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  • Spanish Contemporary Art Network


CALLING PERFORMANCE & VISUAL ARTISTS FROM ACROSS EUROPE... BE FESTIVAL 2015 (Birmingham European Festival) Dates: 23-28 June, 2015 in Birmingham, UK BE FESTIVAL (Birmingham European Festival) programme work that crosses borders and which inspires people of all nationalities. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to explore ideas and build new collaborations with artists from across Europe. Participants get free access to all performances, world-class workshops, feedback sessions and discussions. The deadline for submissions is 9 March 2015, and to be considered, please, send a completed application form. For more information, and to download the application form:


“Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law: when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership to a particular class, but the actual ability which the man possesses. No one, so long as he has it in him to be of service to the state, is kept in political obscurity because of poverty. And, just as our political life is free and open, so is our day-to-day life in our relations with each other. We do not get into a state with our next-door neighbour if he enjoys himself in his own way, nor do we give him the kind of black looks which, though they do not real harm, still do hurt people’s feeling. We are free and tolerant in our private lives; but in public affairs we keep to the law. This is because it commands our deep respect.”

(“In Defense of Democracy”, Pericles (ca. 495 BC-429 BC), statement recorded in The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, Book II, 37, 1-2)

Within its two-year programme for visual and performance artists (2015-2016), BE FESTIVAL aims to investigate and reflect on the concept of democracy and its controversies over time and in different geographical areas. How has the concept of democracy evolved and transformed from its origins to the present day? What will the democracy/ies of the future look like? Based on its different meanings, uses and models, we would like to take the opportunity to review Europe’s democratic quality, while projecting the visions of future democracy/ies. Under the term democracy (δημοκρατία), BE FESTIVAL invites visual and performance artists to submit proposals that can be developed within the festival umbrella. We are interested in receiving proposals from artists whose political art practices deepen the concept of participatory democracy and liquid democracy, with particular emphasis on the impact of new technologies and social networks on citizen participation. Using BE FESTIVAL’s potential as a platform to extend the research and artistic practice beyond the scope of the museum / gallery (or seminar) we would like to enable artists to work in an environment of performing arts with public or non-public, online or live audiences in an international and multicultural context. GUIDELINES BE FESTIVAL’s visual arts programme is a two-year cycle exploring a particular theme. We propose a laboratory where artists from different disciplines and cultures can explore the conjunction of arts, politics and economics, in an attempt to find innovative and experimental strategies that challenge obsolete systems and dominant conventions. More than ever, art practice has to be critically analytical. It is at times like this that art must come into its own to inspire new alternatives. BE FESTIVAL aims to devise a collective experiment. With this purpose, we open a bi-annual call for project’s submissions of: UK-based Visual Artists’ Exhibition (June 2015) In an attempt to explore the ‘borders’ between performing and visual arts, we will programme work from three UK based visual artists whose work explores the theme of democracy. The three artists whose work best embodies the programme’s theme will be selected. The visual artists will be selected from different disciplines (digital, performance, visual arts, video, installation, etc) and will exhibit their work during the festival to international audiences. Their approach to the theme will serve as a catalyst to one of the panel discussions at the festival, in which all three artists will take part. Selected artists will be provided with accommodation, meals, transport to Birmingham and free access to all festival performances, workshops, feedback sessions and discussions. There is money available for material costs to be discussed as part of your proposal and a minimum fee of £500 for each of the three projects. ---------- European Visual Artist Residency (June 2015 – residency and exhibition in 2016) Following the success of this initiative in 2011-12 and in 2013-14, we will invite an international visual artist (at least three years out of university) to attend BE 2015 as a research residency, drawing inspiration from the festival in order to develop a new visual arts project, again relating to the theme of democracy. The project will be created following the 2015 festival onwards, and presented at BE 2016. The project selected will interact dynamically with the BE Mix project (see below). The visual artist will be part of the ensemble during the R&D week in 2015. Whilst the devising process will be inspired by the material collected during the residency (drawings, sounds recordings, videos and objects), likewise the visual arts project will be provoked and inspired by material generated through rehearsal. In 2015, the selected artist will be provided with accommodation, meals, all travel costs and free access to all performances, workshops, feedback sessions and discussions. In 2016, a two-week residency will be provided prior to the festival (dates to be agreed, however installation must take place in the week leading up to the festival and you must be available for this period). There is money available for material costs to be discussed as part of your proposal and a fee of £800. The deadline for submissions is 9 March 2015 and to be considered, please send a completed application form to For more information, and to download the application form: BE FESTIVAL: 22-28 June 2015 BE Mix: 29 June-4 July 2015

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