2020-2021 COOP study group ~ On Tradition – Future Ancestors: let rhythm be your guiding light

Tutor team:

Snejanka Mihaylova

Rory Pilgrim


Rachel O'Reilly  will be guesting on Monday November 16; Monday March 22 & Tuesday March 23; 2 days during April 16, 17, 18, & 19; 1 day during Friday 4 & Saturday 5 June (in flesh covid permitted).

Ghalya Saadawi is guesting for 1 days during Friday 4 & Saturday 5 June (in flesh covid permitted).

Protocol COOP Hosting & HTDTWT Guesting

Other Guests:

Georgi Ilchev



If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution

Student participants:

Ilgin Akseloglu, Bambi van Balen, Felix Bahret, Alexandra Duvekot, Dandelion Eghosa, Raffia Li, Marilú Mapengo Namoda, Kari Rosenfeld, Rosa Ronsdorf, Lou Lou Sainsbury, Iga Świeściak, Marie Tučková́, Rhodé Visser, Eli Witteman, Zane Zajančkauska, Lau ten Zeldam.

Student Led reflection:



Month to Month 

Introduction to the program:

Tuning in to the realities of the present, how can we be future ancestors? In what sense can we relate to “tradition”?

The notion of tradition is often instrumentalised for the purpose of nationalisms and reinforcing patriarchy. It is therefore of cardinal importance to question it and seek understanding of the foundations that tradition provides so not to risk depravation of a common world. Coming from the Latin ‘tradere’ - meaning both to deliver and / or betray - if we look deeper we find the bringing together of the preposition trans ‘across’ and the verb dare ‘to give’. While in Greek, ‘Paradosis’ meaning tradition is formed by a dualistic linguistic compound of ‘giving’ and ‘gift’, allowing a manifestation of bestowing and transmittance. Imbued with so much potential and rich meanings, within a current climate where tradition is weaponised or rendered obsolete, are we in risk of a future that finally has no tradition? If so - is there even a future possible on which to stand?

Over the course of the academic year, artists Snejanka Mihaylova and Rory Pilgrim will aim to create a collective framework that brings into question how we collectively think and make, through understanding our relationships to tradition through the prism of a three dimensional experience of time. By looking especially into theology, and the voices of those marginalised within traditions from the past, this study group will create a rhythm of listening and speaking to voices of the present and future. For example, as articulated by Liam Neupert, an 18 year old climate activist from Idaho: “To be able to create a healthy world for future generations to exist, we already have to think of ourselves as future ancestors”.

The study group will work through processes of collective reading, listening and creating to explore our individual and collective relationships to tradition and what it means to be a future ancestor. Important starting points will be spiritual motherhood, the vitae of female saints and asking how in an age of increasing algorithms, data and AI do we radically enable nuance, storytelling and experience to the traditions we become care givers of. It will also look at how words such as ““spirituality,” “mystic,” “communion” have become eroded, and how the detachment of these meanings from tradition within secularisation and theology reflect the secular and religious complexity of our contemporary condition. By looking into structures of performance and music composition, this COOP hopes to explore how the score can give freedom to different tempos and textures that exist within time. In what sense can we truly think of something from the past anew and enable a creative manifestation of the future to be present? How can rhythm be nurtured as a tool of agency, prophecy and emancipation?

Key Words

Collective thinking
Resounding, Resonance, Replenish, Recovery, Repentance, Resolve, Recognise, Reimagine, Receive, Reawaken, Return

Vitae of female Saints, marginalised voices within tradition, Spiritual Motherhood, Transmission, Embodied knowledges, Hermeneutics, Story Telling, Lore, Law, Experience, Nuance, our lives and the lives of others, Poetry

Nourishing Rhythm
Rhythm, Rhythms: Past, Present, Future-presence of future, Monophonic, Homophonic,

Polyphony, Ecology, Urgency, Agency, Prophecy
Unravel, Interweave, Interreligious, Texture, Identity, Complexity, Non Binary, Effortless sound, Change

Child, Spiritual, Composition, Score, Keeping One Note, Foundation, new meanings of Radicality, Root, Garden, Joy