An ‘Idleness Grant’ is a Thing

A German University is giving money to students for doing absolutely nothing.

I’ve long said that laziness needs to be explored and developed, and now, finally, The University of Fine Arts in Hamburg is offering scholarships to students committed to doing just that. Successful grant applicants will be granted €1,600, and all they have to do to apply is answer these four questions: What do you not want to do? For how long do you not want to do it? Why is it important not to do this thing in particular? Why are you the right person not to do it? Friedrich von Borries is running the project, which will include an exhibition entitled The School of Inconsequentiality: Towards a Better Life, and in January, the students will deliver a report on their experiences not doing the thing they do not wish to do. ‘Doing nothing isn’t very easy,’ said von Borries, from beneath a pile of dirty laundry in the corner. ‘We want to focus on active inactivity. If you say you are not going to move for a week, then that’s impressive. If you propose you are not going to move or think, that might be even better.’ What a time to be alive.


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