Museo delle Civiltà, Rome, Italy Deadline: 20 February 2022
The Museo delle Civiltà is launching an open call for a residency and the production of a project on the topic “Care in a World We Share with Others/Caring in a Precarious World”
The residency will take place in the framework of the European Project Taking Care – Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care (takingcareproject.eu), co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Museums of Ethnography and World Cultures are holding a great number of collections originat-ing from societies whose members today are involved in social, political or ecological struggles. How can they be activated to address the twinned concerns of planetary precarity and the precari-ty of plural societies? In what ways can they shape more democratic and equitable futures mobi-lising their collections and (difficult) histories? And how might they help in challenge rising exclu-sionary politics based in anxiety around others?
Within this context, the Museo delle Civiltà is committed to exploring the connections between its ethnographic collections and questions regarding the climate crisis, the Anthropocene and issues related to the afterlives of colonialism.
The call is addressed to activists, artists, researchers, or cultural actors and creatives similarly en-gaged in contemporary efforts and interested in museum collections as sources of inspiration.
The research of the residency will be based on the “Mostra campionaria” (Trade Fair) section of the former Colonial Museum of Rome, opened in 1923 and closed in the 70s of the 19th century, and currently in storage at the Museo delle Civiltà.
The collections of the Colonial Museum of Rome – a museum of colonial propaganda, whose main narrative was the exaltation of the Italian enterprises in Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia – are characterized by a strong heterogeneity of objects and sections: ethnographic, artistic, ar-chaeological, colonial history, trade, and commodities compose a contested and difficult heritage. (Please see the dossier on the history of the Colonial Museum attached).
The “Mostra campionaria” section contains, among others, several samples of comestible goods, raw and processed materials, woods, stones, furs, and seeds. All these materials have been taken from the Italian colonies and constantly exposed in colonial fairs in Italy (and Europe) before and after entering the Colonial Museum of Rome. This section also contains finished products such as hats, bags, shoes, buttons, made for the Italian/European taste of the time.
The objects of the “Mostra campionaria” address forms of colonial exploitation and commercial propaganda. The purpose was to spread knowledge of the products and manufactures of the colo-nies in order to make trade relations between the mother country and the colonies easier and more profitable. The existence of these materials, and their history, is a direct result of a series of exploitations, predations, fetishization, and of a patriarchal relationship between Italy and the colonies. In addition, this collection addresses issues concerning environmental justice, and how the world has been permanently scarred by human impact.
Given these premises, within the residency “Care in a World We Share with Others/Caring in a Precarious World” it will be important to investigate the contradictions concerning the term curate, as well as preservation (of art, heritage, memories, environment). The verb “to cu-rate” (from Latin cura, “take care”) can express ambivalent meanings, especially if it is framed within the context of the former Colonial Museum of Rome, which require the adoption of post-colonial and decolonial approaches and perspectives. Among the various collections that compose the museum, the commodities section can cover a specific role in understanding the ambiguity of the term curating, leading us back to topics that have to do with the Anthropocene, colonialism, environmental exploitation, capitalism, and gender issues. Starting from these considerations, together with the materials and products in the collection, the resident is invited to develop a personal output coherently with the objectives of the call.
To engage in an intensive dialogue with museum professionals (and visitors) through the creation of different and critical perspectives.
To experiment with innovative forms of connecting ethnographic narratives with socio-political or environmental issues.
To find new ways to inspire and interest the public.
To enhance a spectrum of perceptions and glances on the issues related to the heritage of coloni-alism.
To develop a discourse, through various devices, able to involve a heterogeneous audience about the issues related to the interconnection between the ethnographic collections and the awareness of the colonial practice.
To deploy an original perspective on the role and the legacy of an ethnographic collection in the contemporary world.
Project’s submission: not later than 20th February 2022
Communication of the results: 29th April 2022
Residency in Rome: between September 2022 and the ending of October 2022 + 1 week in January 2023.
Presentation of the final result of the resident’s work: January 2023
The creative result should be site- and context-specific: conceived and produced in the framework of the dialogue between museum curators, the collections, and the resident’s inspiration, poetics, and politics.
The output will be presented in the temporary experimental exhibition which will open as part of the Taking Care Project in January 2023. It could also be exhibited in the Museo delle Civiltà and/or future events.
The Museo delle Civiltà will cover all the production costs of the project whose output will be ac-quired by the Museum as part of its collections. Conditions and terms will be defined in the for-mal agreement) (see “Selection methods, terms, and conditions”).
Presentation of the work in the form of a talk, conversation, or performance is expected (see also “Additional opportunities and expectations”).
What they expect
Applications by activists, artists, researchers, or cultural actors and creatives that can embed and provide a direct perspective on the issues related to colonialism and decolonisation.
Commitment to stay continuously in Rome within the months of September and October 2022 and to set up the output and attend its presentation in January 2023.
The active participation in the Museum’s life within the months of the residency in Rome.
The production of a creative and original output that will be able to develop and enhance perspec-tive, thoughts, and reflection about the themes described.
The possibility to use and exhibit the output and the documents produced within the residency for the Museum’s activities, such as publications, social and media reproduction, and exhibitions within the framework of the Taking Care Project.
The possibility to use the output in permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Museo delle Civiltà.
The selected applicant will be featured on the Museum’s as well as on the Taking Care Project’s websites and in social media posts. Some form of interaction with the public, whether it be through public lectures, workshops, outreach initiatives, or other public engagement initiatives is required throughout the residency.
The residency is addressed to individuals who meet the following eligibility criteria.
The call is open – but not limited to:
– professional activists, artists, researchers, or cultural actors and creatives with a background in museum practices, visual art, architecture, literature, design, and music;
– activists, artists, researchers, or cultural actors and creatives with a structural background and experience on the themes proposed in this call;
– activists, artists, researchers, or cultural actors and creatives able to deploy a personal perspec-tive on the issues and the themes involved within the project as a whole, such as colonialism, de-colonisation, imperialism, racism, etc.
The call is open to collectives or teams even if accommodation and fee have to be shared.
The Museo delle Civiltà actively seeks applicants from all backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of colour, religion, national origin, sex, age, gender identity or expression, sexual ori-entation, disability.
Please note that the Museo delle Civiltà employees are not eligible to apply for this residency. The same applies to their close relatives.
What they offer
Stipend and other support
Residency stipend September and October 2022: € 4.000,00 in total, presence required*
Fee for the completed project: € 4.000,00
Production costs will be reimbursed for a maximum amount up to € 2.500,00 (under submission of corresponding list of invoices and copies)
Any purchased equipment will remain with the Museo delle Civiltà. The fee includes the trans-fer/cession of publication and production rights to Museo delle Civiltà.
* Due to the pandemic, the Museo delle Civiltà cannot guarantee the selected applicant an on-site residency. Despite the extenuating circumstances, the Museo delle Civiltà is committed to offer-ing all necessary support to the selected applicant. The terms of the residency details will be de-fined in accordance with the health measures in effect in August 2022.
Facilities and Services
Accommodation for up to two people in a single apartment.
Travel costs to and from Rome (economy class) for the residency.
Accepted residency applicant will be provided with a space to work inside the Museum.
Access to the collections, archive and library of the Museo delle Civiltà as a place for the co-production of knowledge.
Additional opportunities and expectations
There will be a welcome reception for the selected applicant at the beginning of the residency and an open studio day for the general public at the end of the residency.
The Museum staff will provide introductions to the sectors of Museo delle Civiltà, in an effort to enrich the resident’s experience.
The participation in the heterogeneous activities deployed by the Museo delle Civiltà within the residency period, such as lectures, seminars, conferences about various themes of which the resi-dent will be aware in advance.
The possibility to face and to work on storages containing collections and objects related to the Italian colonial history.
Selection methods, terms and conditions
The selection process will be carried out by an international jury comprised of Museo delle Civiltà staff and outside jurors.
Only one application will be selected. The selected applicant will be notified by e-mail at the end of April 2022.
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
• Formal, aesthetic and conceptual quality – score |0-5|
• Consistency with the theme – score |0-5|
• Feasibility in terms of sustainable, spatial and economic impacts – score |0-5|
• Assessment of CV and Portfolio – score |0-5|
The international jury will sort a list by a decreasing score. The final merit ranking and the nomi-nation of the selected applicant will be published on the Museo delle Civiltà’s web site. In case of non-adhesion by the selected applicant, the jury will appoint a new candidate from the list, respecting the descending order. Individual feedback on the selection results will not be possible.
The exact terms and conditions of the residency will be subject to a formal agreement between the selected applicant and the Museo delle Civiltà.
Applicants approve that their personal data will be stored and processed as a part of the applica-tion process. Revision or contestation of the jury decision is not possible. There is no legal enti-tlement to the award of the residency. Costs for preparatory work of the application will not be covered.
The project and all the documents required have to be submitted by 20th February 2022. Later submission will not be considered in the selection process.
Museo delle Civiltà
Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 14
00144 Roma (Italy)