view it in a positive or negative way?) — 2) what do you associate with neutrality? (different images) — 3) should a teacher be neutral? — 4) can a university be neutral?

Download workshop slides as PDF


[30 mins]

Super-short presentation “What we have been doing and how.”

Show excerpts from the project interviews

Sharing the project findings and topics visualized in the following collectively created mind map:

Image mapping the questions for the workshop: mind-map around the word neutrality Presentation slide, mindmap


[5 mins]

Discussion in smaller groups

[40 mins]

Create break-out rooms with five people each

Facilitate deeper intro round

[10 mins]

Facilitate group discussion

[15 min]

Facilitate collective writing exercise

[15 min]

Reconvening in the big group

[20 mins]

Sharing from the small group discussions, sharing the real-life examples and/or the ten things from the collaborative writing pad.


[10 mins]

Feedback with the feedback-hand method [see slide].

Ask participants to use the chat (if big group or not much time left) or speak out loud (if small group or enough time left):

Image showing a hand used for the feedback hand method during the workshop

Emotional checkout round: same as at the start, a slide with different images of cats

a grid of 9 different cat images with very expressive facial expressions