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Getting to the bottom of history

The European Mediterranean Art Association (EMAA) and the Rooftop Theatre Group are currently running an open call to all young Cypriot artists to take part in an artists‘ residency to be held in Berlin in December under the title Dig Where You Stand.

The residency will host eight artists all together, four Cypriots and four artists from the rest of Europe, and it will be curated by curator and visual artist Naomi Hennig.

After the deadline for applications, which is on midnight on November 6, Hennig will select the young artists who will take part in the ten-day residency. During their time in Berlin – From December 1 until December 10 – the artists will take part in workshops and on the tenth day all the art produced during the residency will be displayed in an exhibition.

The title of the residency, Dig Where You Stand, focuses on historical cities and refers to Sven Lindqvist’s 1978 book, which explores the idea of researching the history of one’s own workplace. The writing of history is seen as an emancipatory collective responsibility, something that should not be handed over to professionals or to representatives of power, but should be created from “below.”

Every place can be read and interpreted as a phenomenon in time. Historical cities specifically could be said to have a vertical history, an underground to be excavated, physically but also on symbolic levels. Exploration of a place such as Berlin happens in multiple directions – moving between different coordinates on the city-map, but also by simply standing still and listening to the stories and memories that resonate in the streets and neighbourhoods, official histories as much as untold ones.

As a formerly divided city, Berlin can also be seen as a blueprint for the Cyprus context, incorporating numerous routes and methodologies that could help to imagine the reality of a future reunification and cohabitation in a city like Nicosia, while the comparison itself sparks off new questions and debates.

According to Henning “the aim of the collective discussions, meetings and site-visits in or around Berlin is to expand the understanding of what such a historiography can imply, and to find a link to or a resonance within the participants’ individual practice.

“I would like to invite the group to share with me some of the obscure, mostly forgotten micro-histories of this city and its cultural memory, and to engage in a common reflection.”

Henning lives in Berlin, where she works as curator, project coordinator, and a visual artist. She has been invovled in a number of curatorial projects and events as part of alternative education programmes.

If you are under 35-years-old and you would like to take part in the residency, send in a portfolio of works and point out and describe at least one recent work that relates in some way to the idea of historiography, exploration or story-telling as described by Henning.

Application guidelines and an application form can be found at http://www.art-confrontation.com/activities/. The completed application form should be sent to the project coordinators Ozgul Ezgin at [email protected] and to Argyro Toumazou on [email protected]

Dig Where You Stand – Open Call
Ten-day artistic residency in Berlin. Application deadline November 6, 12am. Application form on http://www.art-confrontation.com/activities/

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