Special Issue on Art and Race in Contemporary Eastern and Central Europe: Call for Contributions

ARTMargins Online is currently seeking submissions for a special issue on the intersection of art and race in contemporary Eastern and Central Europe. The issue will bring together artists, critics, and scholars whose work significantly engages with power structures and aesthetic paradigms that shape and are shaped by discourses on race, with an emphasis on postwar and contemporary practices. As right-wing populism and xenophobic policies rise across Europe and the globe, it is becoming all the more urgent to understand how artists working in the 20th and 21st centuries have approached race and its representation, racialized patterns of social inequality, and various projects aimed at racial justice.

Contributors to this special issue might explore the following questions, or other related avenues of inquiry:

  • How have artists in Eastern and Central Europe approached the entanglement of race and ethnicity, and what can these interactions contribute to globalized conversations about contemporary art, postcolonialism, and decolonization?
  • How do contemporary patterns of migration and refugee movements in the region affect the work of contemporary artists based there, or exhibiting there?
  • How did postwar Socialist Realism and other official styles approach issues of race, and how were these approaches intertwined with various colonial projects within and at the edges of the Socialist Bloc?
  • What art critical paradigms (globalism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, migrancy) best assess the role of race in shaping postwar and contemporary art in the region, and the ways artists are trying to engage with race?

We are seeking: interviews with artists or cultural workers (approximately 1,500–2,000 words) whose work pertains geographically to the former East and topically to issues of race; short articles related to the constellation of questions posed above (approximately 3,000–4,000 words, including footnotes); and artist projects addressing these issues (especially in media that are amenable to the online format of the publication).

Contributions selected by the editors will undergo revisions based on editorial feedback, and will be published open-access on ARTMargins Online’s website. Authors may submit their contributions through our online system. In the “Note to the editors” field, please let us know that the submission is for consideration in the special issue.

Deadline for contributions: October 10, 2020

Expected Online Publication: December 2020


Image credit: The Cosmonaut Valentina Tereškova with Angela Davis at the X. World Youth Festival in East Berlin (1973). Image courtesy info.ru