Open Experience // Open Education

The project “Open Experience // Open Education” build off the notion of a collective and individual right to be represented by looking at two cases of educational segregation, one in Canada and the other one in Hungary. It was shaped in the framework of Andrea Petos’ course “Preserving and Interpreting Knowledges of the past and Social Activism.” The project explores the ways in which the experiences and individual survival stories were documented in Canada and presented as part of a travelling exhibition that sought to raise public awareness, educate further and contribute to a process of national reconciliation and the generational healing of the Indigenous people who continue to feel the effects of educational segregation.

The project involves two different situations of educational segregation:

  • Residential Schools of First Nations in Canada 
  • The segregation of Roma students in Hungary

Recognizing that parallels in the short and long term effects of segregation can be made between the discussed cases, the project considers the following questions:

  • Is it in the interest of survivors of educational segregation to be remembered through their personal details and experience?
  • Is it in the interest of society to remember the experiences of educational segregation as mementos made public?
  • ·       What part of the Canadian experience could inform an approach to this topic in Hungary?

Effectively, the project aims to address the questions by looking at the documenting and exhibiting practices of the "Where are the Children?" traveling exhibition project from Canada. From the Canadian experience, this project draws practices and approaches that can be considered for the Hungarian context, through which archival and educational institutions can begin to think about the validity of documenting the experience of the Roma affected by educational segregation. The project also presents certain practices to be considered when approaching such a project. 


Roma Students protest segregation, 2013. Photo: Open Society Foundation / Galya Stoyanova

Currently, the project continues, as collaborations with organizations, institutions, and individuals are explored for further resources and connections to experiences. My focus at the moment is the collection of oral histories, with the aim providing a space for individuals to share their experience, and in the process inspire such efforts of representation to be taken up by institutions with larger capacities.

To learn more about the project, please visit: http://opendoorsofeducation.weebly.com/

This project was presented for the course Preserving and Interpreting Knowledges of the Past and Promoting Social Justice taught by Professor Andrea Peto.

 by Camilo Montoya-Guevara (MEDS '17)