NAFOL profile: Gry Olsen Ulrichsen

Gry Ulrichsen. FotoFrom joyful creativity and white innocence

– How can arts and crafts subject develop tools to reflect critically on what and how we express ourselves in a pluralistic and globalized society?

I am a research fellow in cultural school (kulturskole) development at the Department of Teacher Education, NTNU in Trondheim. For many years I have worked with a participatory and socially engaged art practice and as an art educator in various learning arenas. My main focus in the doctoral degree is whiteness studies and opportunities for decoloniality in art education and cultural school related research. The premise of my work is that art education and educational research in the field are characterized by structural racism like all other areas of society. How can visually creative processes play a central role in the work of recognizing a pluralistic and globalized society where everyone’s voices have equal significance? In my work, I seek to create connections between critical post-qualitative and decolonial approaches and I explore how they can be manifested through collaborative and socially engaged practices in art and education. I am currently participating in a research network that works to strengthen the relationships between practitioners in the field of contemporary art and teacher education in arts and crafts and visual arts in cultural schools. We develop networks and pedagogical resources where the focus in the content and practices of the arts and craft subject is shifted from a material and object based thinking on learning and teaching to seeing the subject in a more comprehensive and societal contextual context.

I come with knowledge and approaches from artistic research that deviate from the conventional scientific research positioning and from the format that dominates within academia. My participation in NAFOL have honed my argument and I have been trained to move between different worlds – without letting myself be indoctrinated by any of them.