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Artists' Association MUU » OPEN CALL: FLOATING PEERS – 2013 International Social Practice Workshop, Bangladesh
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OPEN CALL: FLOATING PEERS – 2013 International Social Practice Workshop, Bangladesh

• Artists’ Association MUU presents an open call to its members to participate in a project of socially committed art in Bangladesh in November 2013.

• Deadline for application is 10 August 2013.

• The project will be presented both as a publication and at the two concluding seminars, one in the Bangladesh Cultural Ministry’s Shilpakala Academy, the other at the Art Academy of the University of Chittagong.

FLOATING PEERS – 2013 is a project for community art practitioners organised jointly by Artists’ Association MUU and the Porapara Space for Artists in Bangladesh. The project will involve participants from Finland, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Nepal and South Korea. There will be 25 participants from Bangladesh and at most 4 artists from Finland. The project will take place at the Porapara Space for Artists and in urban environments in Chittagong in South Bangladesh. The Finnish project coordinator is artist JP Kaljonen.

The project will consist of a series of workshops in which the participating artists develop and carry out community initiatives with street children and their families in the Porapara area. Landless people who have fled from the countryside to the cities are a serious and rapidly growing social problem in Bangladesh. Many of them live on the fringes of society without permanent abode or basic necessities, earning their livelihood by collecting refuse, hawking or as rickshaw pullers. Social instability deprives children of school education and exposes young people in particular to all kinds of exploitation. The goal of the project is to develop, in collaboration with local artists and experts, artistic means to involve and empower this segment of the population, to enhance their quality of life and give public exposure to the issue.

Owing to the traditional character of the country’s education system, the field of socially committed art is marginal in Bangladesh. The project therefore aims to engage artists from different countries in a peer learning process and to highlight socially committed art within the field of culture in Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshi organiser of the project, Porapara Space for Artists, is the only functioning centre of contemporary art in South Bangladesh. Founded in 2004, it is run by a group of independent artists whose aim is to give emerging artists in Chittagong a chance to develop their professional skills. During its existence, the space has organised local and international workshops, exhibitions, festivals, residency programmes, discussions and public art projects. In addition to introducing new forms of art, the space has also made a firm commitment to the local village community. It has a workshop for public art, organised annually, the content of which is planned together with the villagers. For more information, go to http://porapara.org/

The Floating Peers project will be launched in October 2013 with an online forum where artists from different countries can access a database collected for the project and to discuss the issues. Participating artists from Finland are expected to have experience of community art, and they are also expected to give a lecture on their work in one of the concluding seminars of the project. The project will be conducted in Bangladesh 7–27 November 2013. The dates are inclusive of flight times. The project will involve networking sessions with people from the Bangladeshi art field. Finnish participants will receive free board and lodging, visa and travel costs, an artist’s fee, and a project allocation scaled to suit local conditions. The project is supported by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM HERE (PDF)

Application must be submitted by email no later than on 10 August 2013 to muugalleria@muu.fi. The language of application and all appendices is English.

For more information about the project and working conditions in Bangladesh, contact muugalleria@muu.fi (tel. +358 (0)9 625 972) or when the office is closed 1–31 July to jp@kaljonen.com (tel. +358 (0)40 762 4631)