Open Call: CONTESTED DESIRES

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational project exploring our shared and contested colonial heritage and its influence on contemporary culture.

Project Duration: 14th Feb 2020 – August 2021
Project Fee:  €4,339.98 (per diems, travel and accommodation are covered separately)
Artist Geographies: Caribbean based (Applicants must have proficiency in English)
Art form: Visual arts (including but not limited to: film, digital, sound art, installation)

From the Greeks, to the Romans, the Ottomans to the Venetians, from the seafaring nations of Northern and Western Europe embarking on crusades and trade missions, Europeans have exploited, imposed and foraged cultures and communities to build their Empires.

This legacy presents a complex shared cultural heritage, too often untold, unknown and contested.  A legacy where individuals, communities and nation states have constructed their identities through a mosaic of cultural choices and desires.

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational capacity building programme for artists and producers engaging with communities and heritage spaces. With a focus on exchange and learning, the programme will offer unique opportunities for artists and communities to explore our shared heritage through research, workshops, residencies and exhibitions.  Working in the UK, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, and Barbados CONTESTED DESIRES will dig deep to explore, and reveal the links between our shared colonial history and our cultural identities today – from the diverse perspectives of those working across Europe and in the Caribbean.

At a time of increasing right wing populism, CONTESTED DESIRES aims to challenge the de-stabilising and divisive impact of political landscapes of Europe both on the continent and in places like the Caribbean. The response to the complexities, diversity and expansion of European communities, continues to be met with the power play of fear-mongering, discrimination and exclusion; where its borders become its protectors and its heritage is used as a tool of inclsuion or exclusion.

Through a new and dynamic partnership, CONTESTED DESIRES connects six innovative arts and cultural organisations across the global north and south. Led by D6: Culture in Transit (UK) they include La Bonne (Spain), LAC (Portugal), Xarkis (Cyprus) and Fresh Milk (Barbados). ECCOM (Italy), cultural experts in the field of interdisciplinary practice, will develop a unique capacity building and evaluation strand to the project, in association with the writer and researcher, François Matarasso.

CONTESTED DESIRES is supported by Creative Europe, and as a legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018, uses the positive forces of co-operation and co-production to address the ‘authenticity’ and values of the heritage we share.

 

ARTIST BRIEF

CONTESTED DESIRES will engage nine exceptional artists (from the UK, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and the Caribbean) to participate in this ambitious and collaborative project from January 2020 until September 2021. This call is for 1 artist based in the Caribbean (artist can be from any Caribbean country but must be proficient in English).

(For our partners’ calls, please see: D6: Culture in Transit, UK; La Bonne, Spain; LAC, Portugal; and Xarkis, Cyprus)

Please note: CONTESTED DESIRES will also release a future call for a complimentary artist film and video programme, which will be open to artists beyond the geographies of the partners to submit existing works that connect to the themes of CONTESTED DESIRES.

Working closely with producers, cultural experts and communities across a variety of local contexts, the selected Caribbean Artist will have the opportunity to be part of a programme of interrelated activities across several partner countries including research, training, symposia and the production and presentation of new work in site-specific contexts and online.

The selected Caribbean artist will participate in the following activities:

  • X 1 month-long European-based residency in Spain or Portugal (to be decided by the partnership), concluding with an exhibition/ presentation of work in progress. This will be a joint residency alongside two other visiting artists from the partners’ countries.
  • X 3 capacity building workshops in Portugal, Spain and the UK;
  • X 1 digital training lab in the UK;
  • Online presentation including the participation in a digital lab (May 2021, UK);
  • X 1 group residency and final exhibition of work in site-specific settings as part of the Xarkis Festival (Polystipos, Cyprus) in 2021;
  • Evaluation (as directed).

 

TIMELINE of activities for the participating Caribbean artist

Each artist must be available to participate in and commit to all activities listed. The selected Caribbean artist will participate in one joint residency in Portugal and a Micro Residency in Barbados, and a final joint residency with all artists in Cyprus. Please identify at application stage if you are not able to participate in any of these activities.

January 2020 CONTESTED DESIRES Artists announced
February 2020 Capacity building workshop 1 hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).

Theme: Cultural Genealogies

An exploration of the genealogies of cultural heritage and their value in contemporary culture – How do we identify and map these connections from the perspective of those working across Europe and in the Caribbean? Are they valued? Who owns this heritage? How is this impacting societal change and intercultural dialogue on both sides of the Atlantic?

February – March 2020 Joint residency 1 for three artists (including the Caribbean Artist), hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).
March – April 2020 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).
June 2020 Capacity building workshop 2 hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England).

Theme: Statecraft

An exploration of the construct of the nation state the workshop will consider: How do we navigate statecraft? How do we tell our histories and stories that  represent inextricable connections globally? How and why do value systems change?

September 2020 Joint residency 2 for three artists, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit

(North East England).

November 2020 Capacity building workshop 3 hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain).

Theme: Gender equality in Cultural Heritage

An exploration of gender equality issues considering issues such as access, participation and representation of women in the heritage narratives; the role of women as artists, and women in the cultural labour market.

February 2021 Joint residency 3 for three artists, hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain
March – April 2021 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain).
March 2021 Micro residency for Caribbean artist ONLY hosted by Fresh Milk (Barbados).
May – June 2021 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England)
May 2021 Digital training lab for all artists and producers, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England).
August 2021 Group residency for all artists and final exhibition of work in site-specific settings as part of the Xarkis Festival (Polystipos, Cyprus). And launch of all artists’ digital works online.

 

ARTIST FEE

The total fee for the work described in the brief is €4,339.98 for which the artist is expected to participate fully in the programme. In addition to the artist fee, CONTESTED DESIRES will cover travel, accommodation and a daily per diem/catering for subsistence for international travel. Payment will be made according to an agreed schedule and on receipt of invoices.

The selected Caribbean artist will be provided a contract and will be managed by Fresh Milk. All copyrights for the work produced will remain with the artist. 

Please note:

There is a limited and finite transportation budget for the shipping of artworks. Selected artists will be asked to consider the mobility of their work.

 

HOW TO APPLY

CONTESTED DESIRES will be developed in response to the context of each place. Therefore, we are not looking for artists to submit fixed ideas or resolved project proposals in their application.

To apply, please complete an application form (available to download here) and send to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com. Your application should be a single PDF or Word Document no larger than 15MB and must include:

  • Contact details
  • An artist statement (250 words maximum)
  • An outline of how you would like to approach the themes of CONTESTED DESIRES (350 words maximum)
  • A brief CV (2 sides of A4 maximum)
  • Up to 3 examples of relevant previous projects that demonstrate the quality of your practice and relevance to the selection criteria (below). For each project, please submit up to 2 images (or a URL for video/sound work) and a maximum 150 word description

Application opens:  WEDNESDAY 16th OCTOBER 2019
Application closes:  MONDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2019, MIDNIGHT AST
Shortlisted applicants will be notified by: WEDNESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2019
Selected applicants will be notified by: TUESDAY 10th DECEMBER 2019

All selection decisions are final.

 

ABOUT Fresh Milk

Mission:

Fresh Milk supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development and foster a thriving art community

Vision:

To nurture, empower and connect Caribbean artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide global opportunities for growth, excellence and success.

The idea for Fresh Milk developed over years of conversations around the need for artistic engagement among artists in Barbados, to strengthen regional and diasporic links and shape new relationships globally. The platform was established in 2011 as a social practice experiment to counter the nearly 100% attrition rate of BFA students at Barbados Community College, the only institution on the island offering a BFA programme.

The Fresh Milk studio is located on a working dairy farm; the name ‘Fresh Milk’ also references the idea of nurturing, as the platform is committed to the healthy growth of contemporary arts & culture in the region. By offering a safe space for people to innovate, gather, and create, Fresh Milk moves against the Caribbean’s traumatic history as a platform of excellence and diversity. Operating out of a former seventeenth-century sugar plantation, Fresh Milk aims to shift the kind of activity that happens in this historically loaded site by fostering an open, critical environment.

Fresh Milk spans creative disciplines, generations, and linguistic territories in the Caribbean by functioning as a “cultural lab,” a dynamic space for artists through local, regional, and international programming including: residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, projects, etc. We aspire to be a sustainable organization contributing to a healthy cultural ecosystem.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

Artists will be selected on the following criteria:

  • Response to the brief;
  • Quality of visual arts practice;
  • Experience/ approach of engaging innovatively with local communities through collaborative/ participatory methods;
  • Interest in the role of contemporary visual arts in heritage contexts, with particular reference to the themes of the programme.

We welcome applications from artists with experience of presenting work both within and outside traditional gallery settings, and who are able to navigate multi-partnered projects in an open and collaborative way.

English is the primary language across the CONTESTED DESIRES programme. However, artists must be able to demonstrate ways of communicating effectively with speakers of other languages as part of the development, production and presentation of CONTESTED DESIRES.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact Annalee Davis, Founding Director or Katherine Kennedy, Communications & Operations Manager / freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com

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