Yana Dimitrova: Towards a Shared Autonomy. Painting as an Emancipatory Practice.

Doctoral Project

Yana Dimitrova, PhD in the Arts

My research is devoted to the exploration of the practice of painting through a socially engaged lens. It aims to investigate the production of images within and beyond the studio confinements, as a collaborative practice in shifting social spaces, resulting in a shared autonomy. To arrive at meaningful exchanges with different communities, the research will be conducted in several education-based spaces. Some possible examples may be Chitalishte (the Reading Room), in rural Bulgaria; potentially The New York City Public Library’s Immigrant support initiatives, an alternative education community center in Flemish Belgium. While simultaneously analyzing alternative education spaces in different institutional scales and contexts, this work will contribute to an important new pedagogical methodology of painting.


  • Dr. Isolde Vanhee (supervisor, KU Leuven/LUCA)
  • Mr. Phillip Aguirre y Otegui (co-supervisor, artist)

Research unit: Image

Duration: 2018 - 2022