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Announcement
December 20, 2022

CuratorLab 2023/24 open call

Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design

Anders Sunna, Illegal Spirits of Sápmi (detail), 2022. Installation view, The Sámi Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2022.

Photo: Bitte Andersson/Konstfack.

The North. Curatorial projects with and from Umeå to Kiruna.

For the 2023–24 academic year, we invite you to join CuratorLab led by Joanna Warsza and Maria Lind for collective research and work in and with the north of Sweden. The area making up the region of Norrland covers 60 percent of the country, and it is populated by about ten percent of out of eleven million people. It is part of Sápmi, the territory inhabited by the Sámi spanning across Fennoscandia, between Northern and Eastern Europe.

The Sámi are one of the main and few indigenous people who have been inhabiting Europe longer than anyone else, before national borders were established, and settler cultures became the norm. The area, which is rich in natural resources such as silver, iron ore and forests, was controlled, claimed and colonized by the Crown from the 14th century onwards, a form of exploitation that continues to this day. However, against many odds, Sámi traditional lifestyles, knowledge, craft and music have survived, and are developed and practiced across the north.

Today industrialisation is expanding, with new mines, large wind mill farms, and internet servers being established, while the climate change is palpable, causing problems such as new layers of thin ice preventing the reindeer from grazing. The north is a place where the politics of extraction meet the need to cultivate vernacular ways of being. What do these conditions mean for life in the region? What are the implications for the climate, the landscape, for the Sámi as well as for others living and working there? What can art and curating bring to the table, and how?

The course will be realized in collaboration with Bildmuseet at Umeå University and in dialogue with the institution's long commitment to Sámi artists and the questions of the north. Among the discussion partners of the course are artists Anders Sunna and Katarina Pirak Sikku, as well as Galleri Syster in Luleå and Havremagasinet in Boden.

Under the working title "the North", a group of ten participants will travel to Umeå, Luleå, Jokkmokk, Kvikkjokk, Boden, Kiruna and other places to meet with artists and other cultural practitioners. The trip will take place in early autumn 2023 and it will be followed by three intensive sessions in Stockholm, online gatherings and possibly separate trips by smaller groups to selected locations. In April 2024, the participants will be invited to curate various formats of events—public programs, screenings, performances and/or exhibition projects at and with Bildmuseet and other initiatives across Northern Sweden.

About CuratorLab
CuratorLab is a one-year international curatorial course at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. We are exploring radical approaches to engagement, contributing to the pertinent conversations of our times, practicing curating beyond exhibition making and applying horizontal learning. One of our leading questions is how to understand—paraphrasing Audre Lorde—our interdependence in relation to our own individual power and creativity? Thus, every year we work on one common topic where everyone contributes in an own way. CuratorLab is open for everyone interested in collective curatorial work, thinking out of the box, and keen to form a solid research group sharing the language of art.

In recent years we performed advocacy as a curatorial form at the Visible Temporary Parliament; co-edited a reader on love and revolution in the legacy of the Bolshevik revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai and re-staged the "Operaist Trial 1977–78" with the artist Rossella Biscotti.

How to apply
–Apply here (for Swedish speaking applicants apply here)
–Upload files here
Application deadline: January 16, 2023. More information available here and here.

More info here.

We welcome you to join forces with us in this endeavor!

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