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Call for Papers - Subversive Practices and Imagined Realities in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe since 1945

Conference venue: Norwich, UK
Period: April 9-11, 2015
Deadline for submitting abstracts: November 10, 2014



In communist Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, the building of socialism had as its final endpoint a utopia that provided the ultimate motivation: sacrifice now, reward later. In its sheer impossibility, it was an elusive and illusory dream that formed the foundation for everyday life under totalitarian regime. Within this visionary world, artists such as Alexander Mlynarcik (Slovakia), Marko Kovacic (Slovenia)or Mark Verlan (Moldova), created their own parallel worlds, utopias, dystopias, and fantastic domains. In many cases, alternative and nonofficial artists’ works served to carve out a unique space in the so-called “grey zone”of Europe, which offered an alternative not only to state-sponsored socialism,but also to Western capitalism, both of which many artists and dissidents viewed with equal suspicion.

This panel will examine a range of artistic ideas, participative strategies, subversive practices, networks and projects(imaginary or real), which demonstrate an alternative sphere of thinking and modes of creative living, and which possibly attempt to move beyond the classical binary systems of West and East – all from within an everyday world order that seemed to be set in stone. We also invite papers that offer a more differentiated view, even extending to the post-socialist period, aiming to re-evaluate the nexus of aesthetics and politics and produce new interpretations and analytical approaches regarding counter culture and censorship, which explore the relational aspects of following binaries: official and unofficial, political and apolitical, permitted and prohibited –under totalitarian rule.

Guidelines for submission

If you would like to offer a paper, please email BOTH session convenors directly, providing an abstract of aproposed paper of 30 minutes. The deadline for abstracts is November 10, 2014.Your paper abstract should be no more than 250 words, and include your name andinstitution affiliation (if any). You should receive an acknowledgement ofreceipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.
Unfortunately no fee is payable to speakers; all speakers must register and pay to attend the conference.

Session Convenors:


Information & contacts

Department of Art History and WorldArt Studies
Sainsbury Institute for Art
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ

Amy Bryzgel
University of Aberdeen

Andrea Euringer-Bátorová
Academy of FineArts and Design
Bratislava, Slovakia


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