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The last one turns off the light…

31 December 2023


With us an end
by caterina daniela mora jara
(excerpt from The Annex, Research Center Cycle IV)

“It is of the nature of the rule to desire the death of exception.” Jean-Luc Godard

From May 20 to July 26, 2023
Rotterdam, PAF, Brussels and Stockholm

Dear you:

These words are written with the knowledge the a.pass program will no longer exist. The end for the research program that a.pass was running for 15 years has come, and in your hands, you hold part of this end. It is the last annex of the Research Center, even though The Annex is not the end. It may seem dramatic, but do not forget that I grew up watching telenovelas in Fiske Menuco and Villarica, in the Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia, where I come from.

This letter is a sort of farewell to the Research Center Cycle IV and to a.pass, to which I’m part of, to where I belong. Therefore, the need for a farewell. But what is a farewell? Is it a space where we say, “Oh, goodbye, you have been so critical and helpful; we will miss you”? No, that’s silly on my part. I prefer to say: “With us an end.” A farewell in this case means that some people will lose their jobs, some books will no longer have a shelf, the rooms and offices that a.pass occupied will be empty. It’s crumbling around me right now, it is collapsing around us right now. Yet, we have to give an end to the format. It is not only sad, it is very exhausting and stressful. It is not only a pity, it is hard, it is a fuck you gesture with my finger on this paper, it is a wound because we are losing a space of discussion, a place that stores things of artists, personal stuff and professional stuff, an institution where credits are not determined by how much you read and how much you have demonstrated what you have learned. We lose an educational context in which there is no validation through grades, nor pass/fail course approval.

I have worked in educational institutions for the last 14 years, and I am very aware of how difficult it is to change the curricula and challenge the environmental conditions for promoting knowledge. Therefore, I was deeply amazed by the fact that in the context of a.pass (the postgraduate and the Research Center) the curricula is proposed by the participants and/or being transformed every four months.

Do I have the impression of collapsing with a.pass because I did not expect things to end in Europe? Was a modern imaginary of linear time, progression, expansion and improvement operating somehow with European expectations? Possibly. I am from Argentina and I lived in Buenos Aires for 9 years before coming to Brussels five and a half years ago. In Argentina, I often saw institutions, venues, cultural centers and theaters close and reopen, so I thought I was used to endings. I suppose the difference is that I never expected an educational institution in Europe to lose funds.

In a.pass, I entered with a key, I knew the alarm codes, and I could set up and rearrange the space as my practice required. I moved the dance floor so many times and cleaned it that many times. Through a.pass, I have encountered a network of people that has expanded in various ways in my short life in this part of the world, providing me with a context of travel and/or visibility and/or jobs more than once.

This will end.

I remember when I started the postgraduate program I was very surprised by the fact that, as part of my education, I had to share food, even make the food together, share space, even design the space together, share material resources, and even build my material resources. I remember why I chose to participate in the Research Center: it was because I knew it was coming to an end in its current format, so it was the last opportunity for me to return to this strange and luxurious context where answers are suspended.

Don’t cry for me. (…)

I experienced a.pass as a place where we could hold questions and come back later during dinner time, a context that could embrace the fragility of (my) individual research, which is sometimes full of expectations, fears and anxieties. I do not want to romanticize. It was not all rosy. RC is demanding and confronting, and perhaps even more so given that we knew a.pass would end.

Outside of the Bologna logic of BA; MA or PhD, and outside of titles and diploma requirements, a.pass looks for the criticism of the doing of the practice.

Inside the capital of the European Union, a.pass has a fee for the Postgraduate program potentially accessible to countries whose currencies are not in euros. I am referring here to the fact that the South and Central-American community that I have met in a.pass is numerous and grandiloquent: I’ve met people from Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador. There is no fee for the Research Center.

Inside Brussels, a.pass is as diverse as the city which hosts it.

Inside of a bilingual city, a.pass doesn’t speak the official languages of the city nor the country which hosts it. I was so afraid of not knowing how to speak English. As a non-English speaker, imagine an institution which doesn’t care about your level of English.

In the last floor of a building in Molenbeek, a.pass assumes its role as a confronting institution, it engages with conflict and with interdependence.

a.pass for me embodies the exception.

For more suspended questions, fucking ends, ends fucking and shared spaces,

Con amor,



Unfortunately we no longer have applications. Both programs: the Postgraduate as well as Research Center have come to an end due to the decision of the ministry of education to stop financing a.pass. At the moment we look into new plans for the future. More news soon on our website.

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