8TH GHETTO BIENNALE 2024 CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The 8th Ghetto Biennale 2024 will take place from the 9th of February until the 4th of March 2024
Jacmel carnival weekends are 3rd/4th February and 10th/11th February.
CARNIVAL OF THE ANCESTORS
After the success of Atis Rezistans | Ghetto Biennale at documenta fifteen, and the subsequent AICA.de award for best exhibition of 2022, and finally our recent triumph at RISING festival, Melbourne the Ghetto Biennale team are excited to announce that we will be holding the 8th Ghetto Biennale in 2024 from mid-Feb until early March in the city of Jacmel, Haiti.
We are all extremely disappointed not to be returning to the original site but due to the continuing insecurity in Port-au-Prince, especially close to the Grand Rue/Portail Léogâne area, the Ghetto Biennale team made the decision to move the event, for this year only, to Jacmel. There will be undoubtably considerable differences from the original location of Grand Rue, and we hope to embrace these through discovering other Haitian artists, venues, and art forms. As we do not have enough funding to transport and accommodate members of Atis Rezistans outside of Port-au-Prince the major changes will be in terms of the cohort of Haitian artists you can work with…but we would encourage visiting artists to invite and support members of Atis Rezistans if they wish to pursue and/or continue a working relationship.
The political instability suffered by people in Port-au-Prince at the moment is untenable and we all sincerely hope for positive change in the future, but we felt that it was best for the Ghetto Biennale, the Haitian arts as a whole, and hopefully in the future, for Atis Rezistans, to maintain momentum from the visibility and publicity received and continue, just this once, in a different location. Jacmel is calm and relatively unaffected by the overall situation in the capital of the country and furthermore home to a thriving scene of creative artists.
"THERE ARE MASKS THAT SHIELD US FROM OTHERS, BUT THERE ARE MASKS THAT EMBOLDEN US, AND YOU SEE THAT IN CARNIVAL"
This Ghetto Biennale hopes to integrate and contribute to the arts in Jacmel at the same time as be influenced and possessed by the talents and skills from the many carnival performers, papier-mâché sculptors, Vodou communities, LGBTQ+ groups, dance troupes and artists that our team have developed deep connexions with in Jacmel. We hope to help successful applicants get together with local organisations such as Jakmel Ekspresyon, Artist’s Institute, FOSAJ and a host of masquerade artists.
The theme of the next Ghetto Biennale will be ‘Kanaval Zanset’ (Carnival of the Ancestors), and will explore the global significances, roots and journeys of carnival and discover the archetypes and follow these characters through multiple histories, mythologies, and politics. We want to embrace the politics of street theatre and the transgressive optics of carnival. The Ghetto Biennale wants to create an international contemporary arts exchange that can engage, delve, reflect, and rework concepts of carnival collectively and collaboratively and explore the mechanisms of histories told from below.
We want to question which masks conceal and which reveal? We welcome projects that draw upon the ancestors of the past and speculate on the multifarious futures of carnivalesque kith and kin. We would want to research the many ancient roots of carnival from Dionysus of Ancient Greece, Saturnalia of the Romans, to the Middle Ages and dreams of Cockaigne and pre-Lenten debauchery and the Trans/Black Atlantic roots in the Americas and the Caribbean.
"WE ARE CARNIVAL PEOPLE, WE ARE VIBRANT PEOPLE, NOT DEAD PEOPLE"
We want to embrace physical and virtual interventions to carnival and the ancestors, artists exploring local Jacmellian artistic forms to create new ones. We also welcome projects that explore the unfolding links between Vodou, carnival and the ancestors. As well as visual and sculptural arts we welcome expanded choreography, sonic fiction, musical stagecraft, ritual and secular procession, the politics of mass intervention into public space, role playing and costume production. We look to research into carnival structures, systems, and political/gender/race/class intersections. The Ghetto Biennale wants to acknowledge that carnival cultures are the tides and currents of eternal circulations of tradition stemming from seasonal festivals, potlaches and are as situated in the ceremonies of First Nations equally as the contemporary festivities of African, European, Asian, and American cultures.
"GREAT CHANGES…ARE ALWAYS PRECEDED BY A CERTAIN CARNIVAL CONSCIOUSNESS"
The 8th Ghetto Biennale 2024 will take place from the 9th of February until the 4th of March 2024. All works must be made and exhibited in Haiti. Artists and curators will be invited to pass, no less than ten days and up to three weeks in Haiti before presenting their work in the neighbourhood.
The deadline for proposal applications is midnight Friday 25th August GMT 2023 and our decisions will be made and announced Mon 28th August 2023. Applicants for the 8th Ghetto Biennale 2024 must provide a written synopsis of their project proposal covering conceptual background, methodology, and a production and exhibition strategy for the proposed new work in no more than 500 words. The whole proposal should take up no more than one side of A4 including illustrations. This should be accompanied by a one-page CV. Both documents should be formatted as a pdf and named SURNAME_FORENAME_PROJ & SURNAME_FORENAME_CV. We will not accept any proposals or CVs longer than one side, no attached images and neither will we accept website links as a proposal component.
Please keep in mind that we are looking for works that will be created during the three-week period in Jacmel, Haiti. We are NOT looking for work that is already created. We will prioritise projects that require collaboration with local artists and would be able to help connect artists beforehand.
There is NO funding for this event, and you will be expected to cover the cost of your flight, accommodation, and materials. We will supply a reading list and we will be more than happy to help (via email) with any research and information needed, both before your application and leading up to the event. Advice can also be given about the practicalities for the production of specific projects and budgeting for the trip. If your work involves intensive interviews, we will advise you to budget for your own translator. Artists should be aware that Haiti has only a 50% literacy rate and text heavy projects could be problematic for the local audience.
FOR THE CALLS IN KREYOL, FRENCH, PORTUGUESE, SPANISH & GERMAN CHECK OUR CALLS PAGE
We will organise all hotel bookings and airport pick-ups.
Please check 'research resources' on our website for a list of books and films to help you to research your project.
Check out our project archives of the previous Ghetto Biennales
Enquiries, applications & questions contact: Leah Gordon at Leahgordon@aol.com
ATIS REZISTANS | GHETTO BIENNALE at RISING, MELBOURNE, JUNE 2023
St Kunigundis Church, Leipziger Str., 34123 Kassel June 18–September 25, 2022 10am-8pm
PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince
CATALOGUE PUBLISHED NOV 2021 BY PIONEER WORKS PRESS
Edited by Leah Gordon & Joshua Jelly-Shapiro, with essays by Edouard Duval-Carrié & Gina Athena Ulysse
The Ghetto Biennale is a cross-cultural arts festival held in two adjacent informal neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, called Lakou Cheri and Ghetto Leanne. It is hosted by the artists’ collective, Atis Rezistans, and has taken place every two years starting in December 2009. The Ghetto Biennale is attempting to momentarily transform spaces, dialogues and relationships considered un-navigable and unworkable into transcultural, creative platforms. The Ghetto Biennale has realised a 'chaotic, amorphous, de-institutionalised space' for artistic production that attempts to offer a vibrant creative platform to artists from wide socioeconomic classes.
Andre Eugene talks about Swen Moun and Geto Klinik in
KOWONA KWONIK FILM
‘The Sculptors of Grand Rue' can be viewed at SCULPTORS OF GRAND RUE FILM
Find more information about Atis-Rezistans visit atis-rezistans.com
Check out the project archives of the previous Ghetto Biennales ghettobiennale.org
Enquiries, applications & questions contact: Leah Gordon at Leahgordon@aol.com