Cultural Rights in the Americas

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota invite artists to submit work for a major exhibition to take place at the “Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, to take place during the Hemispheric Institute’s 7th Encuentro, Staging Citizenship: Cultural Rights in the Americas in Bogota, August 21 to August 30, 2009

The focus of the selection is on all visual art media including performance art, installations, video, activist projects, and hacktivist or virtual actions that broadly engages the ideas of “cultural rights” and their complex relationship to citizenship in both historical and contemporary contexts.


  1. Fill out an online application form and submit materials by February 23, 2009. You must submit materials as requested below with your online application. Written materials may be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
  2. Artist statement describing and contextualizing your work and its relation to encuentro topic (1 page maximum!)
  3. One paragraph bio and resume or CV.
  4. Full description of work to be exhibited including sizes, medium, technical needs, equipment and special lighting needed, etc. Please indicate the minimum amount of space you need, and the optimal amount.
  5. Documentation of work to be presented: photos with screen resolution jpgs (please, no more than 15 images at 72 dpi, 2MB max), and/or a 5-minute video clip. You may also direct us to a website.

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics is a collaborative, multilingual, and interdisciplinary consortium of institutions, artists, scholars, and activists throughout the Americas. Working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression, and politics, the organization explores embodied practice-performance-as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory, and identity. Every two years, the Hemispheric Institute hosts an Encuentro-part academic conference, part performance festival-in a different site in the Americas. Our 7th Encuentro invites interested participants to investigate “cultural rights” and their complex relationship to citizenship in both historical and contemporary contexts. We understand cultural rights as a juridical figure, a technology of power and an articulation that brings together multiple political demands, social subjects and modalities of citizenship. They allow us to explore the relationship between performance and politics through diverse expressive forms, analytic categories, disciplines, traditions and movements. Cultural rights necessarily invoke the State, made visible by the same citizens and institutions that it produces, and also highlight the instrumentalization of ritual, identity, protest and art. They also invite us to examine the right to identity and interculturality; the use and promotion of native languages, languages of choice and their hybrids; artistic training and access to its expressions; and the recognition, transmission and transformation of collective memory, among others. Cultural rights also bring attention to the enormous distance between juridical discourse and everyday experience and between written theory and embodied practice, and extol us to examine these tensions, antagonisms and social inequalities and the performative practice mobilized by artists, social actors and states to intervene them.

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