Art and Politics - On Friendship and the Political Imaginary

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Mixed time
Location independent
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 72 250 SEK
First payment: 72 250 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 course from 2022 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'. 

Phase 2, sources: month of extensive reading across a range of disciplinary sources, with weekly check-in meetings to support the reading process.

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. 

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


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 Canvas in April 2023. 

Apply in three steps

1. Apply for the course at Deadline April 17, 2023. 

2. Submit your letter of intent in SlideRoom. Deadline April 24, 2023. 

3. Submit documentation proving you meet the entry requirements of the course on Deadline June 21, 2023.

Your application must contain: 
A letter of intent in English, stating why you wish to attend the course, max 3500 characters including spaces. 
Your application must be anonymous. Do not include name or contact details anywhere in this material.

Prerequisites and selection


Bachelor's Degree of at least 180 credits or the equivalent knowledge. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS. 

Special instructions for application


The selection is based on a submitted Letter of Intent.