Greetings colleagues,

I’m Eliza Steinbock Assistant Professor of Cultural Analysis at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. My research is broadly on transgender cultural production, with a book on trans cinema and affect called Shimmering Images, a Veni on trans portraiture practices in South Africa, Germany and Canada, and a Vidi application (in review) on activating the archives of transgender heritage through digitalization and artistic engagement.

I’m writing to invite you to consider joining in a Smart Culture grant application aimed at the creative industries, due on 5 Feb 2019. If you are keen to be involved, I’ll have a partner meeting on Friday 14 December, 2-5pm, location in Amsterdam TBA. You are being reached because I see great potential in collaborating together to make a mutually enriching project. After participating recently in a Smart Culture Working Conference as workshop leader on “Art & Inclusion: Queer Community” I feel very encouraged that this kind of project with a consortium of experts on queer art and heritage stands a good chance of being funded.

This call is demand driven by the private and public sector, and also aims at creating networks and strengthening them within the creative sector. The knowledge base between HBO and WO is also encouraged to consolidate through joint research proposals. For instance, this application could be joint between Leiden University and the Reinwardt Academie, with myself as the main applicant on behalf of a consortia represented by partners such as ARIAS, members of Queering the Collections such as IHLIA and the van Abbe Museum, the International Institute for Social History, and the If I Can’t Dance arts organization, amongst others. Additionally, the call specifically requests a focus on the role of the “maker” within the chain from creation to production to reception.

For these reasons and with this blend of potential partners, I would like to propose working together on the topic of gender and sexual diversity heritage and the way it’s existence, definition, and preservation has potentially specialized archival demands on the institution.

How should we understand these demands from material and visual culture and how to best respond to them and the communities from which they come from and which they continue to shape and inform as points of identification? Increasingly artists are invited in to create space within heritage sites to reflect on archival collections’ structures of inclusion and exclusion and to critically articulate or expose absences, missing materials and voices. But artists also generate new documents and add to archives. In what ways do these artistic actions allow for transgender and queer sensibilities to be detected or embedded within the process of collection, from selection, procurement, documentation, search functions and metadata, onto the presentation of material and visual culture? Who could be determined as the maker here? Is the “maker” of such sensibilities and insight an assemblage of the material and visual heritage object, together with specialists of the collection, together with artistic researchers?

I would like to apply for 1 and maybe 2 PhD positions, with research to be conducted at the van Abbe (on cruising the museum) and at IHLIA (on transgender heritage). I have scouted these potential PhDs.

Other possible activities/material costs could involve workshops on experimental and action-oriented methods drawing from artistic researchers, and a performative symposium on centering transgender and queer sensibilities. My hope would be that the project’s funding and organization would facilitate the ongoing skills sharing and research generated within the partners of the Queering the collectives network, the ARIAS initiative of Artists & Archives meetings, and to create a platform for fostering experimental, artistic and action-oriented research into archives. Please share your wishes and dreams!

At this point, I am interested to talk to researchers/platforms/institutions who can take up one of the following roles within this project:

  • I’m looking for up to two co-applicants who are permanent or temporary throughout the duration of the project at a Dutch University or University of Applied Sciences.
  • Looking for ‘private and public funders’ in cash and ‘in kind’: This project requires 10% of its budget (500.000) matched by private funding amounting to 50.000 EUR, 5% in kind (promise to put in hours, equipment, etc) and 5% in cash. It can be covered by, for example 5 partners, or just one. A ‘private partij’ does not need to be a company. It could also be a ZZP’er, a design agency, and even a museum or a gallery (if they have a ‘ANBI’ status).
  • Looking for public partners’, who can bring in their expertise in finding the right forms of exhibiting, showing and giving visibility to this research, and who can co-host and co-curate the workshops and ‘performative symposium’ envisioned in this project.
  • Looking for ‘community advisors’ – who endorse the project and will give feedback during our midterm moment, and possibility other roles.

Obviously I’m working here on a short deadline; so if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out by telephone: 0617190031.


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