Escuela normal

Normal School
Student council elections are about to be held at a school in Parana, Argentina and the two main parties are putting the finishing touches to their campaigns. As they present their positions to the student body, all the elements of political grandstanding are present and correct: quibbling over slogans, circular rhetoric, the benefits of an attractive candidate and the inevitable final mudslinging. Yet this is by no means the only way in which Celina Murga’s institutional portrait evokes the world beyond the school gates. Murga’s observational camera is subtly attuned to the traces of the political in the everyday as well as the moments in which these are lacking, whether in the flag-raising ceremony, classroom discussions on the constitution or legislative processes or the absence of any evidence as to how the student council’s work actually benefits the school. As the teachers themselves question the extent to which the students are merely regurgitating the knowledge they have been fed, their comments allude simultaneously to their own daily work as well as to the political stance of the next generation: a normal school and its ambivalent relationship towards preserving the status quo.
by Celina Murga Argentina 2012 88’

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