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Aftercare II

Re-think contemporary performance art in a post Covid-19 environment, led by renowned performance artist and academic researcher Despina Zacharopoulou.

Key details


  • Online

    Five sessions over a week

By having the human body as its raw material, performance art has been known for its potential to generate immediate affective responses from both the artist and their audience. This is why art movements of the avant-garde at the turn of the 20th century (e.g. Dada, Surrealism, Futurism) used performance art as their main medium, to introduce their art manifestos to a wider public. From the 1960’s onwards and up until the present day, whenever society finds itself in times of crisis, performance art has been employed as a medium of resistance, having the power to generate political and social change.

Without doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has introduced humanity to unforeseen situations where things that were supposed to be taken for granted (e.g. safety, health, financial and emotional stability, human rights) are now being threatened, without knowing what the future will hold. Art making, including contemporary performance, couldn’t stay unaffected by this new status quo. Performance art, in particular, has been severely wounded, when live events and academic courses keep being cancelled worldwide.

Given the urgency created by the current socio-political situation, this five-day intensive online masterclass, led by renowned performance artist and academic Despina Zacharopoulou, is an opportunity to re-think contemporary performance art in times of pandemic.

About the course

This intensive online masterclass is divided into five live four-hour sessions over a week.

Day 1: Student presentations

Day 2: Lecture, reading group and discussion

Day 3: Workshop

Day 4: Students’ performance projects presentation

Day 5: Crits and response seminar

You will:

  • enhance your confidence in your practice, after discovering further nuances and making bolder decisions in your work
  • further develop your understanding on how to manage and edit all different elements contributing to the creation of a performance piece
  • acquire new techniques and methodological tools to put into practice
  • experience critical, creative and insightful thinking
  • interact and network with peers from different backgrounds.

You will:

  • rethink performance art within the current circumstances and expand your practice and knowledge through online presentations, discussions, readings and practical exercises
  • present your work and receive feedback and practical advice from the course leader and a group of peers
  • problematise around your own practice and re-situate it after acquiring more theoretical and practical knowledge through the lecture, reading suggestions and workshop given by the course leader
  • be more decisive in your practice while working on your individual performance project to be presented at the end of the course
  • immerse yourself in a multidisciplinary environment
  • meet artists from all over the world.

RCA online courses are organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

For this particular course the main tool of online delivery will be the Zoom Platform.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations

Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a range of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.


Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, the academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

You will:

  • enhance your critical thinking, existing knowledge and practical tools on performance art
  • develop your work under the supervision of the course leader
  • improve your presentation and discussion skills
  • have an online presence at the RCA short courses social media accounts, including final feedback from the course leader and a group of peers.

  • postgraduate level students or undergraduates preparing for Master’s study
  • career changers or those interested in performance art
  • professionals in performance art seeking to develop themselves by acquiring specific knowledge and skills
  • former RCA Short Courses students
  • current RCA students and staff

Participants must:

  • have a successful application
  • be fluent in English
  • be 21 years old or over

To apply, please complete our online application form.

This online form requires applicants to submit:

  1. CV
  2. Five images or five web links to videos/web references of your work, max 10 MB file size.
  3. A 300-word statement explaining relevant professional and/or academic experience
  4. A 200-word statement explaining your motivations to do the course
  5. A 300-word proposal for a performance project you intend to undertake during the course
  • If your application is accepted, you will be emailed with a booking link. A deadline for accepting and paying for your place will be provided in the email. Your place will be held until this deadline, if you do not make payment by this date, then your place will be released and offered to another participant. 
  • If your application is unsuccessful, we will inform you by email. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide individual feedback due to the high volume of applications that we receive. 
  • If the course is fully booked and your application is successful, we will add your name to a waiting list. 

Application deadlines 

Applications will be assessed by the RCA course team every two weeks or until the course is fully booked.  

We will inform all applicants by email within two weeks after submission of an application.

If the course is fully booked and your application is successful we will add your name to a waiting list.

Applicants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are strictly limited.

Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described course as circumstances dictate.


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Jo Chounta Executive Education Coordinator