Discussions / Ateliers

Call for applications: (Re)writing Criticism

Townhouse Gallery, Caire, Egypt
Deadline: 22 January 2017

Call for applications: (Re)writing Criticism

(Re)writing Criticism is a six month writing-intensive program which aims to build on current practices of criticism in Egyptian contemporary culture. In bringing together international and local critics with budding writers and thinkers, the program seeks to broaden the scope of critical conversation in Cairo’s culture circuit.

Globally, the field of “art criticism” is reserved to a select few, and constructive criticism itself is often conducted in a language that alienates those not privy to the peculiarities of the art world’s foreign tongue. Given this, the “Rewriting Criticism” program will encourage participants to understand and decode this language, possibly for the purpose of dismantling it entirely to begin anew.

This program serves as a platform for participants to reflect on the current architecture of Egypt’s culture scene, taking advantage of exhibitions, openings, and performances occurring in 2017. In interacting with the wide array of events coloring the Egyptian cultural landscape, participants will be given the opportunity to opine and pen their thoughts on these activities using a fine-tuned critical lens.

In addition, the program will provide access to theoretical texts that comprise the canon of written criticism and ask students to respond to these materials utilizing their own language and interpretation. Equipped with the building blocks of critical writing, students will be encouraged to experiment with form, subvert traditional writing methods and tools, and employ new technologies that rattle current practices of criticism.

Ultimately, this endeavor aims to create a viable lexicon for cultural criticism. In reimagining the role of text today, this program seeks to reveal the emancipatory potential of language and to expand the bounds of textual interactions.


Selection criteria

-Applicants should have a strong interest in writing, contemporary art, criticism, or curation

Applicants must be resident in Egypt

-Applicants should have basic verbal and written proficiency in English and Arabic (as some seminars will be taught in English and others in Arabic).

-Applicants will be required to attend every single seminar over the six month period.

Documents to apply:

In order to apply, please email the following information to mariam@thetownhousegallery.com by January 22nd, 2017:

-A résumé or C.V. including name, address, and telephone number, and institutional affiliation (if applicable)

-A short biography (to be published on selection)

-A writing sample (preferably published, if available). If a published work is unavailable, please attach a sample of work that reflects your potential.

Selection process:

Participants will be limited to 15 and special attention will be paid to applicant’s writing sample. The participation fee will be 200 pounds in total for 6 months and scholarships will be available. Lodging will be provided for participants coming from outside of Cairo. Applicants will be notified by January 29th, 2016.

Led by Lina Attalah, the first session will take place from February 9th (evening) through February 12th at the Townhouse Gallery.

For more information please contact Program Manager Mariam Elnozahy at mariam@thetownhousegallery.com.

This program is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC