Past Events

Resist, Persist: Gender, Climate and Colonialism

Call for Papers

  • 25 July to 3 September 2023
  • Deadline 12:00 pm
  • Symposium will take place on 7 and 8 December, 2023 at the Barbican in London

This symposium connects thinking from the Barbican’s exhibition, RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology and the Paul Mellon Centre's multi-year project, Climate & Colonialism. Bringing together researchers, designers, artists and activists from a range of backgrounds, the symposium is interested in the intersections of ongoing colonial histories and feminist and queer ecologies.

We invite submissions of proposals for short (eight-minute) propositions that explore artistic and creative practice in response to one or more of the following prompts:

  • How is climate change, in its many guises, a site for probing (and even troubling) the overlap of colonialism and sex and gendered oppression?
  • While derided for decades for its purported essentialism, ecofeminism is resurging as a focal point of art, discourse and practice. How can we account for this? (How) Is this connected to climate change and its colonial drivers?
  • How do elemental and material worlds shape colonial and gendered power structures and how do these structures shape those worlds in return?

Submissions are encouraged from contributors of all backgrounds and across all disciplines; we are committed to championing new voices.

Please submit the following by 12 noon (BST) on 3 September 2023 listing “Resist, Persist CFP” as the subject line to: [email protected]. Please note incomplete or late submissions will not be considered.

  • A two-hundred-word abstract outlining the topic of your intervention or idea, why you would like to be involved and the format you imagine your involvement might take (for example an illustrated talk, a manifesto, a conversation with one or more participants, a participatory activity, a performance or another format). Alternatively, you can submit a two-minute video.
  • A short biography or biographies of approximately one hundred words (please do not send CVs).

Successful contributors selected through this open call will be paid a fee of £150 for their contribution and all reasonable travel and accommodation costs will be covered. If there is any relevant information that you would like to share with us, such as required adjustments or access needs, please do let us know when you submit and we will do our best to support these.

The symposium is convened by Sria Chatterjee (Paul Mellon Centre), Astrida Neimanis (University of British Columbia) and Alona Pardo (Barbican).

About the Exhibition

Featuring around fifty international women and gender non-conforming artists, RE/SISTERS is a new exhibition featuring work from emerging and established artists across the fields of photography and film. Works in the exhibition explore how women’s understanding of our environment has often resisted the logic of capitalist economies which places the exploitation of the planet at its centre. They are presented alongside works of an activist nature that show how women are regularly at the forefront of advocating and caring for the planet. Reflecting on a range of themes, from extractive industries to the politics of care, RE/SISTERS explores environmental and gender justice as indivisible parts of a global struggle. It seeks to address existing power structures that threaten our increasingly precarious ecosystem.

About the “Climate & Colonialism” Research Project

The “Climate & Colonialism” research project, led by Sria Chatterjee at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, works towards new and interdisciplinary understandings of visual and material culture produced around and in response to the interconnected and enduring histories of colonialism, capitalism and climate change. A primary aim of this multi-year project is to provide a testing ground for transhistorical conversations and collaborations between art historians, artists and other scholarly and community groups, thinking critically about colonialism and climate change. A strand of the project, “Biodiversities of Gender” led by Astrida Neimanis explores these topics from feminist and queer perspectives.

Image caption:

Nature Self-Portrait #5, 1996
© Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016