Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in Eastern Europe since the 1960s

Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in Eastern Europe since the 1960s

This project aims to examine the phenomenon of participatory and socially engaged art in the specific socio-political context of Eastern Europe since the 1960s.

Funding opportunities for PhD research

Elphinstone PhD Scholarships are available in History of Art:
Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in Eastern Europe since the 1960s, supervised by Dr Amy Bryzgel

These Scholarships cover the entirety of tuition fees for a PhD student of any nationality commencing full-time study in October 2015, for the three-year duration of their studies.

Deadline for submission of applications: Thursday 30th April 2015.

This project aims to examine the phenomenon of participatory and socially engaged art in the specific socio-political context of Eastern Europe since the 1960s. Projects may focus on any area of the former communist and socialist countries of Central, Eastern or Southern Europe, including single-country case studies or cross-country comparisons. In a region of the world that had as its ideological aim, at least in theory, the building of communism, with collective self-management and socially inclusive policies, what was the function of socially engaged artistic practices, which aimed to bring communities together in an ameliorative capacity, in this environment? How did these activities parallel or diverge from the aims of the state? Did participatory art succeed in creating a collective environment that socialism was aiming to build? This project will build on foundational studies by Miwon Kwom and Claire Bishop and seek to understand the particular function of participatory and socially engaged art in the unique political environment of state-sponsored socialism.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bryzgel (a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk). Proposals should be no more than 2,000 words, and include a discussion of Aims and Objectives, Research Questions, Research Context, Methodology and Critical Approach. 

Possible research Topics:

  • Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in Communist Central and Eastern Europe, c. 1960-1989

  • Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in the former Yugoslavia

  • Participatory and Socially Engaged Art in Eastern Europe since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Other topics within the main subject area are also welcome; please inquire with Dr. Bryzgel

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. Individuals with a strong research background in the field of Eastern European contemporary art and/or performance art, from either an art history or visual culture background, are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have the necessary language skills needed to undertake the proposed research, and should indicate potential funding sources for travel to conduct field research abroad if it is necessary to the proposed project.

Sources: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/sdhp/history-art/news/7379/ and http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cass/graduate/history-of-art-386.php