Funded by the Netherlands’ Research Organization, the IMAGINART project explores the role of socially engaged art in reinventing failing public institutions and social structures. Whereas political and cultural theorists often claim that art serves to imagine society differently, this project uses ethnographic methods to examine how this works in practice. Focusing on creative institutional experiments in Hungary, Italy, and Lebanon/the West Bank, IMAGINART has two main aims. The first is to investigate these experiments’ impact on societal resilience, governmental policy, and state formation. The second is to assess their potential for developing ‘concrete utopias’ in response to state failure or transformation under (post)colonial, postsocialist, or neoliberal conditions.
Three PhD positions are being made available at University of Amsterdam for researchers to work within the IMAGINART project. Each of these positions has a geographic focus – Hungary; Lebanon and Palestine/West Bank; and Italy – and will involve extensive field work. Salaries for the positions vary, falling in the range of €2325 – 3773 per month.
The organisers are currently working on the assumption that the PhD projects will start on 1 September 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. However, the starting date may need to be delayed if travel restrictions are still in place, or foreseen for the near future, by mid-June 2020.