The first Rural School of Economics-NL meeting

The RSoE came together with a group of 11 people in the THUIS Wageningen for the first Rural School of Economics-NL meeting.

Goal: to introduce the RSoE, to start gathering a group and ideas on knowledge and learning in rural fields. Imaginations, interactions, and non-linguistic approaches formed the foundation to delve deeper in the group’s rural mindsets.

The group - organized by Wapke and Inez - consisted of academic scholars, artists, and students that share an interest in rurality and art and the spaces where they interact.

After a walk-in where we offered locally produced refreshments, we started off with the “where are we?” and got a short presentation on THUIS Wageningen by Elsje van der Weg, one of the Thuis initiators. This was followed by a “who is there?” and shared a short - verbal - introduction with all the participants.

To explore language-based learning versus non-language-based learning, we followed-up with creating two diptych drawings that illustrate learning for you now and desired forms of learning for the future. After a small group exhibition in the “gallery” where we asked questions about each other's images of learning, Wapke gave her premises about the RSoE and Inez shortly added to this. These presentations by Wapke and Inez resulted in a discussion on arts and the rural space, its diversity, potential and contestations.

Probing non-human interactions, we visualized our ‘inner-cow’. Wapke opened up this activity by a short meditation session to embody this cow and use drawing as a way to express this visualization. Through meditation, working with color was supported and facilitated offering 4 types of color-drawing materials.

Our meeting concluded with another small group exhibition on these drawings and followed with mere loose conversations, sharing ideas and initiating suggestions for future RSoE gatherings.