Trojan Horse is an autonomous educational platform (1) based in Helsinki. Trojan Horse organizes summer schools (2), live action role-plays, workshops and reading circles in the landscapes of architecture, design and art.
Trojan Horse aims to create flexible yet steady structures that support critical discourses over a longer time span while remaining open for cross-pollinations and changes. Trojan Horse encourages designers and architects to do more experimental projects, research-based work and form bolder political statements (3).
Trojan Horse is currently organized by a group of six people in collaboration with its participants. The content of the events is a result of a collective effort, shared between the facilitators, participants, and everyone whose work supports our gatherings. As any collective or experimental endeavor, Trojan Horse still requires time, thought and effort to develop. Its identity is hybrid and under constant formation.
In autumn 2020 we received an invitation to reflect what we could do to confront racism in all its forms, and closely integrate anti-racist ways of working in all our activities.
1. We appropriate the word school as a mutually comprehensible term we use to communicate our inclination in learning and unlearning processes. We are not particularly attached to this terminology and we are hoping to come up with other words that can describe our practices in more organic and inclusive manners. Overall we wish to demystify the idea of the school, abolish the normalized structures and encourage people to join the discussion, regardless of their positions.
2. Each summer we aspire for a safer space for discussion, structured around a temporary communal routine away from the city. We spend several days living together and we form friendships. Our learning sequences depend on asking questions, facilitating peer-to-peer education, introducing and testing various research methodologies, caring for each other and forming support structures that cross national and professional boundaries. Trojan Horse rigorously explores the joys and the freedom of informal learning. These experimentation zones vary, depending on the interests, the knowledge and the urgencies of the participants.
3. The possibility to define one’s own practice is based on one’s position. Those who come from more privileged backgrounds can develop their professional identity more freely, when others face a more discouraging reality. There is a lack of support structures for smaller groups, collectives and associations. Exchanges between autonomous initiations and established institutions are narrow. These structures shape the design and working culture of today and impact our shared futures.
Trojan Horse is currently kindly supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation Uusimaa. We have also been supported by Grafia ry, Arts Promotion Center Finland, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Greta & William Lehtinen Foundation and Miitti-project. Thank you!