Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as US President, and the rise of right-wing populism across continental Europe have refocused attention on the connections between race, gender and class in deindustrialized working-class communities. These volatile events have prompted debate and conjecture about the root causes and timing of the current social and political upheaval but little sustained research into those ‘left behind’.
The 7-year SSHRC partnership ‘Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time’ (DePOT), based at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University, brings together 36 partner organizations across six countries in Western Europe and North America: Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. It examines the historical roots and lived experience of deindustrialization as well as the political responses to it. One of the project’s primary public outcomes will be a multi-site exhibition on Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time.
The DePOT Artist in Residence (DePOT AIR) programme supports creative engagements with the historical roots and lived experience of deindustrialization. The organisers are interested in proposals that range across the performing, creative and visual arts, are rooted in deindustrialized areas in Italy, France, Germany, the UK, the US or Canada and that speak to the impact, and legacy, of mine, mill and factory closures. It invites grassroots artists from working-class, racialized and marginalized communities in deindustrialized areas to join a multi-year, interdisciplinary and transnational partnership.
The DePOT AIR program is inviting applications for two one-year fellowships (September 2022 – August 2023) centred on the socio-economic effects of industrial closures. Individual artists as well as artist collectives are eligible. A stipend of CAD $8000 (~5850 EUR) will be paid out in two instalments, the second of which will be at the project’s conclusion when the work has been presented to the Project’s Assembly in June 2023. Depending on where recipients are located, the organisers will support recipients in acquiring additional outside funding or sponsorships for the creative art projects and will support their work in other ways (including transcribing oral history interviews when necessary). Recipients are expected to follow the project’s ethics guidelines for research-creation and attend the June 2023 conference in Montreal, Canada for which expenses will be paid.
The creative work generated will be showcased in the artist’s home community as well as at the DePOT Project Assembly and/or thematic workshop, on the DePOT website, book series, and potentially be incorporated into the project’s culminating multi-site exhibition. Depending on the nature of the creative work, it is even possible that some of this artistic work might travel between partners on the project.