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Call for submissions: Archive of Forgetfulness project

Archive of Forgetfulness projectGoethe-Institut South Africa is calling on African artists, filmmakers, photographers and writers to submit contributions for its Archive of Forgetfulness project.

Archive of Forgetfulness asks what it means literally, culturally and politically to engage with the materiality of movement on the African continent. The project invites contributions to an online platform, which focuses “on the things that enable us to move ­­­­– literally or figuratively: trains, roads, space programmes, aeroplanes, ports, boda bodas, and many others.”

“Rather than understanding the archive as a direct record, we suggest it should be understood as a patchy process of memory-making in itself,” the curators of the archive said.

Interested participants should submit contributions in the form of sound pieces or video performances, short texts, films and photographic essays that respond to the theme. The contributions can be new or existing works but should not be older than five years. For written submissions, only original and unpublished work will be considered. Translations may have appeared elsewhere in their original languages, but not in English. Preference will be given to submissions from the African continent.

“We understand the archive as a form of crafting the past for the future, where these are not necessarily located in a linear relationship,” the curators said. “In collating a fragmentary archive of movement, drawn from sites across the African continent, we do not aim for a whole or complete collection. Rather, we embrace the partial, momentary, and not yet complete; what might exist in the failure of memory, or what can no longer be spoken.”

The project is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “which laid bare the frailty of basic urban infrastructure for the majority on the African continent and elsewhere. As states continue to wrestle the spread of the virus, the restrictions placed on movement, from regimented stay-at-home orders to the mass closure of borders has led to widespread immobility.”

Participants should submit the following to [email protected](link sends e-mail):

  • A 100-word biography, contact details and the submission of the work itself.
  • Writers should submit text pieces of not more than 1 000 words.
  • Sound clips, films and videos should be between 1 to 10 minutes.
  • Images and drawings should not exceed 10.

Selected projects that are to be exhibited online will receive an honorarium of R5 000 ($300).

The submission deadline is 15 January.

View the original call here(link is external)


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