Open Call: 2020 China-Africa Artists Workshop


2019-10-31 ~ 2019-12-25


Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Entry Fee


Curated by

The Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network
Guangdong Times Museum
Arts of Africa & Global Souths Research Program at Rhodes University, South Africa

The Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network, Guangdong Times Museum, and Arts of Africa & Global Souths Research Program at Rhodes University, South Africa invite African and Chinese artists to participate in a workshop for Global Souths artists at the 6th Conference of the CA/AC that will be held at Lingnan University, Hong Kong from 9 to 11 July 2020. The workshop aims to build a community of critical Global Souths artists whose works specifically address China and Africa’s engagements by bridging gaps between artistic, journalistic, and scholarly practices/creations and complicating narratives to diversify imageries. It is an initiative for sustained ground-up cultural exchange.

The open call is for artists working with any visual arts medium, who seek to deepen their knowledge of China and the African continent; better understand the interrelation between imperialism, orientalism, and racism; explore theories of representations; and grapple with relevant curatorial practices. This workshop is for artists interested in questions, such as: Are there useful strategies and methodologies from academic studies that artists can draw from in their art practices? Why reach out to academic audiences? How do contemporary art exhibitions circulate and in what format? How to evaluate the public’s reception of the artworks in these exhibition spaces?

2-4 artists, dependent on available funding, will be selected to participate in the workshop. For consideration, applicants should submit the following: a curriculum vitae and digital portfolio with supporting texts, images, or video links of selected works as well as a one to two-page statement in English that shows their understanding of the connection between China and Africa. The statement should also indicate plans for continual engagement with this topic after the workshop. The selection committee will give priority to artists based in China and Africa, who demonstrate sustained interest in African actors’ engagements with China and/or Chinese actors’ engagements with the African continent. Organizers of the conference will assist with travel costs.

All applications must be submitted by 30 November 2019 to the following email address: Indicate “2020 China-Africa Artists Workshop” in the subject heading.

The selected candidates will have the opportunity to apply for a one-month “All the Way South” Residency Exchange with “Arts of Africa and Global Souths” in 2021 co-hosted by the Guangdong Times Museum and Rhodes University after the workshop. Details about the residency and application process will be provided by further announcement.

The Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network is the only independent and international China-Africa platform for real-time discussions, interactive debates, and insightful knowledge-sharing. Our mission is to spearhead cutting-edge research, vibrant deliberations and the exchange of ideas about China-Africa issues by supporting a focused and rapidly growing global network of international scholars, students, journalists, and practitioners.

We stimulate discussions about all facets of the growing ties between Chinese and Africans, focusing especially on people-centered issues. We organize academic events and facilitate participation in international conferences for Network members and other experts. We also collaborate on publications and offer knowledge, experience, and expertise to a wider interested public.

Arts of Africa and Global Souths is an interdisciplinary research programme that focuses on the ways in which scholarly and artistic production that engages with the cultural, social and political pulse of contemporary societies can reshape structures of knowledge, power and social space as acts of decoloniality. Initiating, formulating and driving knowledge from the African continent and the global South, this research programme works with collaborators to situate the South at the forefront of contemporary scholarship and shift the centre of gravity of the global academy. The academic home of Arts of Africa and Global Souths is the Fine Art Department at Rhodes University in South Africa.

By referring to the “Arts of Africa” instead of “African art” we acknowledgement that the term “African art” is fraught due to the fact that it has been used in essentialising and at times derogatory ways in, for example, the arts, anthropology, historical studies, and heritage and museum studies. The “arts of Africa” registers art that has connections to Africa, but doesn’t need to fit into constructed categories (that is, particular types of art) that often rely on myth, skewed perceptions and stereotypes. Nor does this art have to be produced by particular types of people and moves away from essentialist, reductionistic notions of what an “African artist” might mean or might be expected to mean.

“All the Way South” Residency Exchange situates artist research and production in a rich and complex constellation of the souths by revisiting, re-interrogating and recuperating undercurrents of culture across national and ideological borders. Historically, Canton-where Guangdong Times Museum is located in-was the port of colonial trade and subaltern migration between China and the Souths of the world. Over the past thirty years, such trajectories and imageries have been largely overshadowed by the accelerated capital and material flow. By consolidating direct circuits between southern China and the souths of the world, and by supporting research-oriented residencies and commissions, the exchange aims at creating new agencies of south-south resonance and cosmopolitanism.  

For further information of the co-organizers, please refer to:

CA/AC Research Network

Guangdong Times Museum

Arts of Africa & Global Souths Research Program

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