Art and Politics - On Friendship and the Political Imaginary

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Location independent
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 70 500 SEK
First payment: 70 500 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed

In this education, we address issues related to sustainability. The content of the course or program fits into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced sustainability perspective.


This is an innovative distance course taught online through English (with opportunities for face-to-face meet-ups) introducing key themes and questions in respect of politics, affiliation and the ontology of friendship with particular reference to contemporary art practices, theories and institutions.


This course was originally developed in 2021 through the collaboration between Prof. Steven Henry Madoff (SVA New York) and Prof. Mick Wilson (HDK-Valand, Gothenburg.) Building upon the success of the 2021 course, the new 2022 course seeks to further develop the focused inquiry into friendship as a question across politics, philosophy and artistic and curatorial practices.

Participants are expected to: (i) actively engage in the online workshops, lectures and seminars; (ii) engage in extensive shared reading; and (iii) and explore the implications of the course themes for their own practice and/or further studies.

Participants are specifically invited to develop project ideas connected to the course themes and relevant to the participants’ own practice, (e.g., theory, criticism, art making, curatorial work, cultural studies, philosophy or other research across the creative arts and the humanities).

The course is structured in three phases:
1. terms,
2. sources, and
3. disagreements.

Phase 1, terms: introductory series of lectures and seminars looking at some of the central terms and themes pertaining to the question of friendship and the figure of 'the friend' (6–30 June) 

Phase 2, sources: month of extensive reading across a range of disciplinary sources, with weekly check-in meetings to support the reading process (1–31 July)

Phase 3, disagreements: intensive two-week group study workshop with daily seminars and invited guests where the group develops a shared framework of thinking collectively (15-26 August). 

For more information in course content go to the Course Public Portfolio.


There are 25 online lecture, seminar and workshop events.

June meetings 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30 from 18:30-20:30 CET / Swedish Time

July meetings 5, 12, 19, 26, from 18:00-19:00 CET / Swedish Time

August meetings on 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, from 18:00-20:30 CET / Swedish Time

You will require reliable internet access and headphones with mic. Presentations will typically be recorded and posted online for students to access during the course. Participation in the course means that your contributions to discussion in response to the formal presentations may be recorded for this purpose.

The formal presentations can be attended live and also accessed via recordings published online, at whatever time suits your personal timetable needs. However, it is strongly recommended that you attend the ‘live’ online the discussion sessions, as these will not always be recorded and these offer the best opportunity to interact with the other participants on the course

Further information

There will be an open information session on Zoom on Monday 21 February 18:00-18:30 (CET – Swedish Time) to discuss the content of this year’s course. To the session.  

The updated reading lists for this year’s course will be published in Monday 11 April 2022 in Canvas

Submit compulsory letter of intent 

To apply for this course, it is mandatory to submit a letter of intent. Submit your letter of intent in SlideRoom. 

Information on what your letter of intent should contain can be found further down on this page.

Applications for the summer semester 2022 needs to be submitted between February 18 - March 22, 2022. 

Prerequisites and selection


Special instructions for application

Write a letter of intention in English, stating why you wish to attend the course, max 3500 characters including spaces. 
There is no need to submit a portfolio.

Your application must be anonymous. Do not include name or contact details anywhere in this material.


The selection is based on a submitted Letter of Intent.