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Open call for CuratorLab 2023/24 at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design

Application deadline: January 16, 2023

For the academic year 2023-24, Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design welcomes applications to join CuratorLab, led by Joanna Warsza and Maria Lind, for collaborative study and work in and with Sweden's north.

The region of Norrland encompasses 60% of the country and is home to around 10% of the country’s population of eleven million people. It is part of Sápmi, the Sámi homeland that stretches throughout Fennoscandia between Northern and Eastern Europe.

The Sámi are one of the few indigenous peoples who have lived in Europe for as long as anybody else, before state borders were established and settler cultures became the norm. From the 14th century onwards, the Crown controlled, claimed, and colonized the area, which is rich in natural resources such as silver, iron ore, and forests, a kind of exploitation that continues to this day. Despite this, Sámi traditional lifestyles, knowledge, craft, and song have persisted and are being developed and practiced throughout the north.

Today, industrialisation is spreading, with new mines, big wind farms, and internet servers being built, while climate change is producing concerns such as new layers of thin ice prohibiting reindeer from grazing. The north is a place where extractive politics collide with the need to promote vernacular ways of being. What does this mean for life in the region? What are the ramifications for the climate, the terrain, the Sámi, and those who live and work there? What and how might art and curating contribute?

The course will be developed in partnership with Bildmuseet at Ume University, and will be in dialogue with the institution’s long commitment to Sámi artists and northern issues. Artists Anders Sunna and Katarina Pirak Sikku, as well as Galleri Syster in Lule and Havremagasinet in Boden, are among the course’s conversation partners.

A group of ten participants will go to Ume, Lule, Jokkmokk, Kvikkjokk, Boden, Kiruna, and other locations under the working title “the North” to interact with artists and other cultural practitioners. The journey will take place in early autumn 2023, followed by three intensive sessions in Stockholm, online gatherings, and maybe separate visits to selected sites by smaller groups. Participants will be invited to curate a variety of event formats in April 2024, including public programs, screenings, performances, and/or exhibition projects at and alongside Bildmuseet and other initiatives throughout Northern Sweden.

About CuratorLab
CuratorLab is a one-year international curating program at Stockholm’s Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design. We are investigating radical approaches to participation, contributing to current dialogues, practicing curation beyond exhibition making, and implementing horizontal learning. One of our central concerns is how to comprehend, to paraphrase Audre Lorde, our interconnectedness in connection to our own particular power and creativity. As a result, each year we work on a single common issue to which everyone contributes in their own unique way. CuratorLab is accessible to everyone who is interested in collaborative curatorial work, thinking outside the box, and forming a strong research group that speaks 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.