Survival Kit 5 - International Contemporary Arts Festival - call for artists

The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) invites artists to submit ideas for the “Survival Kit 5” International Contemporary Arts Festival which will take place from the 5th to the 15th September, 2013 in Riga. Each year artists have been encouraged to contemplate on some theme of importance in the community and reflect it in their works, creating alternative scenarios for survival in the modern world.

“Survival Kit 5” has focussed on slow revolution, which emphasizes the importance of margins, overturning positions of power and questions the dominance of the centre. It is a non-hierarchical movement which has evolved from the needs of individuals and develops direct democratic traditions. The slow revolution invites not to be afraid of reaching out for what you really desire.

Registering the world’s “hot” spots, we can look back on the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street actions in Ņew York, which turned into a global movement within a surprisingly short period. This reverberated in Greece, Spain, Israel and in other countries. The demonstrations and protest actions in Russia against V. Putin’s regime cannot go unmentioned among these. They are no longer events organized by a handful of “leftist” intellectuals or activists, but a massive and all embracing movement, which continues to grow wider, creating a dominant mood in a significant part of the community.  

The slow revolution does not have any national borders, or leaders, nor does it have a political programme. The main demand is to change the existing system or to create an alternative to the existing one. What is the possible alternative? Has the tradition of criticism come to a kind of dead-end, criticising the existing situation but being unable to provide a new vision for the future, a new utopia?

What can an artist do in such a “seismic” situation? Is influencing the situation even possible? What sort of strategies can we use, being in quite a marginal position, in opposition to the dominating power? The advantage of marginality and being outside the official organs of power is the possibility to exhibit a critical point of view. The most daring ideas arise right on the margins of power. It’s important not to get “bogged down” in the predictable, but to develop one’s own rules and game, and to take the first step before the control mechanism has been able to classify, subordinate, take over and make your extraordinary solutions into components of the existing system.

To submit the idea for your work to the “Survival Kit 5” Festival, an application form has to be filled in and submitted online by 10 March.