From 20 August 2023 to 15 March 2024

We are pleased to announce the seventh edition KISMIF International Conference ‘DIY Cultures, Democracy and Creative Participation’ (KISMIF 2024) which will take place in Porto, Portugal, between July 10 and 13 of 2024.

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 six KISMIF Conferences (held in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021 and 2022) and brings together an international community of researchers, artists and activists focusing on alternative music-art scenes and do-it-yourself cultures.

The year 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of KISMIF and the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. In addition, remembering the recent loss of Howard S. Becker, the KISMIF Conference will dedicate one of its thematic lines to scientific contributions related to the work of Becker, with the intent of recognizing the transformative and innovative potential of his sociological research, thus highlighting the importance of the concept of art worlds – amongst others – which he developed and which – since 2014 – has served as the motto for the organisation of this far-reaching international conference. As such KISMIF 2024 will serve as a pivotal occasion of reunion and celebration. It will also serve as an important moment for formally launch the new SAGE journal DIY, Alternative Cultures and Society.                 

The KISMIF Conference 2024 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 seventh KISMIF will focus on ‘DIY Cultures, Democracy and Creative Participation’. As noted above, the seventh edition of the KISMIF Conference will mark two decisive milestones: the first, the KISMIF Conference completes ten years of existence; the second, concerns the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the dictatorship in Portugal. These two milestones also mark the thematic relationship with democracy and creative participation – two themes guiding the KISMIF Conference. In this way, the KISMIF Conference seeks to launch a question regarding the ways in which art, culture and creativity can be interpreted as a political act, thus facing the existence in contemporary times of multiple forms of intervention and resistance that, in turn, are associated with emerging modes of DIY.

Democracy today has been facing dilemmas that challenge its legitimacy, from voluntary and forced migration, to economic, social, political, and cultural crises, war, and environmental crises, among others. However, what the literature shows us is that the active involvement of citizens in the reflection, contestation, and resolution of these dilemmas is fundamental for the prosperity of a modern, formal democracy that is attentive to the needs of contemporary societies, as well as necessary for the rupture with the advance of authoritarian ideologies. Therefore, we argue that democracy and creative participation, in contemporary times, have the capacity to change experiences, situations and practices; in fact, it is enough to take as an example the manifestations – virtual and physical – that have emerged in relation to the advance of the extreme right in Europe (Italy, Spain, etc.), as well as in relation to the growing environmental crises (forest fires, heat waves, global warming, deforestation, etc.). At the same time, DIY cultures are also relevant, since they have been playing a role of contestation in international socio-history, as well as being seen – especially in the academic field – as a practice capable of intervening at the local, national and international level, on various aspects that intersect with the problem of democracy and creative participation, from economic development, social and spatial justice, environmental impacts and technologies. In fact, in order to encompass a complete and intertwined view of these three themes (DIY Cultures, Democracy and Creative Participation), there is a need for a (truly) interdisciplinary, technologically democratized approach, in which creative participation, democracy and DIY cultures take on a prominent role as tools for inserting academia into relevant contemporary debates, and stand out for being central tools for social change.

In 2024, 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 democracy, participation and citizenship. The aim is to provide a unique experience in terms of transglobal and inclusive DIY cultures and creative participation. Symbolically, the first day of the Conference marks the tenth anniversary of the creation of the KISMIF Conference (2014), as well as the 50th anniversary of the end of the dictatorship in Portugal and, as such, the Conference will have artistic and academic activities aimed at these two moments of celebration. The KISMIF 2024 Conference will be preceded by a Summer School entitled ‘Living on the Edge’ that will take place 9 July 2024 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 themes such as creative participation. 


Click on the image below to see the full Call for Papers: