Call for Submissions for Cultural Workers’ Journal

Deadline: 31 December 2012
Open to: cultural workers interested in exposing corruption or exploitation of cultural works to the public
Benefits: publication in online gazette

Description

Artleaks was founded in 2011 as an international platform for cultural workers where instances of abuse, corruption and exploitation are exposed and submitted for public inquiry. After over a year of activity, members of the collective ArtLeaks felt an urgent need to establish a regular on-line publication as a tool for empowerment in the face of today’s systemic abuse of cultural workers’ basic labor rights, repression or even blatant censorship and growing corporatization of culture.

Namely: radical (political) projects are co-opted under the umbrella of corporate promotion and gentrification; artistic research is performed on research hand-outs, creating only an illusion of depth while in fact adding to the reserve army of creative capital; the secondary market thrives as auction houses speculate on blue chip artists for enormous amounts of laundered money, following finance capitalism from boom to bust, meanwhile, most artists can’t even make a living and depend on miserly fees, restrictive residencies, and research handouts to survive; galleries and dealers more and more heavily copyright cultural values; approximately 5% of authors, producers and dealers control 80% of all cultural resources (and indeed, in reality, the situation may be even worse than these numbers suggest) ; certain cultural managers and institutions do not shy away from using repressive maneuvers against those who bring into question their mission, politics or dubious engagements with corporate or state benefactors; and last but not least, restrictive national(ist) laws and governments suppress cultural workers through very drastic politics, not to mention the national state functions as a factor of neoliberal expression in the field of culture.

Do you recognize yourself in the scenarios above? Do you accept them as immutable conditions of your labor? Artleaks strongly believe that this dire state of affairs can be changed. Artleaks strongly believe that issues of exploitation, repression or cooptation cannot be divorced from their specific politico-economic contexts and historical conditions, and need to be raised in connection with a new concept of culture as an invaluable reservoir of the common, as well as new forms of class consciousness in the artistic field in particular, and the cultural field more generally.

The question then emerges, what is creative work today? To structure this undifferentiated categorizations, Artleaks will begin by addressing in their journal all those “occupied” with art who are striving towards emancipatory knowledge in the process of their activity.

The theme for the first issue will be “Breaking the Silence – Towards Justice, Solidarity and Mobilization.” The main theme of the first issue of their journal is establishing a politics of truth by breaking the silence on the art world. They suggest that breaking the silence on the art world is similar to breaking the silence of family violence and other forms of domestic abuse. Similarly as when coming out with stories of endemic exploitation from inside the household, talking about violence and exploitation in the art world commonly brings shame, ambivalence and fear.

They believe these are not singular instances but part of a larger system of repression, abuse and arrogance that have been normalized through the practices of certain cultural managers and institutions. Their task is to find voices, narratives, hybrid forms that raise consciousness about the profound effects of these forms of maltreatments: to break through the normalizing rhetoric that relegate cultural workers’ labor to an activity performed out of instinct, for the survival of culture at large, like sex or child rearing which, too are zones of intense exploitation today.

Structure of publication

The journal would be divided into 6 major sections.

  1. Critique of cultural dominance apparatuses
  2. Forms of organization and history of struggles
  3. The struggle of narrations
  4. Glossary of terms
  5. Education and its discontents
  6. Best practices and useful resources

Further descriptions of these six categories can be read HERE.

Eligibility and Submissions

Artleaks’ open call addresses all those who feel the urgency to discuss the aforementioned-issues. The deadline to submit your contributions is 31 December 2012. Contributions should be delivered in English or as an exemption in any language after negotiations with the editorial council. The editorial council of Artleaks takes responsibility of communicating with all authors during the editorial process.

Please contact them with any questions, comments and submit materials to: [email protected]. When submitting material, please also note the section under which you would like to see it published.

The on-line gazette will be published in English under the Creative Commons attribution noncommercial-share alike and its materials will be offered for translation in any languages to any interested parts.

Find more information on the original website HERE.

Leave a Reply