Summer School of Socially Engaged Art 2022

ISSP Summer School of Socially Engaged Art 
23 - 30 July 2022 in Rucka, Cēsis, Latvia 
/ Applications to the summer school are closed. We will get back to all applicants on 21-22 June./ 

The Summer School of Socially Engaged Art is a week-long gathering for artists, activists, culture workers and creatives of various disciplines interested in engaging with social and human rights issues in their work. The summer school aims to critically reflect on art's role in society, share tools and practices, and develop and strengthen a network of individuals, communities and institutions who work at the intersection between art and social activism in Latvia and the neighbouring region. 

During the week, we will explore the relationship between art and society from various perspectives, focusing on our role in cultivating change, the power of community, and the role and responsibility of arts in fostering social and ecological justice. Our explorations will be rooted in self-reflection, critical thinking, and a sensitivity towards power relationships. Learning from the experiences of those on the ground and exploring case studies, we will acquire practical skills while discovering our own strengths and superpowers. Keeping the focus practice-based, the participants will have an opportunity to plan and conduct their own interventions and learn together throughout various activities and actions during the week.

The summer school will finish with a public event - showcasing the results of creative processes elaborated during the week. 

The event is organised by ISSP and facilitated by new visions – an educational collective working in the fields of arts/culture and transformative justice. The programme includes daily interventions and guest workshops by inspiring artists and activists from a range of creative practices - Festival Y?!, Viktorija Kolbešnikova and Augustas Čičelis from Vilnius queer festival and Lithuanian queer archive, Rafal Milach from Archive of Public Protest (PL), artist Demelza Watts (UK), and more.  

The summer school will embrace a holistic learning process (learning with mind, body and emotions) using embodied, introspective, and group exchange methods, applying play and creativity as essential tools for imagining other possible worlds, and offering action-oriented tools and strategies for change.

Main facilitators: 
new visions is a Berlin based educational collective working in the fields of arts/culture and transformative justice. new visions designs and facilitates diverse learning spaces – it runs transformational leadership programs for women in arts and culture, organises events and curates educational programs on social and ecological justice, and consults cultural institutions on organisational change towards becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The collective is the outcome of a long-term collaboration between Agnieszka Bulacik and Liene Jurgelāne, the main facilitators of the summer school. Both have navigated between the fields of art/culture and education for many years, creating and facilitating a variety of learning spaces, being directly involved in artistic and cultural work both as practising artists and curators of a variety of cultural and social initiatives.

The programme includes workshops and interventions by:  
- Živile Matrimaite and Ieva Salna, Festival Y?! (LV - LT) - "But what about the money: funding for social justice initiatives", workshop and discussion
- Viktorija Kolbešnikova and Augustas Čičelis, Vilnius queer festival Kreivės and Lithuanian queer archive (LT) -  "Queer archiving as (self)empowerment and artistic practice", presentation, workshop, discussion
- Rafal Milach, Archive of Public Protests, Sputnik / Magnum Photos (PL) - presentation of Archive of Public Protests, Banner making workshop
- Demelza Watts, artist, co-founder of Pacto Collective (UK) - On collectives and collective art/activist practices, presentation, interactive workshop 
- Liene Ozoliņa, Associate professor, Academy of Culture of Latvia (LV) - Activist art in the age of neoliberalism, presentation, discussion
- Maren Krings, photographer and climate impact storyteller (DE) - Storytelling from art to activism: Hemp as a compass back to nature, presentation and discussion

The summer school will be housed in Rucka - a wonderful art and residency centre in Cēsis, Latvia. Accommodation and food will be arranged on site.  

The event will have a maximum of 30 participants (20 from Latvia, 10 from neighbouring countries). 

- You are an artist, activist, culture professional or community worker already working with (or interested in) socially engaged art practices and activist and justice work;
- You are working in or presently living in LATVIA or in one of the neighbouring countries (LITHUANIA, ESTONIA, POLAND, BELARUS, UKRAINE);
- You are interested in developing your practice and building a network of like-minded individuals; 
- You can commit to participating for the entire duration of the summer school. 

Participation is free of charge. However, as catering is not covered by the funders, the participants will be asked to contribute for the costs of meals (70 - 100 EUR, depending on your ability). NB! In case you are struggling financially, this should not be an obstacle for taking part (please inform us).  

To apply: submit the APPLICATION FORM by 12 June 2022 (already closed)
Notifications will be sent to all applicants during the week of 20- June. 

The summer school is supported by the German Embassy in Riga.

A follow-up event a is planned for the end of November in Riga, for the Latvian participants and some of the foreign participants who wish to join.