The Silent University, initiated by Ahmet Öğüt in 2012, is an autonomous platform for academics who cannot share their knowledge due to their status of residence, because their degrees are not recognized or regaining access to academia is blocked for other reasons. It is a solidary school by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who contribute to the program as lecturers, consultants, and researchers. The Silent University proposes a new institution outside of the restrictions of existing universities, migration laws and the other bureaucratic or juridical obstacles many migrants face. At the same time it mimics the idea of exiting universities, using their representational logics by developing alternative structures of pedagogy beyond border politics, race/ethnicity and normative education. Current branches of the Silent University include Hamburg, Stockholm and Mülheim/Ruhr. Former branches were located in Amman, Athens, London and Copenhagen.
Ahmet Öğüt (born 1981, Diyarbakir, Turkey) is a Kurdish artist living in Amsterdam and Berlin. He is the initiator of the Silent University (2012-ongoing), an autonomous knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. In 2016, he has participated in the 11th Gwangju Biennale and the British Art Show 8, Edinburgh, Norwich.