Open Call for Lens-Based Artists from India and Wales

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation in collaboration with the Diffusion Festival-Wales with the support of the British Council and Wales Arts International announces the Open Call for a grant for resident photographers and lens based artists from India and Wales to submit proposals on the theme - IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. 

This collaboration enables a total of four grant awards - to two Indian and two Welsh photographers/lens-based artists for the production of work on the basis of proposals submitted through the open call. The works produced by the four artists will be exhibited at the next Diffusion festival in 2021. The work is also likely to be showcased at a subsequent edition of Chennai Photo Biennale on the basis of available funding and further grant support.

THEME: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE

It is somewhat of a paradox that at a time when individuals are more globally connected than ever before, the idea of ‘nationhood’ remains a powerful unifying force for people. 

Could it be that the idea of one’s national identity is defined by a common language, history and culture is at odds with the complex, pluralistic and ever-changing state of nations? 

Is the term ‘nation state’ simply an outmoded and divisive construct around which people and land are organised, or does it have a contemporary relevance?

Can we create a new, inclusive vision of nationhood compatible with our global responsibilities?

How do we ensure that a nation’s innovations, cultural forms, wealth and resources are harnessed for the common good, not just for the benefit of those living within its borders?

There is often one nation state, but there are many imaginations of the nation state depending on where one is speaking from.

Photographers/lens based artists are invited to engage with these and many such questions in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation state. Specific to such efforts must be an active conceptualization of both sameness and difference, in relation to what is understood to be the template of the nation-state. To this extent, artists might choose to work with many modalities including but not limited to narrative, materiality, symbolism, phenomenology, fantasy, event, and contingency. At the heart of submissions, must be a willingness for conceptual experimentation and a spirit of critique.

*Concept note development: Mathangi Krishnamurthy, David Drake, Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation

Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation and its Welsh partner Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography (a biennial event curated and run by Ffotogallery Wales) were collectively awarded the The British Council Connections through Culture: India-Wales 2020 grant which has made this project possible.

GRANT DETAILS

The theme for the grant submissions is ‘Imagining the Nation State’ and invites proposals from resident photographers and lens-based artists in India and Wales, with special encouragement to female/female identifying practitioners.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be a resident of either of the two countries

OR

Applicant is of non-Indian or non-Welsh origin and has concurrent resident permits from 2015 of either of the two countries valid at least till Dec 2021.

The grant amount being awarded is 1500 GBP per artist and will be issued to the awardee in four parts - the details of which will be emailed to the awardee upon selection and announcement.

Shortlisted applicants will be announced 10 days prior to the final award. The jury will be doing video interviews with the shortlisted candidates to arrive at their final decision.

The grant is given to four independent artists towards the production of four bodies of works - two from India and two from Wales. Selected work will be new or a development of a body of work under production, but not yet realised in exhibition form.

The grant will also consider if two artists would like to apply as a team offering two interconnected/conjoined proposals (for instance, one proposal supplementing the other, or one could be a photo-based work and the other a video work).

The four awardees can choose to work independently or collaborate with each other and take their projects forward.

In support of their proposal, applicants should submit an ongoing body of work or have a folio of work from a similar genre to supplement their written proposal.

No single-image works will be considered for the grant. Your submission should be a series from one body of work/project. 

The grant is towards the production of the work and should include a reasonable fee for the artist. Every proposal will be required to present a detailed timeline and how the artist intends to spend the grant amount on the basis the production timeline.

Exhibition/presentation costs, including printing, framing, installation, invigilation and interpretation, will be determined and met by the curating organisations, subject to available resources.  

In consultation with the artists, work created and submitted will be used for promoting the grant via social media, newsletters, video and traditional media. Awarded artists will be expected to provide material from their project and remain available for interviews with the media and with CPB Foundation and Diffusion/Ffotogallery social platforms. The organisers' and granters' websites will also serve as a portal for collating the processes and outcome of the entire project.

Exhibition of final works at either Diffusion 2021 or CPB will be designed basis available funding and venues in conversation with artists. 

By applying to this grant, applicants implicitly agree to abide by the grant terms and conditions and keep to timelines specified. Failure to reach milestones or participate in follow up communication may result in withdrawal of further grant funding.

Should the production of the work require more time and the artist-awardee is unable to meet the deadline due to health reasons or unforeseen circumstances, the artist should contact the grants committee immediately on [email protected]

TIMELINE 

SUBMISSION FORMAT

Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM IST on Aug 30 


We are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state.

Two Donkeys in a war zone by Clément Lambelet 

https://c-lambelet.com/en/projects/two-donkeys-in-a-war-zone/

Two donkeys in a war zone by Cle?ment Lambelet is a series that stems from an American army video available on YouTube. A drone records an attack on an ISIS camp. Between two explosions, the aircraft’s infrared camera briefly captures two donkeys.

The Flavours of Nationalism by Nadita Haksar

In this book, Nadita Haksar recounts her culinary journey, as a human rights activist and lawyer in search of answers to the fundamental political questions that have arisen during recent controversies over food - what can we eat, who can we eat with, what foods are forbidden or denigrated, and what all this says about our country.

Talcum by Seba Kurtis

https://christopheguye.com/artists/seba-kurtis/selected-works/talcum

Seba Kurtis’ photographic collages ‘Talcum’ refer to an incident when illegal refugees from the Middle East were hiding in a truck transporting talcum powder (originating from the Arabic word ‘talq’) in order to get over the British border. Images of the minerals cover the faces of immigrants who must remain in hiding from state authorities during their illegal stay. The rocks in the foreground also stand for the prioritization of the inorganic material over the worth of human lives on our economic scale of values.

The photography of Seba Kurtis and his investigation into the environment of illegal migration attempt to restore balanced and humane dimensions of migrants’ identity. The overexposed and aesthetically intense images help change our negative perception of illegally migrating people and zoom in on their own complicated journeys and circumstances, which are part of global political phenomena.

The civic view from above by Hagit Keysar

The Civic View From Above gathers together research and collaborative work by Hagit Keysar with Public Lab’s DIY aerial photography toolkit in spaces of political conflict. Keysar works with local activists and communities to gain a birds’-eye view of contested spaces. In doing so, she is able to deploy aerial photography as a human rights testimony against urban planning interventions that many find to be disruptive.

Les Statues Meurent Aussi (Statues Also Die), film by Alain Resnais & Chris Marker

Statues Also Die (French: Les Statues meurent aussi) is a 1953 French essay film directed by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, about historical African art and the effects colonialism has had on how it is perceived. The film won the 1954 Prix Jean Vigo. Because of its criticism of colonialism, the second half of the film was censored in France until the 1960s.

The film traces the devastating impact of French colonialism on African art. As Resnais' co-director, Chris Marker, stated, "We want to see their suffering, serenity, humor, even though we don't know anything about them." Their film shows what happens when art loses its connection to a culture. Consequently it was banned in France for 12 years.

Imagine Otherwise: Ani Maitra on Media and Identity in the Public Sphere

Identity has undeniable social, political, and economic consequences. But can we imagine a world where what defines me and others like me does not hinge on exploitation, oppression, or exclusion in some form?…Now, the million dollar question for many, many scholars has been, how do we get there? My attempt to answer that question has been to suggest that instead of celebrating or dismissing identity, we need to rethink its production and persistence. We need to reexamine how identities are mediated by capitalism and how these multiple mediations are, in fact, designed to pit identities against each other.

Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009 - 2011)

http://www.alanahunt.net/blank/txt-msgs/

Paper txt msgs from Kashmir began in December 2009 as a lo-fi participatory media project initiated by Alana Hunt as a kind of tongue-in-cheek response to the government’s ban on all pre-paid mobile phone services in Indian occupied Kashmir on the basis of ‘security’.

Over time the work grew into a multi-platform body of work incorporating video, installation and a publication circulating in both on and offline environments. First released as an e-book online in May 2011, which you can download from this website, and published in print in August that same year the publication contains a collection of new writing from Kashmir by Suvaid Yaseen, Majid Maqbool, Zooni Tickoo, Iram Razzaq, Rahim Seab, Gowhar Fazili, Uzma Falak and Tanveer Ahmed.

The State is not a Work of Art 

https://www.kunstihoone.ee/en/programme/the-state-is-not-a-work-of-art/

The exhibition examines the problematics, contradictions and ideologies underlying nation and nationalism in the constantly transforming European socio- political landscape. Offering a more nuanced view, beyond stereotypical definitions and polarised, simplistic narratives that divide the world into nationalistically driven binaries of ‘them’ versus ‘us,’ the exhibition aims to highlight that these are highly intricate issues with complex historical and socio-political roots.

Mõtleme oma emakeeles ka siis, kui selles ei räägi” (you think in your own language even when you don’t speak it) by Lisa Harlev 

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Mõtleme oma emakeeles ka siis, kui selles ei räägi” (you think in your own language even when you don’t speak it) by Lisa Harlev @liseharlev Exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018 Lise Harlev’s work presents bold and often ambiguous sentences, utilising symbols, motifs and typography of the kind found in contemporary graphic design media, such as public signage, banners, billboards and advertisements. The work touches on various ways of practicing a language – thinking, hearing, reading, writing and speaking – and the difference between inward thought and expressive, written statement. Estonian is one of only three Finno-Ugric languages that are officially recognised by nation states as national languages. Due to broader demographic trends across Europe, the number of native Estonian speakers is in decline. Moreover, 29% of Estonia’s population continues to speak Russian as their primary language. Harlev’s work gives rise to a multitude of questions regarding this situation, and touches on the tensions that may arise. In addition to the banner, a series of six posters entitled People Who SpeakYour Language (2018) was posted around the city of Tallinn. @tallinnarthall @katerina.gregos ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline : 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #film#lensbased #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #artsfoundation #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #contemporaryphotography #estonia100 #tallinnarthall

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Exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018

"New Year's Boy" by Jaanus Samma

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"New Year's Boy" by Jaanus Samma @jaanus_samma Installation and performance exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018 Photos: Kristina Õllek Courtesy of Temnikova & Kasela Gallery @temnikovakaselagallery New Year’s Boy examines the constructed nature of folk culture, focusing on a marginal tradition that has long since subsided from the collective memory of Estonians. New Year’s Boy, which includes a performance choreographed by Siim Tõniste, is inspired by a photograph of a young man wearing a straw costume taken in 1935 at the atelier of the brothers Parikas. It belongs to a series of staged ethnographic photographs that were commissioned by August Pulst, a folk culture activist of the interwar period, and sold as postcards to raise money for the Tori Museum, a small county museum he had established in 1934 for the preservation of Estonian national heritage. @tallinnarthall @katerina.gregos ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline : 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #film#lensbased #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #artsfoundation #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #contemporaryphotography #estonia100 #tallinnarthall

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Installation and performance exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018

The Unknown Land of the South by Ella Littwitz 

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The Unknown Land of the South by Ella Littwitz @ellalittwitz Installation exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018 Ella Littwitz’s sculptural work The Unknown Land of the South is based on the legendary Terra Australis Incognita, a hypothetical continent first imagined in antiquity by Ptolemy. He based its existence on the hypothesis that the continents on the Northern hemisphere should be balanced by an equal landmass in the South, something already speculated by Aristotle. The sculpture is a new piece of land composed of the soil from the 24 countries that deny Littwitz’s entry because of her nationality. As the borders between these countries follow the longitudinal lines of a globe, in the sculpture they each lie side by side forming the circular shape of a pie and its component slices. Up until now Littwitz can only show the soil from 17 countries. For technical or legal reasons it has been impossible to gather the soil from seven countries. The collaborators who have supplied her with the soil have often had to put themselves at risk to get it out of the country of origin. Littwitz will continue her attempt to acquire the soil from the absent countries and turn her utopian “Unknown Land of the South” into a poetic reality. @tallinnarthall @katerina.gregos ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline : 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #film#lensbased #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #artsfoundation #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #contemporaryphotography #estonia100 #tallinnarthall

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Everyone votes here by Marina Naprushkina

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Everyone votes here by Marina Naprushkina Exhibited at “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall, 2018 On the 24th of September 2017 Germany held federal parliament elections. In Germany, only people with German citizenship have the permission to vote. All the other residents are excluded from political decision making. For this occasion Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit opened a polling station in Beusselstraße 26, where those people could also cast a ballot to make their voices heard. Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit @neuenachbarschaft_moabit was founded by Marina Naprushkina in 2013 and it grew into a over 500 member community from refugee and local backgrounds. A series of posters was presented at the exhibition for the public campaign Everyone Votes Here (”Hier wählen alle”) initiated as part of her project New Neighbourhood (Neue Nachbarschaft) in Berlin’s Moabit. The non-profit initiative has been set up to support refugees by providing various services such as translation, and diverse cultural and social events for refugees and asylum seekers. The poster campaign is part of Naprushkina’s overall activist practice and direct political action. @tallinnarthall @katerina.gregos ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline : 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #film#lensbased #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #artsfoundation #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #contemporaryphotography #estonia100 #tallinnarthall

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What’s in a name? The politics of naming a dance form.

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#repost • @conflictorium What’s in a name? The politics of naming a dance form. Naming is a political act. The common understanding of “Bharatanatyam’s” naming is as follows. In South India, temple dance was called Sadir, and then when in the 1930s it was “revived,” it was renamed Bharatanatyam in Madras. Because there is a tendency to align this dance with ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, all sorts of ideas about its name in the hoary past are floating around today. What we do know with a degree of certainty, is that in the moment prior to both the reform and the reinvention, in Tamilnadu, this dance was known by a huge range of names, and not just “Sadir.” These included Chinna Melam, Kelikai, Kachcheri (Urdu), Melam, and Bharatanatyam. What we call Bharatanatyam today is the culmination of the conflict of several forces -- political, social, cultural and even psychological. Bharatanatyam as we experience it embodies the erasures of the bodily, intellectual, aesthetic, and political contributions of women and men from the hereditary bahujan community of its original practitioners, known today as Isai Vellalars (“cultivators of music”) and whose women are sometimes problematically referred to using the term “devadasi.” Lost in public debate are their social histories, lived realities, and approaches to art-making. Some of these losses are irretrievable, but it is possible to revisit these histories through sources such as oral retellings and academic works, but crucially through awakened voices from within the community — both the stridently political and the safely apolitical. Such voices are especially poignant when one considers the stifling silence of many from the community and the extent to which they have been rendered invisible. Follow Nrithya Pillai @nrithyapillai on @conflictorium to revisit some of these erasures from her perspective as a woman from this community. ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: Details link in bio.

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APEX by Arthur Jafa 

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An 800+ photo-collage of abstracted imagery of an undefined boundless concept of what blackness is. It is his response to his idea of black cinema, the precedent to a large scale film of epic proportions setting itself apart as the complete opposite of mainstream Hollywood film. Jafa says, “The mantra is really about trying to force people to think more deeply about what a black cinema might be, and what it might look like.” The audio-visual features musical figures, as Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix ; Animated caricatures such as Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat ; Sci-fi references such as the Xenomorph from Alien vs. Predator, Na’vi from Avatar, Maria from Metropolis, Hal 9000 from 2001 a Space Odyssey; deep sea creatures and microorganisms; and scenes of violence. The track playing is Minus by Robert Hood, a Detroit Techno track in a minimal style, gives an aural tonality to the video, sounding like machinery. some sort. The undercurrent of black techno as the score adds to the scientific feel, like these images are Jafa’s way of creating a scientific study of black popular culture. Source: Medium @medium ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline : 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #film#lensbased #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #artsfoundation #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #contemporaryphotography

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9645 kilometers of memories by Helena Schätzle

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9645 kilometers of memories by Helena Schätzle Almost every person in Europe has part of their family history connected to World War II happenings. With the dying out of the last living witnesses of this time, we are entering an age of forgetting and overcoming our past. This project does not just remind of that time and the remains still perceivable in today’s society but also close a circle of time with personal records and memories of still living witnesses in photographic and text form. By showing different experiences people had at the same time at the very same place, Helena hopes to help to expand the historical awareness of our generation and give an impulse for a critical discussion. In this work with the help of her sister Nora Schätzle, they put the focus on the part of the war taking place in the Soviet War Zone. The thread of this project is the personal diary of their grandfather who was a soldier during World War II in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine and Russia. Within these places they searched for contemporary witnesses of the Second World War. Thus to record the different personal experiences ranging from recruitment, warfare, persecution of Jews and other minorities to everyday life within this uncertain time. ___________ In the upcoming weeks, we are curating a series of reading materials and works to encourage artist participation in the process of producing ongoing, current and relevant imaginations of the idea of the nation-state. Open call: IMAGINING THE NATION STATE. Details about the grant - link in bio. Deadline: 30 August 2020 #imaginingthenationstategrant #nationstate #britishcouncil #walesartsinternational #diffusionfestival #chennaiphotobiennale #cpbfoundation #ffotogallery #biennale#photographygrant #foundationgrants #artsgrants #photography #india #artists #opencall #supportartists #grantsforphotographers #indianphotographers #welshphotographers #photographyresources #photodocumentation #conceptualphotography #HelenaSchätzle #9645kilometersofwar #worldwar2 #eupore #sovietwar #warstories #warrecords

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