CFP: Radical Art in Transition: Counter-culture, protest, resistance and contemporary art in the Balkans since 1968

CFP: Radical Art in Transition: Counter-culture, protest, resistance and contemporary art in the Balkans since 1968
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016

Jonathan Blackwood, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University,
Jasmina Tumbas, SUNY: University at Buffalo,

‘…this transformation is now openly being challenged by the rise of new social movements and by the return of radical politics in the post-Yugoslav and wider Balkan region. A new generation enters politics via direct democratic actions and the street and not through political channels of electoral democracy and classic party politics…sometimes in unlikely places, such as the post-socialist and post-conflict Balkans, we can see a sudden explosion of original radicalism.’

Igor Štiks & Srecko Horvat, Radical Politics in the Desert of Transition, 2015 Štiks and Horvat’s analysis of recent political protests in the former Yugoslavia, and in the wider Balkan region, focus on the development of ‘parallel institutions’, ‘alternative structures’, and the struggles of a ‘new consensus’ to gain traction in a heavily contested and corrupted political landscape.

Much of this analysis could also be extended to open out intersections between counter cultures, political protest, and contemporary art in the Balkans region since the upheavals of 1968. From the actions of the New Left in the Yugoslav context, to more recent public demonstrations against governments and the effects of neoliberal politics from Slovenia to Turkey, from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Moldova, protest and the cultural and political imagination are vivid threads in late modern and contemporary art in the region.

This panel seeks papers that address the intersections between visual culture and political protest in the Western Balkan space. We are open minded about the approaches you could take; from art-historical analyses of specific moments (eg Serbian art’s response to the rise of radical nationalism at the end of the 1980s and in the Miloševi? years), to essays on the role and future of institutions in a bleak funding landscape, to specific interventions by cultural actors in the political or para-political stage.

We are interested, too, in how visual culture has responded to and developed particular layers of protest; such as LGBTIQ+, debates surrounding minority rights, and self-organised community-based actions.

In opening out debate on the complex inter-relations between visual culture, counter culture and protest, we hope that our joint work will develop new insights into, and understandings of, these difficulties, and contextualise these debates against a broader background of political, economic and cultural hierarchies within the EU.

Please email your paper proposals straight to the session convenor(s). Provide a title and abstract for a 25 minute paper (max 250 words). Include your name, affiliation and email. Your paper title should be concise and accurately reflect what the paper is about (it should ‘say what it does on the tin’) because the title is what appears most first and foremost online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks. Do not send proposals to the Conference Administrator or the Conference Convenor.

Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016

43rd Annual Conference and Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th – 8th April 2017

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