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In Belgium, suicide is the number-one cause of death among 15-to-19-year-olds, the second most common cause for men aged 20 to 24 (after car accidents) and the most common cause of death for women aged 20 to 24, according to a 2016 report from the Unit for Suicide Research at the University of Ghent. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp has suspended all its classes on Thursday to allow students and teachers to protest in Brussels against proposed cutbacks in the Flemish cultural sector. Therefore, I would like to grasp this moment as an opportunity to give this my absolute priority.”, “I think they’re all equally to blame,” said one industry professional who works with the school of the teachers, explaining that Van Beirendonck and his control over the others is only one element of the problem. All rights reserved. That way they are...able to maximise their abilities, ideas and imaginations. In a Facebook post published on Monday, the academy explained that “on Thursday 5 December, new actions will be organised against the budget cuts in culture and media by the Flemish Government. Official Facebook Page of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp / AP University College // mobileScaling: 2.0, There is more than one way to make clothes.”, A key part of many top fashion programmes around the world is the “crit” or critique, and Antwerp is certainly not the only programme with a reputation for being tough on its young talent. // }); The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp published a tweet on Monday explaining why they had decided to cancel classes on Thursday. They also say that just having Antwerp on one’s resume — even without an actual degree — is beneficial because of the school’s reputation and network. US. Classrooms are exceptionally wide with the campus … If you cannot pay the full tuition fee at the start of the academic year, you can submit a request for a payment plan in the international helpdesk between 1 August and 1 November by submitting a ticket. Its fashion programme entered the international spotlight following the breakthrough of the Antwerp Six designers in the 1980s. While the recent passing of a student is top of mind, there are other instances of students breaking down publicly, including in 2011, when a female student from the fashion department was found by police walking naked down Antwerp’s high street and talking to herself. “Typically, there are between 16 and 20, but in some cases a little over 20 students make it.” There are 18 active students in 2018’s third-year class. Another key moment in the history of the academy would be 1963. In the 1960s, the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts established the Fashion Design department, from where the ‘Antwerp Six’ graduated about two decades later. Some are notified just days before that they are about graduate that they have failed, with several third-year students completing the end-of-year show only to find out afterward that they will not be awarded a degree. Fashion & Beauty Longread Willy Vanderperre Olivier Rizzo Subscribe to the weekly AnOther newsletter For instance, it has been claimed by multiple students, both current and former, that those with Asian names are sometimes asked to provide nicknames  because it’s “easier to remember.”. As for the school, Pas insists that he is committed to making the necessary changes, collecting testimonies from students, teachers and staff of the fashion department. He is respected, but certainly not treated like a god. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied fine arts and design. “The Antwerp Six” with Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Ann Demeulemeesterwere hot issue in the media. In Antwerp, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Students Wear Their Art to Class VOGUE.COM - Alex Kessler. // googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest(); “After hearing for weeks on end that my work was worthless, without getting any explanation why, or any constructive criticism on how to do better, I started to believe it myself.”. “Everything is pushed in one direction,” the teacher said. The intensity of the programme and workload often causes them to break down physically, too, with some turning to drugs — in particular speed and cocaine — in order to power through. If you don’t already know how to make a pattern or sew, you have to learn yourself.” As a result, many students who enter Antwerp already have bachelor’s or master’s degrees. "It wasn't until I left the Academy that I realised how incredibly misguided the intentions were of the professors in how they treated us as students,” he said. The school and studios of the Royal Academy in Antwerp will remain open for those students who do not want to go to Brussels, VRT explains. // addSize([0, 0], [[300,250], 'fluid']). Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. // addService(googletag.pubads()); “I developed a severe dependency on drugs in the first year just to be able to stay awake,” said one current student, who continues to advance through the programme. ANTWERP, Belgium — On the evening of March 21, 2018, Karine Rotsaert, an administrator in the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, sent an email to students, requesting their presence at the school at 10:15 a.m. the next morning. Vogue caught up with them to find out how it felt to be back and what they wore to mark the occasion. Inside the MoMu Fashion Museum at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp | Source: Getty Images, https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/, https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us, http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Does Fashion Have a Mental Health Problem? Contact: Yanisberrewaerts@gmail.com // googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Located in London. Since the ‘Antwerp Six’ caught the attention of the international media, Antwerp and its fashion school … The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague offers educational services to over 850 students from 40 countries. Antwerp art school cancels classes so students can protest culture cutbacks in Brussels. The event will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2020 commencing at sunrise Antwerp time – roughly 7:47 am and at the same moment here in Boston at 1:47 am EST. After the announcement, teachers mingled among the students, expressing disbelief that the young man could have taken his own life. “With other schools, you never get any critique.”. Following the suicide of a student on campus, some are questioning the notoriously rigorous curriculum of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Kotweb is a collaboration between the city of Antwerp, the higher education institutions in Antwerp and GATE15, Antwerp's student portaI. 80 master students from nine graduation disciplines will present their work and projects on the Academy Campus. // }); The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp has suspended all its classes on Thursday to allow students and teachers to protest in Brussels against proposed cutbacks in the Flemish cultural sector. Cooperation with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and The Woolmark Company. The next three academic years the Royal Danish Academy - Architecture, Design, Conservation will focus massively on the UN Global Goals - in our research, in our educations and in our graduation projects. (The official graduation rate of the undergraduate class is 23 percent, according to BoF’s 2017 ranking. “I also will meet some students one of the next days,” he said. On Sunday, March 25, the school held a memorial for him that was attended by his parents and his brother. The fashion department's own website states that "through an intensive personal guidance by the team of teachers, they are continuously driven to push their limits. // Some students blame Van Beirendonck for this pattern of behaviour, suggesting that the intensity of the programme has increased during his tenure. On Monday, March 26, students gathered for a school assembly, where they observed a minute of silence for him. Vogue caught up … The graduating class of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is showcased on June 27, 2020 from 8pm CET, on www.showww.be. Van Beirendonck is “perceived as being some kind of god,” according to one former student. A unique new course ‘Fashion Design’ started. 95.01. “With 12,000 students, young people, you can hardly prevent it. “The university college also supplies courses for staff…in order to recognise and respond to signals of suicidal tendencies.” Last year, the university launched a programme called “Made to Mind,” which trains fellow students to be “extra perceptive for signals of suicidal behavior.”. // adslot0 = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/ATF', [300, 250], 'div-gpt-ad-ATF'). // googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ She left after one year. All Rights Reserved. State of the Arts has invited people to come and join them at the square, which protesters will decorate throughout the day. These are used as a starting point for interviews with staff and students. // googletag.enableServices(); The professors had good intent, namely pushing the students to be their best, but the culture at the Academy as a result was very emotionally damaging. There were 22 at the beginning of the year. “Students and staff mourn his passing and will so for a long time. On March 22, when the students arrived on campus, they were greeted by counselors, including Sophie Hiels, a school psychologist. The school vehemently denies any accusations of cultural insensitivity or tolerance of racism. Ever since the renowned Antwerp Six changed the landscape of fashion forever and put the small, cosy Belgian city in the international fashion map, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp has been a bastion of innovation, creativity, avant-garde and conceptual fashion design. // addSize([980, 200], [[970,90], [970,250], 'fluid']). After months of remote coursework, the fashion students of Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp physically returned to university. However, BoF obtained screenshots of text messages between a student and an administrator where the student complained about the use of a racist slur that included the “n” word by a life model employed by the school at a social event. But after a recent suicide, current and former students have come forward with accounts of depression and drug abuse, calling teaching methods into question. After hearing for weeks on end that my work was worthless, I started to believe it myself. And while many friends insisted that the student suffered from depression related to his studies at the Academy, others mentioned personal reasons that may have been a factor in his suicide, including his possible return home to South Korea to serve in the military there. // googletag.enableServices(); In BoF’s Global Fashion Schools Rankings 2017, it placed #3 among bachelor’s degree programmes and #4 among master’s degree programmes. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. The department first earned its sterling reputation under the supervision of former head Linda Loppa, who spent 25 years there before exiting in 2007 to join Italian fashion school Polimoda as its director. Pas said that there has never been a formal complaint regarding drug use. Many students complete their third year but are not awarded a degree at the end of the course. // The psychologists went on to explain that a third-year student, originally from South Korea, had committed suicide. What had been some challenges of doing coursework remotely? Daheng Liu — I made a world for myself, You’re nearly … The Academy of Art University, a proprietary, private university owned by the Stephens Institute, was founded in San Francisco, California in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens. // googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); The steady shrinking of class sizes over the years leaves many students feeling isolated and alone, especially as they can only work in the classrooms until 5:00 p.m., almost always having to take work home with them. // }); “But the issue is very much alive among our students and staff. In the early years, the academy mainly focused on fine arts but under the guidance of Mary Prijot and Marthe Van Leemput, it quickly grew into a full-fledged fashion education. Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University. “I decided to quit the fashion department after I left school one day so desperate that I went to the store, bought razor blades and planned to slit my wrists in the bathtub that night,” one former student said. This course was moderately successful from the beginning, but became world leading in the early eighties. At Antwerp, many students repeat years, although they are only permitted to repeat each year once. By connecting 2D textile surfaces one by one, they transform into 3D shapes, patterns and textures. Selected Graduate 2020 “They don’t teach you anything, basically,” another student said of the Academy. “It’s considered a good school, so they dare not change anything,” said one teacher, who did concede that the programme is considered by many — both externally and internally — to be an old-fashioned, closed-off process that only rewards one sort of aesthetic or approach to designing. “He’s the king and they just seem to obey,” one student said of Beirendonck’s influence over the other teachers. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is a renowned European institute for higher arts education, established in 1663. In order to allow students, lecturers, researchers, administrative and technical staff of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp to attend these actions, all classes will be cancelled!”. It offers the largest database of student accommodation in Antwerp. With an enrollment of more than 13,000 students. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp offers a bachelor and master programme in Visual Arts with different courses going from the Fine arts (Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, In situ³) and Photography, to the more design oriented … In multiple conversations in recent weeks, students and alumni spoke of the Academy’s notoriously rigorous programme. “This brings some of the allegations in a critical perspective, which I will be using to investigate the steps that have to be taken to make things better asap.”, “As the newly appointed dean of the school I plan to investigate the current program and its strengths and weaknesses. // googletag.cmd.push(function() { Unlike American schools, which often make it challenging to gain acceptance to a top school, Belgian institutions tend to have higher acceptance rates but are more ruthless about dismissing underperforming students. // adslot0 = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/Super_Billboard_1', [[970, 250], [1230, 250]], 'div-gpt-ad-1555597002018-0').setTargeting("test","infinitescroll"). For this reason, BoF has agreed to grant them anonymity. | Source: Getty Images, Many believe the Academy’s teaching methods have created a toxic environment, with students competing with each other to survive in a “Pop Idol”-style setting where Van Beirendonck plays Simon Cowell, ultimately deciding who stays and who goes. // renderMarginPercent: 200, But as head of the school I represented him and gave a short speech as a tribute to [the student] and as a comfort for his family, friends, fellow students and teachers,” Johan Pas, the newly appointed dean of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, wrote to BoF, with input from Van Beirendonck, who declined to respond to a direct request for comment. But even students who reported a good relationship with Van Beirendonck said it did not guarantee a passing grade. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts is one of the most famous design academies in the world. // googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); // var adslot0; Not everyone deems the process negative. Platform for the communication of the international art jewellery.. Mara Balode. Others are less convinced the methods are effective. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. “Upgrading our highly esteemed fashion department and providing it with more tools to cope with the challenges of this shaky century is one of my ambitions. While students, both former and current, spanning several different countries and cultures, were forthcoming on the details of alleged conduct by school faculty, perhaps emboldened by recent reports exposing the culture of abuse and bullying in the wider fashion industry, the majority wished to remain anonymous for fear that speaking out would ruin their industry prospects or threaten their chances of graduating. Yet the fact that some students rang the alarm bell made me aware of its extreme urgency,” he said. Some students — even a few of those who were asked to leave and did not receive a degree — believe that the highly critical nature of the school, where the onus is on the student to “fix” his or her shortcomings without the guidance of an instructor, is good preparation for the real world. Therefore we take these heavy accusations very serious and will do everything to investigate the origins of and reasons for these complaints.”. ANTWERP, Belgium — On the evening of March 21, 2018, Karine Rotsaert, an administrator in the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, sent an email to students, requesting their presence at the school at 10:15 a.m. the next morning. We advise all students staying in Belgium for a full semester to look for student accommodation at Kotweb. // adsmobileslot = googletag.defineSlot('/312997750/NEW_SITE_MOBILE_TOP_ALL', [300, 250], 'div-gpt-ad-1559116370415-0').addService(googletag.pubads()); In 1946, the Architecture program became an independent institute, The National Higher Institute of Architecture. // addService(googletag.pubads()); The Royal Academy of Fine Arts offers bachelor and master programmes in visual arts, with a variety of specialisations: Painting, Photography, Graphic Design, Jewellery Design, Fashion, Theatre Costume Design, Sculpting, Printmaking and In Situ. They say some students feel worthless while others are treated like stars. Regarding the accusations that students are asked to adopt a European name: “I am told that the students themselves opt for such a solution,” Pas said, noting that he himself has observed Asian students doing this on their accord. The Fine Arts programme of Royal Academy of Art, The Hague embraces history and traditions and root our discourse firmly in the contemporary while researching and imagining the future of fine art as an indispensable contributor to culture, society and economy. Get Out of China’s Coercive Cotton Fields, Dutch Retailers Grapple With Sudden Christmas Lockdown, Shahi Exports’ Anant Ahuja on Reforming the Fashion Supply Chain, Under Armour Sued Over Claims About ‘Scientifically Tested’ Fabric, Raf Simons Debuts Multidisciplinary E-Commerce Platform, De Beers Raises Diamond Prices for First Time Since Pandemic, Careers Counsel | How to Improve Your Communication Skills. The fashion programme at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, led by Walter Van Beirendonck, is one of the most prestigious in the world. “If you see the [end-of-year runway] shows, it’s all very similar. Percentage of International Students: 83%. “They were looking for reasons that could lead to this dramatic ending,” said one current student, who wished to remain anonymous. on Indiegogo. The Royal Academy's collection includes the finest examples of fine arts from the 18th century to the present. One student said she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the programme. BA = 3 years MA = 1 year (60 credits) or 2 years, only allowed in specific cases (each 30 credits) “I’m still having nightmares, still panicking when I wake up, still not able to sleep normal hours,” she said. “You have to find out why your work is not good. After months of remote coursework, the fashion students of Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp physically returned to university. In a Facebook post published on Monday, the academy explained that “on Thursday 5 December, new actions will be organised against the budget cuts in culture and media by the Flemish Government. But in the following weeks, BoF spoke via phone with 14 students — three current students and 11 former students whose tenures go back all the way to the mid-1990s — two fashion industry professionals and one professor who each work at the school. “Therefore, I must admit that the intercultural communication provides a challenge.” He said the school is working on establishing a training programme around “intercultural communication” for faculty members. As the teachers trickled in, Walter Van Beirendonck, head of the fashion department, lead instructor for the third-year students and a member of the Antwerp Six — a clique of agenda-setting designers who studied at the school in the 1980s — addressed the room, saying simply: “Something bad has happened.”. This tragedy has given some of the slumbering criticism against the institution — which, like every other school has its qualities and its faults — a momentum.”, Pas added that the cult allegation is a “strange description, and yet I can see the point: high-end fashion in itself sometimes resembles a cult, and for some students the Antwerp school has a cult status. A psychologist said the students had to take care of each other, adding that “students from fashion never show up to the school’s psychologists and don’t take help that’s there.” (The fashion department is just one part of the wider Academy, although most of the fashion classes take place at a separate location — 15 minutes away from the main campus — that also houses the school’s fashion museum. “To be honest, I think this school resembles a cult.”. However, many fashion department students say that their isolation from the main Academy makes these support systems feel out of reach. (Pas said the school is investigating how to keep the doors open later even though classes are hosted in the fashion museum, which closes at that time.). A few students chose to speak out publicly, including Wilton Gorske, an American who left the school after one year. The Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts - École supérieure des Arts de la Ville de Bruxelles (ARBA-ESA), in Dutch Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Brussel, is the Belgian art school, established in Brussels in the Kingdom of Belgium. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp's 2017 Graduate Show. As COVID-19 restrictions are causing cancellations of public events worldwide, the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp - AP University College decided to still show its student's end-of-year and graduate collections. At Central Saint Martins, another lauded fashion school known for its rigour, the official graduation rate is 99 percent.) “There are a few really nice teachers, but I don’t think they realise that it’s not okay to act this way.”, “I hope everyone knows there are incredible staff there, contributing their life to keep this school running. The platform for Flemish artists, State of the Arts, has organised a for a live exhibition to take place on Martyrs’ Square in central Brussels on Thursday from 3:00 PM to around 6:00 PM. “Towards the end I started self-harming again” — which she hadn’t done since 2009 — “and dissociating.”. "Sometimes it feels like you’re watching a reality show almost, where there’s a panel with someone cutting in with a funny insult,” said one student, who left the Academy after battling depression and suicidal thoughts in her first year in the programme. Rental agreement “Students were herded into a room and asked if anybody had questions about what happened, background information about [the student] or if they knew if he had issues in his personal life,” explained another current student, who asked for anonymity for fear of being passed over for potential jobs and internships because of the emphasis put on the prestige of belonging to the Antwerp community. Because hard work pays off! The fashion department at the Royal Academy accepts 60-to-70 students to its bachelor's programme each year, but fewer than 20 typically graduate and, on average, 10 or less graduate with the master’s degree that most BA students hope to complete when they matriculate at the Academy. Pas went on to note that the school has never before received any formal complaint or accusation about racist remarks. It’s one of the reasons that the school rarely accepts students for the master’s programme who have not completed its bachelor’s programme. The school is known for producing a host of ultra-talented alum including Dries van Noten, Demna Gvaslia, and Martin Margiela, but from the sound of things, those successes come at a very high price. // googletag.cmd.push(function(){ Stylistically extre… AAA. Call: +32 (0) 2 648 40 14, UK Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us Call: 116 123, US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Call: 1-800-273-8255. Young man could have taken his own life experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the programme has increased during tenure... Extreme urgency, ” another student said - Alex Kessler of Art, the fashion department at Royal of. T want classes in third-year that exceed 20, ” one student explained originally South! The also have top-quality college degree programs at Academy Art University, an accredited higher education institutions in.! 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