Call for Applications – School for Creative Activism (SCA): Advocacy Campaigns to Support Trans Activism in Europe
The Center for Artistic Activism invites trans activists and artists to apply to participate in 4-day School for Creative Activism (SCA) to be held in Berlin from 8 to 11 October 2015. The seminar is open to activists from TGEU member organisations currently working on or interested in advocacy campaigns that support the human rights of trans people in Europe, and to trans artists, or to artists who have previously worked on trans issues.
History’s most effective social justice campaigns have employed creativity, imagination, and even fun. The SCA offers an opportunity to study creative approaches to activism, and put them to immediate use.
The SCA is based on the idea that in order to bring about policy change, rational, fact-based messaging is not enough, and that the well-worn tactics of activists don’t always or everywhere have the impact they may once have had. In order to achieve change, activists need to operate within the realm of popular culture — in the realm of signs and symbols, images and expression, narratives and dreams. If they wish to operate effectively in this terrain, activists need to understand the tools and techniques of creative activism: the combination of social activism and artistic practice.
Using a range of contemporary examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the ways cultural creativity has been employed for raising awareness, building organizations, influencing legislatures, and drafting policy. They will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to social marketing. They will learn to apply these ideas through a range of practical exercises designed to unlock their imaginations from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible possible, through new strategies and tactics. On the final day, the group will conceptualize, create and stage a sample creative action.
The School for Creative Activism will be led by CAA co-founders Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert.
Stephen Duncombe is a Professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader, and is a life-long activist.
Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and Associate Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His art has been shown everywhere from marches to museums both nationally and internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films. In 2013 he was invited to the United Nations to speak about his research on advertising’s effect on culture.
Travel, accommodation and meal costs for selected participants will be fully covered.
Please complete the online application form by 10 August 2015