Royal Institute of Art about #metoo
Right now there’s an important discussion going on in media and in society about abuse of power and sexual assaults under #metoo.
The Royal Institute of Art wishes to express clearly that abuse or harrassments, of sexual or other form, never is acceptable within the realms of the Institute.
Three questions to Vice-Chancellor Sara Arrhenius:
What measures have the Institute taken in order to make insults and abuse of power non existing at the Institute?
– First and foremost, to clearly say that it is not permitted with violations and harassment. Then it is crucial that we ensure that there is a structure at the Institute that can effectively handle such situations if they occur. It should be clear to students or employees how to act and receive support from the Institute.
How does such preventive work look like at the Royal Institute of Art?
– By ensuring that there is awareness among teachers and students about our rules and compliance. But then I think we need to work with a more fundamental cultural change. We must dare discuss whether there are underlying values in our view of the artist and artistic education that support certain behaviors. For example, how the viewer of the artist as a genius beyond the rules of society can create a more permissive and apologetic attitude to abuse.
Therefore, I think that an open discussion about these issues must exist at the Institute. Then a crucial issue is also to break informal power structures. I am now working with a change in the school organization that will provide a clearer decision-making structure and empowerment for both staff and students. I think this is a very important work to counteract abuse of power.
How does the Institute contribute to breaking these behaviors and patterns in the art world?
– To discuss the artist role and the art world’s power structures both at school and in a wider public. Working to change the structures here at school that allow for violations and thus in the longer term change the conditions for artists’ work. By forming the artists of the future in many ways, it is important that we also look forward and dare to change and improve.
There is a great courage to dare to become an artist today in view of the insecure work situation that artists have. We also have an enormous responsibility for the students who attend our programs and courses. They will have the best conditions for acting as artists. Then we can not allow a study environment with violations and abuse.
/Marina Krig, Head of Communications