January 19, 2023

Leaky Archive Digital Fellowships

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM)

Kiri Dalena, Snare for Birds, 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Kiri Dalena.

Kiri Dalena, 2022.*

Kiri Dalena, 2022.*

Leaky Archive is the new digital project at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum (RJM). The project's ambition is to work collaboratively on the collections in digital and analog spaces to make both content and structure more democratic, open, and polyphonic. As part of the project, the RJM and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne–Research Group Networks (KHM) start the second round of digital fellowships to explore how colonial archives and collections can be critically developed and reflected upon with the help of digitality.

The open call is directed to artists, activists, makers, experts, and collectives from the Global South*. You are invited to apply with a project idea. The four fellows of this round are free to choose what kind of idea they want to pursue. It can include methodological and/or thematic approaches to collections, archives, databases, or individual subjects in the collections. Any questions about the museum's inventories can be asked by email at contact [​at​]

Over three months (April–June 2023), the four fellows will be able to dedicate themselves individually to their projects, engage in exchange, and share their research. The participants will work in a process and exemplary way, without necessarily having to bring forward finished results. They will not be physically together but will use various online tools to stay in touch and document the process. We see digital fellowships as a contemporary format of support and networking in a globalized scene shaped by digitalization.

Possible topics
–visual and material cultures of colonialism
–legacies of diverse colonial empires and coloniality in archives
–material and digital restitution and repair
–accessibility, conservation, and participation
–engaging communities in digital spaces
–digital infrastructure and alternative networks
–narratives and counter-narratives, and issues of memory and agency
–human, more-than-human, and institutional relations
–predatory inclusion and colonial debt
–discomfort and hope
–decolonization of the unconscious

Applicants can submit a project proposal on one of the above topics or propose their own focus that can be researched with the help of the collections.

The primary language of communication for the fellowships is English, but the research and its documentation may be conducted in any language.

Artists, activists, makers, professionals, and collectives from the Global South* and who live in the Global South* can apply. If you do not identify with one of these categories or are unsure, please get in touch with us.

Applications should be sent via this form or through our website by March 2, 2023. The applications can be submitted in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, or German. The selection will be announced by March 20, 2023.

What is offered
–a grant of 2500 EUR for three months of part-time research (April–June 2023 / 160 hours in total)
–research funding for up to 500 EUR
–full access to the database of the museum
–long-term participation in the international networks of the RJM and the KHM
–participation in a model project to democratize the RJM collections
–organization of online public events during the fellowship period

–work with the database
–present a documentation of the research
–participate in two online public events

*Leaky Archive defines the Global South not as a geographical concept but as a self-identification for the suffering caused by colonialism and capitalism and the resistance to overcoming or minimizing such suffering. Although most South folks live in the Southern hemisphere, it is a South that also exists in Europe and North America in the form of marginalized and invisibilized peoples (Boaventura de Sousa Santos, 2012)​.

*Images above: [2–3] Screenshots of Kiri Dalena's presentation of her edited version of RJM photographic database in the context of the Philippines.

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