Students visit Cyprus for new AUC course Culture Lab

19 June 2017

A group of 15 AUC students, led by Prof. Dr. Murray Pratt (Dean of AUC) and Dr. Pedram Dibazar (AUC lecturer and tutor), have been in Cyprus since 12 June for the first edition of the course “Culture Lab”.

This course provides project-based and self-directed learning about culture and cultural festivals, European identity-building and the role of cultural interventions in addressing issues for cities and citizens within European contexts. The course takes the annual European Capital of Culture (ECC) event, and one of its host cities (this year in Paphos), as its object of study.

AUC Culture Lab 2017 Paphos

Experiential learning in Cyprus

Culture Lab is a new Humanities course in the June semester that takes AUC students to one of the European Capitals of Culture for twelve days. Cities chosen for the European Capital of Culture organise multiple cultural events to highlight the uniqueness of place and history linked to the city. It is also often an opportunity to bolster the international image of a city, jump-start regeneration projects and examine what makes these cities special.

Through experiential learning, the AUC students will engage with a variety of cultural theories and practices, study illustrative case studies and explore how to use cultural anthropology methodologies in the field to examine the impact such city promotion.

Culture lab working with ECC stakeholders

During their visit, the class will meet with various stakeholders of the ECC, such as the organisers of the Paphos2017 event. They will learn about the intended outcomes of the organisers, and relate this to what they observe taking place in reality.

Meeting with locals and artists involved in the event, students are able to get a deeper understanding of the consequences, relevance and complexities surrounding the Paphos ECC event. Students will follow various workshops by local experts to give them new and creative ideas and methods to integrate into their final projects.

Alongside these cultural events, students are also able to better understand local cultural differences that may have major impact on the organisation of such a pan-European event.  For example, students will have the chance to visit the divided city of Nicosia, gaining insights into the Cypriot context in which the Paphos2017 event is taking place.

Follow them on their blog

All students of the Culture Lab course will be publishing multiple blog posts to reflect and document their experiences while in Paphos. Numerous blogposts are already online and you can find more information via the link below.

Published by  Amsterdam University College