The Silent University is an autonomous knowledge exchange platform initiated by artist Ahmet Ögüt working with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants who, although from a professional background, cannot gainfully practice their profession due to the limitations of the asylum process. Limitations also apply to access to education, access to currency, and volunteering.
The Silent University’s goal is to challenge the idea of silence as a passive state, and explore its powerful potential through performance, writing, and group reflection. These explorations attempt to make apparent the systemic failure and the loss of skills and knowledge experienced through the silencing process of asylum seekers. By inventing alternative currencies, in place of money or free voluntary service, the Silent University aims to address and reactivate the knowledge of its participants, making the exchange process mutually beneficial