Open Call: New Citizens / Organ Vida 2017
In the framework of the photography festival Organ Vida, Zagreb.
application deadline: April 1, 2017
Right now, no matter where we are, we find ourselves in a fireball of political confusion that sees us descending rapidly into liberal authoritarianism, fascism and border-euphoria, and in which humanism is under grave threat. It seems all the more important then to find and draw on what connects us. United in a new and bottomless placelessness (whether physical, metaphorical or virtual), our mechanisms of exclusion and our judgement of each other are still so fiercely place-attached.
In this instalment of the festival, following on from examining Revelations, we are concerned with expanded and creative thinking around notions of New Citizen. We ask: who are we as humans? How did we come to be this way, where are we headed? What does it mean to be participant of an utterly computerised 21st Century that pulls us ever closer together, yet paradoxically, even further apart? In this era, our collective knowledge is richer than it ever was, yet we’ve lost sight of ourselves. Are we traversing an ocean of possibility while sinking under our own weight? In a world where the borders of real and imagined are incessantly blurring yet sharper than ever defined, is the very concept of belonging itself drifting away from the physical realm into another?
Perhaps New Citizen is the individual we ought to strive to be. As a species wandering dangerously close to the edge of itself, New Citizen cannot be understood as a label or fixed term. New Citizen encourages: a politic of transformation and a thinking of indefiniteness of what describes identity and ultimately us as humans; a humanity of insiders concerned about the state of a distressed world in which politicisation of space and violent legacy of white dominance have long caused the mentioned to require new balance. It is about us as a society, addressing the collective state of urgency in which we find ourselves. In this sense, New Citizen advocates a need of breaking out, of acting, of mobilising towards a new and shared horizon. The New Citizen is global more than ever, a cosmopolite; a human being most of all who always comes from story.
We are calling for the artist-communicator equipped with the power of language to show us a voice of dissent, challenging and foraging against the very things that are made by systems in power to keep us divided. We ask for your views of a New Citizen that far extend the conventional understandings of its ‘origin-definition’ which is confined to state and city and town; we ask you to think citizen as a anywhere-human, beyond entitlement, nationality or allegiance to government. Show us counter-language; a new way of navigating what it means to be alive and to live in a (post)capitalist, climate-changed 21st Century world. Whatever your photographic approach may be, show us new dialogues and new imaginaries.
We ask: who or what are we as image-makers reflecting on the world in which we live? Where are our stories of unmapping, our stories of stories? How do we navigate this world of image and this world of World as people drawing from the toolset of communication? What is it like to be, now, as New Citizen in this, our time? What are our responsibilities, collectively and individually, to the world and to each other, in and towards a change of course? And what kind of boat can carry us together into the world of World that needs us less than ever?