In this opening essay we explain the rationale for the Special Issue, the first of two on the theme of ‘politicizing artistic pedagogies’. In doing so, we outline the connections between this collection of articles and those in the next issue of Art & the Public Sphere while also stressing the distinctive, societal scope of the present issue. The article considers some themes of particular relevance for this edited collection. For example, we discuss our understanding of art, politics and pedagogy and draw on Juliet Hooker’s work on juxtaposition to advocate the benefits of discomfiting yet welcome disruptions to our more established ways of thinking and practising. This is often narrated in a biographical style, which enables us to highlight how we, from rather different backgrounds, came to collaborate at various points over the last decade and how this manifested in a noteworthy and instructive teaching experience for Ian when invited to deliver two seminar sessions for Mel’s students. Overall, we promote a pluralistic and inclusive approach to the notion of ‘politicizing artistic pedagogies’ but make sure, in the process, to outline where we depart from more established positions (such as on pedagogy and on art’s function). Finally, we briefly introduce the articles that comprise the Special Issue.
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- art practice