Perhaps you don’t need educating on the state of education: You’ve seen in the news that the best colleges can be bribed, or that for-profit institutions have become debt factories for those who attend. Power should not equal knowledge, but the financial burden of higher education often makes it so. Meanwhile, students who do make it to college are under pressure to approach “book learning” with a tunnel vision that steamrolls more creative ways of thinking. This issue of Kinfolk rejects the definition of a good education as one that ends with good grades.
In putting together our fall issue, we considered education as a lifelong pursuit: What can we learn about our bodies, minds, beliefs and societies, and who can teach us? In Los Angeles, we meet Erica Chidi Cohen, the co-founder of Loom—specializing in schooling its (adult) students on bodies, healthcare and better sex. For Chidi Cohen, this new pedagogy is a response to political failures. “If we can’t get people healthcare, we need to get them education,” she says.
The people we meet in Issue Thirty-Three prove just how many different paths can lead you to a meaningful career. Montreal-based producer Kaytranada found success so early that he never finished high school, whereas Belgian painter Michaël Borremans spent a decade working as a teacher prior to becoming an acclaimed figurative artist. And some people manage to sidestep the idea of a “calling” altogether: Waris Ahluwalia has funneled his bonhomie into being an actor, model, jewelry designer and activist. Elsewhere there are bubbles, puzzles and a fashion editorial that takes the form of an all-night party. As Ahluwalia reminds us: “We’re all dying. But if we can do it while we’re dancing?”