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The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) invites proposals for an interdisciplinary event, LAND, that will explore ideas around land and territory.

Grounded within a contemporary, historical, aesthetic, material and political understanding of ‘land’ in South Africa, the project will comprise a colloquium, performances, exhibitions and other interventions, and will take place in the second half of October 2013.

In acknowledgement of the centenary of the infamous Natives Land Act of 1913, there is a national focus on land as a vessel of trade, trauma, and restitution. With this in mind, is it possible to talk about land within (as well as beyond) these frames, in terms of its atmospheres, materialities and aesthetics?

Land is both a vehicle and a litmus test for change. In discussing land, we inhabit the past and present at once – its topology registering, over millennia, tiny variations in impact and atmosphere. Land is slow, absorptive and seemingly permanent; but it is also fast, exchanged like currency and affecting immediate change in the balance of power at all levels.

In this way, any meaningful discussion of land in terms of its materiality includes trace elements of this socio-political history, just as any analysis of territory will find its origin in the natural borders implied by local topography. LAND sets out to facilitate an investigation of these interacting boundaries and the ways in which they exist associatively and psychologically within a South African, as well as a transnational framework.

As such, the approach of this event is twofold. Firstly, to further uncoil both modern and ancestral politics around land ownership, division and redistribution, considering links to territory, race, agency, class and power. Secondly, to provide an opportunity for conversation around land with broadly associative, physical or otherwise aesthetic concerns. LAND seeks to designate a space in which to simultaneously explore the human elements of land – of politics, habitation and anthropology – as well as its organic, mineral and material aspects.

In line with these thoughts, and looking to draw applicants from diverse backgrounds, disciplines and approaches, GIPCA invites proposals in two categories:

Proposals for papers: 10-15 minute ‘thought papers’ or 30 minute addresses which interrogate aforementioned ideas around land.

Proposals for installations, performances, exhibitions, interventions and workshops within similar themes. In this category, applications for works which actively engage with space within the city, site-specific proposals and works which are in some way inclusive or participatory, will be prioritised. Both new and existing work will be considered. While GIPCA will endeavour to fund as many aspects of projects as possible, applicants are encouraged to also find other funding partners.

Applications should be submitted via email to fin-gipca@uct.ac.za with the subject line ‘LAND APPLICATION’. A single PDF file, no larger than 3MB, containing the following should be submitted:

name, email address, landline and mobile numbers
concept document or abstract of no more than 400 words
no more than 4 images (if relevant)
a detailed budget of all expenses (including accommodation and transport if relevant)
technical requirements (if relevant)
an abridged one-page CV, highlighting previous experience in creating such work

The application deadline is Wednesday 31 July 2013. For more information, please contact the GIPCA office on +27 (0) 21 480 7156 or fin-gipca@uct.ac.za.

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