Call for Papers: Community and Utopia

RHN 103/2015 | Call

Organisers: Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO) Leipzig; Academy of Arts Vilnius and Nida Art Colony

3-5 May 2016, Nida Art Colony, Lithuania

Deadline for submissions: 15 December 2015

Community and Utopia.
Artist‘s Settlements in Eastern and East-Central Europe, from the Fin-de-Siècle to Socialism

The artists’ colonies as a distinctive form of living and working together thrived from the end of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the First World War. During this time, they had an important impact, not only on art and design, but also on social life.

In Eastern and East Central Europe – in Hungary, Poland, Finland, Lithuania and Russia – there were several artists’ colonies of long or short durées. They were not just summer residences for pleinair painting but also included more permanent forms of cohabitation. Seeking a new kind of community of artists and artisans, many of them cultivated reform concepts and were influenced by socialist ideas.

By examining the way art and life were combined there, this workshop will look at the utopian potential of artists’ communities.

Contributions are sought on the following aspects, though contributors are also invited to present other themes:

  • Shaping the community: the emancipation of the artist in rural locations; distance from urban centers as part of political, social and gender emancipation (anarchism, Tolstoyan ideas; psychoanalysis; Theosophy);
  • The role of women in artist’s colonies;
  • Forming the landscape: at what stage were artists’ settlements integrated into the authentic landscape, for example by such symbolic means as the invention of ‘folk’ architecture and home industry?
  • How did the artists interact with their surrounding communities of ‘real’ peasants or fishermen?
  • How did the idea of going ‘back to the roots’ fit with national, imperial, and colonial discourses in these artists’ colonies?
  • Artists’ communities under socialism: the official and unofficial discourse in places such as Houses of Creative Work; Cafés; artists’ settlements;
  • Transnational connections and perspectives

Contact: Dr. Marina Dmitriev,

Source: H-Soz-Kult