July 21, 2021 - Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz - CIMAM 2021 annual conference
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July 21, 2021

Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz

View of MS2 – Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz. Photo: HaWa.

CIMAM 2021 annual conference
Under Pressure: Museums in Times of Xenophobia and Climate Emergency 
November 5–7, 2021

Day 1: Conflicts, Crises, and the Politics of Growth: November 5
Day 2: Museums as Spaces for Recognizing Differences: November 6
Day 3: New Perspectives on Climate and Commonality: November 7

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This year’s conference will offer a hybrid format with the programs adapted to physical and virtual scenarios to facilitate access to all CIMAM audiences to reflect on a keenly debated topic:

Under Pressure: Museums in Times of Xenophobia and Climate Emergency 
Day 1: Conflicts, Crises, and the Politics of Growth 
Day 2: Museums as Spaces for Recognizing Differences
Day 3: New Perspectives on Climate and Commonality

How can artists be agents of change and museums be places to test proposals for the communities of the future? Can museums guide processes of political and/or technological solutions?

During the three days of discussions, the conference will focus on the two interconnected current crises of xenophobia and climate change, and the sometimes hidden or unexplored connections between the two. Keynote speakers and relevant case-study presentations will show how institutions, artists, and thinkers working together can provide practical laboratories concerning these emerging issues and offer methodological tools to combat discriminatory and nationalistic tendencies in an increasingly divisive and divided world.


Main topics of discussion

Day 1: Conflicts, Crises, and the Politics of Growth
As a preview of the subjects to be debated, the first day of the conference will closely examine how xenophobia and climate emergencies are intertwined, their commonalities, and the most recent institutional and curatorial responses to them. If the Anthropocene has been born out of a capitalist acceleration reaching its peak, what will happen next, and how can museums further the process of rethinking their subjectivities?

Day 2: Museums as Spaces for Recognizing Differences
The second day will shed light on the possible role of museums as spaces for recognizing differences and learning to respect them. Museums today face fierce xenophobic reactions and emotions fostered for political and economic reasons. Is there a way of addressing these reactions at the level of institutional programming? How can an art institution evolve to create platforms for a better understanding of difference?

Day 3: New Perspectives on Climate and Commonality
The third day of the conference, to be held in Gdansk will go beyond disciplinary thinking in addressing the responsibility of museums in times of climate emergency, tackling the natural environment and the atmospheres of the commonplace. Our material and social environments are not separate entities, so it is essential to look toward unique research and practice fields representing transdisciplinary approaches toward the environments we inhabit. How can we be more attentive, responsible, and engaged in the process of making museums more sustainable in the broadest sense?


Invited speakers

Alex Baczyński-Jenkins, artist and choreographer, Berlin/Warsaw; Dipesh Chakrabarty, Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History, The University of Chicago, Chicago; Binna Choi, Director, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, Amsterdam; T.J. Demos, Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History and Visual Culture, and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz; Jarosław Lubiak, Dr. Art College, Szczecin; Otobong Nkanga, visual artist, Antwerp; Oleksiy Radynski, filmmaker and writer, Visual Culture Research Center, Kyiv; Rita Segato, Professor of Anthropology and Bioethics in the UNESCO Chair at the University of Brasilia; Brasilia; Joanna Sokołowska, Independent Curator, Poland; Maristella Svampa, researcher, National Scientific and Technical Research Council - CONICET, Argentina; Pelin Tan, senior researcher, Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston. Prof. Faculty of Fine Arts, Batman University, Merkez/Batman and Hilke Wagner, Director Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden. 


Call for applications! CIMAM offers around 40 travel grants to contemporary art curators and museum directors to attend the Annual Conference, in both on-site and virtual formats. Grants are supported by The Getty FoundationV-A-C Foundation, Byucksan Foundation, Mercedes Vilardell, and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

For more information about registrations and travel grant applications, please follow this link

You can book your ticket until October 7

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