Call for Papers: Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Arton Foundation (Warsaw), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts (Riga), SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Ljubljana), Office for Photography (Zagreb) invite for the conference Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) will be held in Warsaw in the first week of September 2021. The conference will take place at the Academy of Fine Arts or and depending on the situation with Covid-19 will be organized also in a hybrid format offering online participation.

Participants: early career humanities scholars, curators and artists are welcome to apply.

Focus: visual arts before 1989 in relation to woman artist experiences and histories in Central and Eastern Europe.

The scholarly “sin of omission” and the exclusion of work by women from the canon of art history have resulted in the erasure of the achievements of numerous artists. Such omissions have been widespread, occurring regardless of socio-political situation. However, women artists as well as art historians, critics, curators, gallerists in culturally and economically “peripheral” countries, such as those formerly behind the Iron Curtain and former Yugoslavia, have been at risk of double exclusion on the grounds of both geography and gender. While rebuilding new states and socialistic societies after WW2., women built themselves up not only politically and culturally, but artistically as well. But instead of anticipated advancement of women in various fields, society continued to support the domination of the traditional patriarchal view. To counteract that situation and with the wish to raise bigger awareness of these issues as well as proposing new ways of history reading Arton Foundation (Warsaw), Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts (Riga), - SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Ljubljana), and Office for Photography (Zagreb) in 2019 collectively started the project “Not Yet Written Stories: Women Artists Archives On-line”. The project studies the heritage of women artists in Poland, Latvia, Croatia and Slovenia with the aim to recuperate the lost or omitted histories of women artists and broaden our understanding of recent past. The project maps not only regional contexts and collaborations, but also aims to reconsider common points of history writing processes investigating gender in social, political, cultural, and artistic context within Central and Eastern Europe.

Taking the project initiative and research already completed as the starting point, partners are organizing a conference Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Throughout the regions we are facing erasure of women from the art scene, followed by the notion that behind the Iron Curtain they are less recognised due to the low awareness of women artists while the “second wave” of feminism and the reception of feminist theories and practices in general are still unexplored in the context of art and potential connections between women artists and feminists. Women artists were culturally and economically peripheral, outside the mainstream of the art world, and at risk of double exclusion, due to issues of both geography and gender.

By this conference we want to recognize this situation, and educate a new generation of researchers, art historians and cultural experts who are aware of this state of affairs and have the knowledge and tools to bring some positive changes.

The conference aims to provide a space for researchers, scholars and artists to network on some topics of mutual interest, and through the event discuss the suggested topics, among others:

How do we locate and treat “lost” women artists? What social and historical reasons have shaped domination over women in CEE? How can we define the reasons of women artists’ marginalization?

How gender roles were conceptualized in Central and Eastern Europe and what discourses related to gender circulated in socialist states? Emancipated during WWII, marginalized in the post-war period: how patriarchal society treated women despite declarative gender equality (proclaimed by state), and how does this situation reflect in art circles? How can we shape the position of women artists in art history while reconsidering socialist unfulfilled equality?

How did women artists see themselves during the Soviet period or in Yugoslavia? What were the problems they were facing? What was the treatment of women studying at the art academies (huge in numbers, almost invisible outside school)? Have there been local or global formal and informal initiatives / institutions / collectives devoted to women artists in Central and Eastern Europe?

Women Artists’ practice - documentation and memorialisation of their work. How can we build an alternative future by revisiting the past and reinterpreting archives? What can we learn about current political, social and feminist struggle while rethinking recent past?

What kind of strategies can we develop to appreciate women artists? Do we need institutions devoted exclusively to women artists? If yes, what kind of?

How has “socialist solidarity” impacted history writing? How gender relations are imaged and represented in visual arts?

What was the role of women in the art field in this period - curators, gallerist and art critics alike? Do we remember them in our art histories today or are they too marginalised and/or forgotten?Truth or dare: women art critics promoting women artists


15. 1. 2021 - proposal submission deadline (in English only, max. 2000 characters, including spaces)

25. 1. 2021 - Notification of acceptance

5. 4. 2021 - delivery of papers with illustrations

6. 5. 2021 - editors comments sending to the authors

5. 6. 2021 - authors sending articles after the initial correction

5. 5. 2021 - 12. 7. 2021 - peer reviews process

12. 7. - 1.9. 2021 sending articles after reviews and preparing shorter versions of the articles as the conference papers

2.-3. 9. 2021 - the conference

December 2021 - launch of the new issue of “Miejsce” magazine

Papers selected for the conference will be published in the new issue of “Miejsce” http://miejsce.asp.waw.pl/en/, the magazine published by the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (printed and online version, journal apply the procedure double blind review). The organizers of the conference will cover travel costs, accomodation and provide fees for the authors of accepted articles. The language of the conference: English.

Please send your proposals for a 20-minute presentation (max. 2000 characters) together with a short bio by 15 January, 2021 to: miejsce@asp.waw.pl

Supported by Creative Europe

Co-financed by Polish Ministry of Culture and Heritage from the Fund of the Promotion of Culture
Call for Papers: Not Yet Written Stories. Women Artists in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)