CALL CONFERENCE

From 27 December 2021  to 31 March 2022. 

We are pleased to announce the sixth edition KISMIF International Conference ‘DIY Cultures, Sustainability and Artistic Ecosystems’ (KISMIF 2022) which will take place in Porto, Portugal, between July 13 and 16 2022. The submission of abstracts for this Conference is open to researchers, academics, activists and artists working in all areas of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural economics, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, urban planning, media and cognate disciplines such as design, illustration, popular music, film, visual and performing arts. This initiative follows the great success of the past four KISMIF Conferences (held in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021) and brings together an international community of researchers, artists and activists focusing on alternative music-art scenes and do-it-yourself cultures.

The KISMIF Conference provides a unique forum in which participants can discuss and share information about alternative cultures and DIY practices from around the world. KISMIF focuses on cultural practices often opposed to more conventional, mass-produced and commodified forms of cultural production and mediation and the anti-hegemonic ideologies around aesthetic and lifestyle politics that are typically embedded in DIY culture. KISMIF is the first, and to date only Conference in the world that examines DIY culture theory and practice as an increasingly significant form of cultural practice in a global context. The conference has a multi-/transdisciplinary approach, accepting contributions from academics, artists and activists involved in all aspects of alternative scenes and DIY cultures, and based on various methodologies – quantitative, qualitative and multi-methodological analyses. The aim is to discuss not only music, but also other artistic fields such as cinema and video, graffiti and street art, theatre and performing arts, literature and poetry, radio, programming and editing, graphic design, illustration, cartoons and comics.

Seeking to respond to the wish reiterated by researchers, artists and activists present at previous editions of the KISMIF conference, the sixth KISMIF will focus on ‘DIY Cultures, Sustainability and Artistic Ecosystems’. The world is currently experiencing a whirlwind of social change. Alongside issues of migration, populism, and a resurgence of nationalism; we are faced with growing antagonisms facilitated by austerity, displacement, racism, class tensions, economic crises and climate change. The world is becoming an increasingly precarious place – which has been made visible and amplified with COVID-19. In this context, we believe that DIY cultures-and the diverse processes and forms through which they function-offer real resources and forces of hope and change for artistic-musical ecosystems and their corresponding sustainability. As a cultural form and practice, DIY has evolved from its beginnings during the punk era of the 1970s to become an innovative matrix of trans-local culture. At its core is a willingness to blur disciplinary and thematic boundaries, demystify processes and provide spaces for marginalised, subaltern, and diverse voices and communities from the Global North to the Global South. For all its thorny confrontations, punk’s cultural practices-its DIY ethos, networks, spaces, and media (albums, styles, fanzines, film, performances, video art, design and other diverse creativities) – facilitated and enabled inclusivity and agency. While not neglecting or forgetting its origins, such an ethos can be evidenced when we talk about issues of ongoing social change. Within DIY practice, there is the potential to break down existing hierarchies, to respond to many challenges and to relate constructively to social, territorial, racial, sexual, gender and health differences, among others.

The fact that DIY is a vital component of the artistic process is extremely relevant. In fact, there are many collaborative and community-oriented art practices originating in DIY cultures, such as socio-cultural centres, urban scenes/atmospheres and art projects deeply embedded in local communities. The arts have never been a mere commercial product of hegemonic powers; on the contrary, they are expressions, reflections and interpretations that encompass a wide range of meanings. They have always been a means of semiotic protest and exploration; they have constantly seen things differently and served as a resource for creative action. They can be discreetly or openly disruptive; they can be pacifying as a distraction or function as a means of relation. However, through creativity, people acquire knowledge-find and express emotions and take control of their surroundings. We intend to explore DIY cultures and other related alternative cultures building a matrix to convert art into action as a determinant for the sustainability of contemporary artistic-musical-cultural ecosystems. DIY cultures are important for finding strategies for action, for connecting and uniting communities and for strengthening resilience in the face of future social change. Through research and collaborative practices, we seek to demonstrate innovative ways of making and co-creation, but also to resist and make contexts more resilient and sustainable. Using examples of empirical and artistic relationships with multi-generational DIY scenes around the world, we will reveal how, over the past 50 years, these seemingly ‘peripheral’ arts have accumulated a variety of practices to simultaneously highlight and promote themes of democracy and social and spatial justice; of upholding human rights; of promoting decolonial content. Indeed, they provide multifaceted responses to the challenges of our world, promoting seminal ideas for a better future especially in this (still) pandemic context.

In 2022, KISMIF’s scientific programme will again be accompanied by a diverse offering of social and cultural contents, characterised by a series of artistic events with a special focus on the sustainability of musical-artistic-cultural ecosystems. The aim is to provide a unique experience in terms of transglobal and inclusive DIY cultures. Symbolically, the first day of the conference takes place 37 years after Live Aid, a music event that aimed to draw attention to and raise funds to address a pressing global challenge of its time. The KISMIF 2022 Conference will be preceded by a Summer School entitled ‘Rebels with a Cause’ that will take place 12 July 2022 at the Teatro Municipal do Porto- Rivoli [Porto- Rivoli Municipal Theatre]. This Summer School will offer the opportunity to all interested parties, including Conference participants, to attend workshops given by experts in these fields, namely within the arts-based-research approach. Informations about the Summer School will be progressively disseminated on the KISMIF Conference website: www.kismifconference.com.

 

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