Room to Bloom programme

Ecofeminism & Postcolonial Feminism

This Spring 2021, Room to Bloom launches its platform with an open call for applications addressing young artists with a feminist, ecological and/or postcolonial art practice.

Through this call, the platform collectively selects a first group of 100 emerging feminist artists to participate in a mix of trainings, workshops and talks throughout the year. All the selected participants will be presented in our online index of artists that will be available on this website and distributed among international cultural institutions.

The general objectives of the programme are:

  • developing the knowledge of young artists in the fields of eco-feminism and postcolonial feminism,
  • creating a network of artists based in different locations and of different experiences,
  • contributing to developing consciousness of the challenges of feminist art practices among cultural managers and practitioners, institutions and funders, by exchanging directly with artists.

(25-30 June – Athens and online option)

Taking place in one of the most dynamic centers of our rapidly changing world, the ecofeminism workshop taking place online and in Athens invites participants to collaborate in defining and enacting a new role of art. The participants will have a chance to learn from and create together with experts on activist, transindigenous, ecofeminist, revolutionary, and therapeutic practices. 

Together, we will work on a sustainable communal art world based on an experience  of harmonious coexistence with the environment and the role of the feminine in the cycle of life. What can we learn about our future from communities which still, or again, live in an unmediated relation to their, now drastically changing, living conditions? Our trainers are constitutive participants of the planetary transitioning from the patriarchal perception of nature from ‘resource extraction for human society’ to ecofeminist ‘nature as sacred living organism, of which humans are only one part’. We strive to overcome the loss of equilibrium caused by the onesidedness of Western epistemologies rooted in the discrimination of women and others on the receiving end of the extractivist aggression from the socio-political domain by reconnecting art, feminism, witch knowledge and ecological practices. 

On the European continent, the transindigenous concept of “good life” is enacted by the diverse movements in Southern Europe, where, due to austerity, many actors of social change have taken the responsibility for creating sustainable worlds with their own hands. So did the diverse inspiring movements in Athens: an ideal climate for our ecofeminist Room to Bloom Athens.

Education is a form of art. Art is a pioneering force to interdisciplinary education. Our series of ecofeminist workshops was developed as an educational experiment and will take place in an artistic environment „Transindigenous Assembly“ by Joulia Strauss, initiator and organiser of Avtonomi Akadimia in the Akadimia Platonos “Jungle”.

The objectives of this workshop are: 
  • empowering young artists by opening a circle of strong practitioners who shape contemporary art today for active participation in the process of transformation of the art world and our society in general.
  • knowledge sharing and building by honouring and retracing the indigenous epistemologies.
  • hybridising feminist struggles and the role of the femininity in the cycle of life.
  • changing the principles of the patriarchal art world towards collective artistic practices and reconnecting art production with the environmental consciousness.
  • replacing the binary polarisations of the patriarchal language by a diversity of feminist revolutionary art.
  • creating an epistemology beyond differentiation between theoretical knowledge and physical experience through participatory artworks and practices of grounding towards harmonious coexistence with the environment.

(20-24 September – online)

Nadje Al-Ali (feminist writer and researcher) defines the postcolonial as being “characterised by a series of transitions, a multiplicity of processes and developments towards decolonisation and de-centring of the ‘West’”. Postcolonial feminism aims to understand and undo the legacies of colonialism within feminist activism. In other words, postcolonial feminism wants to decolonise feminist activism — reclaim it as more than just a pursuit of the western world and its people. Postcolonial feminist academic writing seeks to understand and interpret everyday lived experiences through a postcolonial perspective, de-centring the white, western, Eurocentric experience. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between young artists on postcolonial feminism.

This workshop will examine the most challenging feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories and artistic practices at a global scale. Its approach will emphasize on the multiplicity of viewpoints on this topic and will include the voices coming from different fields, including visual arts, performance, literature, and more. Within a global world in which contemporary art has turned into a transnational space, feminism, acting at the intersections of gender, postcolonial, and queer studies, must challenge the Eurocentric bias. From this plurality of worlds, we aim to open a discussion and peer-to-peer learning process between different disciplines, opening the possibilities of a wide project of construction, de-construction and co-creation.

The workshop includes theoretical learning, peer to peer exchange and discovery of some artists’ works. It will bring together representatives and prominent voices in the field of postcolonial feminism to share their thoughts, work and experiences.

The objectives of this workshop are: 
  • identifying and tracing with key speakers the centrality of gender to the processes and problematics of colonialism, postcolonialism, nationalism and transnationalism;
  • exploring the ways in which feminism(s) have been shaped both by and within these different contexts;
  • Giving participants the opportunity to go through concepts on postcolonial feminism.

(22-26 November – Palermo and online)

Whereas migrants and women, from Malevich to Picasso, from Tamara de Lempicka to Sonia Delaunay, famously contributed to the making of European Arts, their access to the world of arts remains extremely limited today. Beyond a few famous faces, women and migrants struggle to be effectively contributing to the making of the European cultural and artistic discourse, not from a lack of ideas or capacities but because the structural obstacles they face are not of those that one can easily fight individually. Room to Bloom recognises that it is more than time to build on that and provide artists and cultural operators to navigate patriarchalism and racism in the world of arts and to co-open up the space for new artists to bloom in a transnational Europe.

Room to Bloom aims to create an intercultural platform to empower artists from different backgrounds to reflect and act on eco and post-colonial feminist art. The aim of this workshop is to create a shared understanding of the challenges artists and art institutions face in developing a feminist post-colonial artistic practice, and of the solutions we can find to face those challenges. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between artists and art professionals on obstacles to artists careers and new feminism decolonial approach of arts curation and exhibition. It will provide participants with better tools to operate in the European cultural scene and within international established institutions.

The objectives of this workshop are:
  • Giving participants the opportunity to experiment with tools and techniques to operate in the context of European cultural scene and within established institutions.
  • Establishing a common theoretical framework to implement their work with a feminist postcolonial vision in cooperation with more experienced artists;
  • Co-creating new professional and artistic opportunities;
  • Presenting some of the first outcomes of Room to Bloom, including visit to Room to Bloom exhibition.

Workshop Eco-Feminism
(
25-30 June – Athens and online option)

Taking place in one of the most dynamic centers of our rapidly changing world, the ecofeminism workshop taking place online and in Athens invites participants to collaborate in defining and enacting a new role of art. The participants will have a chance to learn from and create together with experts on activist, transindigenous, ecofeminist, revolutionary, and therapeutic practices. 

Together, we will work on a sustainable communal art world based on an experience  of harmonious coexistence with the environment and the role of the feminine in the cycle of life. What can we learn about our future from communities which still, or again, live in an unmediated relation to their, now drastically changing, living conditions? Our trainers are constitutive participants of the planetary transitioning from the patriarchal perception of nature from ‘resource extraction for human society’ to ecofeminist ‘nature as sacred living organism, of which humans are only one part’. We strive to overcome the loss of equilibrium caused by the onesidedness of Western epistemologies rooted in the discrimination of women and others on the receiving end of the extractivist aggression from the socio-political domain by reconnecting art, feminism, witch knowledge and ecological practices. 

On the European continent, the transindigenous concept of “good life” is enacted by the diverse movements in Southern Europe, where, due to austerity, many actors of social change have taken the responsibility for creating sustainable worlds with their own hands. So did the diverse inspiring movements in Athens: an ideal climate for our ecofeminist Room to Bloom Athens.

Education is a form of art. Art is a pioneering force to interdisciplinary education. Our series of ecofeminist workshops was developed as an educational experiment and will take place in an artistic environment „Transindigenous Assembly“ by Joulia Strauss, initiator and organiser of Avtonomi Akadimia in the Akadimia Platonos “Jungle”.

The objectives of this workshop are: 
  • empowering young artists by opening a circle of strong practitioners who shape contemporary art today for active participation in the process of transformation of the art world and our society in general.
  • knowledge sharing and building by honouring and retracing the indigenous epistemologies.
  • hybridising feminist struggles and the role of the femininity in the cycle of life.
  • changing the principles of the patriarchal art world towards collective artistic practices and reconnecting art production with the environmental consciousness.
  • replacing the binary polarisations of the patriarchal language by a diversity of feminist revolutionary art.
  • creating an epistemology beyond differentiation between theoretical knowledge and physical experience through participatory artworks and practices of grounding towards harmonious coexistence with the environment.

Workshop Postcolonial feminism
(6-10 December – online)

Nadje Al-Ali (feminist writer and researcher) defines the postcolonial as being “characterised by a series of transitions, a multiplicity of processes and developments towards decolonisation and de-centring of the ‘West’”. Postcolonial feminism aims to understand and undo the legacies of colonialism within feminist activism. In other words, postcolonial feminism wants to decolonise feminist activism — reclaim it as more than just a pursuit of the western world and its people. Postcolonial feminist academic writing seeks to understand and interpret everyday lived experiences through a postcolonial perspective, de-centring the white, western, Eurocentric experience. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between young artists on postcolonial feminism.

This workshop will examine the most challenging feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories and artistic practices at a global scale. Its approach will emphasize on the multiplicity of viewpoints on this topic and will include the voices coming from different fields, including visual arts, performance, literature, and more. Within a global world in which contemporary art has turned into a transnational space, feminism, acting at the intersections of gender, postcolonial, and queer studies, must challenge the Eurocentric bias. From this plurality of worlds, we aim to open a discussion and peer-to-peer learning process between different disciplines, opening the possibilities of a wide project of construction, de-construction and co-creation.

The workshop includes theoretical learning, peer to peer exchange and discovery of some artists’ works. It will bring together representatives and prominent voices in the field of postcolonial feminism to share their thoughts, work and experiences.

The objectives of this workshop are: 
  • identifying and tracing with key speakers the centrality of gender to the processes and problematics of colonialism, postcolonialism, nationalism and transnationalism;
  • exploring the ways in which feminism(s) have been shaped both by and within these different contexts;
  • Giving participants the opportunity to go through concepts on postcolonial feminism.

Workshop Leveraging Obstacles to Women and Migrant artists careers
(19-23 November – Palermo and online)

Whereas migrants and women, from Malevich to Picasso, from Tamara de Lempicka to Sonia Delaunay, famously contributed to the making of European Arts, their access to the world of arts remains extremely limited today. Beyond a few famous faces, women and migrants struggle to be effectively contributing to the making of the European cultural and artistic discourse, not from a lack of ideas or capacities but because the structural obstacles they face are not of those that one can easily fight individually. Room to Bloom recognises that it is more than time to build on that and provide artists and cultural operators to navigate patriarchalism and racism in the world of arts and to co-open up the space for new artists to bloom in a transnational Europe.

Room to Bloom aims to create an intercultural platform to empower artists from different backgrounds to reflect and act on eco and post-colonial feminist art. The aim of this workshop is to create a shared understanding of the challenges artists and art institutions face in developing a feminist post-colonial artistic practice, and of the solutions we can find to face those challenges. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between artists and art professionals on obstacles to artists careers and new feminism decolonial approach of arts curation and exhibition. It will provide participants with better tools to operate in the European cultural scene and within international established institutions.

The objectives of this workshop are:
  • Giving participants the opportunity to experiment with tools and techniques to operate in the context of European cultural scene and within established institutions.
  • Establishing a common theoretical framework to implement their work with a feminist postcolonial vision in cooperation with more experienced artists;
  • Co-creating new professional and artistic opportunities;
  • Presenting some of the first outcomes of Room to Bloom, including visit to Room to Bloom exhibition.

What are the requirements to apply?

Would you like to be part of Room to Bloom programme? We have a few requirements. You should:

> Be over 18 years old.

> Be interested in developing feminist and ecological / postcolonial art practices.

> Be proficient in English.

> Be available on all the dates of the workshop you are selected for and to participate in the online sessions, including the kick-off meeting for all participants in June. 

> Track record of work in the field of art through reflection on key topics of the programme such as ecofeminism and postcolonial feminism, but also migration, gender theory, and climate justice.

The sessions are offered free of charge. 

Among the cohort of selected participants, another call will be open during the year, which will support the production of 15 artworks to be exhibited at Biennales of the peripheries. More details will be provided later this year.

When/If possible (pandemic allowing) travel bursaries will be made available for participants to meet offline in the course of the project.

We are particularly committed to enable the participation of people from people from LGBTQI+ communities, people with disabilities and people who identify with disadvantaged economic classes. If you don’t identify as one of these groups, we still want you to apply – and if you know of an awesome person who does, encourage them to apply as well!

The deadline to submit your application is April 23rd, midnight CET.

We will communicate the results of the applications in the last week of May.

Please note that all the personal information and data collected will only be used for the purpose of the application process to the workshop series and will be deleted after the deadline. In case you agree to receive further information from European Alternatives, we will only store the following data: your name, e-mail address and city of residence. 

Download the call for applications.

We are looking forward to your application! If you have any questions, please contact Marta:

m.cillero@euroalter.com

Why are we running this programme?

Feminist artists and artists with migrants background are structurally underrespresented in classic artistic and cultural contexts. Through direct cooperation with alternative biennales established in the peripheries, and the implementation of innovative online formats and exchanges, we aim to provide useful tools to deconstruct such discrimination and invisibilisation.

European Alternatives is an NGO that promotes Equality, Democracy, Culture beyond the nation state. For years already we have developed a strand of work and a strong commitment for a feminist approach of the European Union and of all our activities. We’ve worked on gender equality and feminism in different projects and we are currently running Room to Bloom to increase our network of young feminist artists, developed with a postcolonial perspective and develop a truly postcolonial and feminist practice of cultural events management and organisation.

Studio Rizoma is an international cultural studio based in Palermo and with outreach offices in Berlin and Paris. It has been established by the international NGO European Alternatives, in cooperation with Allianzkulturstiftung, following the curation of the 2019 edition of the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo in Palermo. It establishes contacts and cooperates with Biennales of the peripheries, including Kyiv, Tunisi, Warsaw. Through this initiative, Studio Rizoma aims to increase its cooperation with young feminist artists.

AthenSYN is a non-profit, Berlin-based initiative of artists, curators and cultural agents, founded by art historian Sotirios Bahtsetzsis and cultural scientist Katja Ehrhardt. It builds an infrastructure and a network to foster international cultural cooperation with Greece. Focusing on German-Greek collaboration and communication centered on the capitals with the Berlin-Athens axis, we aim at creating a common policy of international cultural exchange, long-term cooperation between cultural and educational institutions and supporting the mobility and education of art students and art teachers. Since its founding, it has been bringing together artists and institutions from all over the world with Greek artists and institutions in art projects, building and widening the network. In times of migration and globalization, we critically examine Europe in the context of contemporary art and develop joint visions for the future.

Avtonomi Akadimia is an educational assembly and a permanent artwork in one. Founded by the artist and activist Joulia Strauss in 2015, it usually takes place in the Akadimia Platonos, the public garden in Athens where Plato taught almost 2,500 years ago. Here, in the capital city of the European crisis, on the founding site of occidental thought, we seek to overcome the one-sidedness of western epistemologies and reconnect art and Gaia. In numerous workshops and lectures, shamans, masters and curanderos, climate scientists, philosophers and artists hybridise contradictory forms of knowledge and generate an indigenised academy as part of the transformation of the European educational system.

The National Museums of World Culture is a state agency of 4 museums (Mediterranean and Eastern Antiquities museum, Ethnography museum, East Asia museum and World Culture museum) under the Ministry of Culture. The Museums have a mandate to showcase and bring to life the world cultures through our collections. Our international collaboration projects have the mission to promote equality, inclusion, active citizenship, peer-to-peer learning and intercultural dialogue. For example, the Museums initiated two regional programmes: ArtGora – Art Activism for Gender Equality and Mind the Gap Stories