Transmission | Art, Culture & Covid-19 |13-15 December 2021 (TBC)

Online Conference Announcement & Call for Papers
The Covid-19 pandemic has had global repercussions, severely impacting the arts and cultural sector and our young people. Arts, culture and youth lie at the core of the collaborative research project Urban Pathways: Fiji. Youth. Arts. Culture., funded by the British Academy’s Youth Futures Programme, supported under the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The Urban Pathways project aims to identify how Fiji’s urban youth experience culture. It also explores how cultural heritage institutions in Fiji can engage youth and offer viable employment opportunities. It seeks to create awareness of the creative industries, and cultural heritage and management. Culture is understood in a broad sense including the relationship with the marine and terrestrial environment and natural heritage.

Hosted by Urban Pathways, the Pacific Arts Association’s Pacific Chapter online conference Transmission | Art, Culture & Covid-19 will examine how the cultural and creative industries and their practitioners (artists, academics, museum personnel, etc.) are addressing critical issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recognizing that strengthening societal resilience is an inherently cultural act, the conference provides an opportunity for deeper conversations about what it means to survive through crises. It draws on the concept of ‘survivance’, a critical term coined by Native American scholar Gerald Vizenor, who combines the words ‘survival’ and ‘resistance’ as going ‘beyond mere survival to acknowledge the dynamic and creative nature of Indigenous rhetoric’ (Vizenor 2008: 20). The conference poses the following questions:
  • How do artists and arts and cultural practitioners cope with crises such as the Covid pandemic?
  • How do they show their resilience and survivance?
  • What is the place and role of youth and intergenerational knowledge exchange in this context?
  • How will these issues affect Pacific cultures in the future?
The overall theme ‘transmission’ speaks to its current relevance in our pandemic-stricken world as well as its significance in arts and culture practice. The transmission process of arts, culture and creativity is multi-layered and multi-generational. It moves in time and space between elders, youth, practitioners, artists and knowledge holders to create intergenerational dialogue and knowledge exchange. Submissions are invited on one of the conference sub-themes:

  • Art as Resistance (heritage & contemporary/ museums/ gallery – objects/artforms/spaces)
  • Pacific Arts & the Global Pandemic (impact of covid-19 on artists and creative practice)

RESILIENCE (Youth, Pacific Arts & Culture)
  • Youth Voices: Coping with Covid (resilience & Pacific Youth/Youth as the future/as emerging leaders/future custodians/etc.)
  • Intergenerational knowledge exchange (as central to continuity and survival of Pacific arts and culture/culture as dynamic/etc.)

Conference convenors will accept submissions that address the theme of the conference. We invite proposals for the following categories:

– 15-minute reports
– 25-minute papers (with 10-minute question time per paper)
– Panel sessions (up to 60 minutes in length with up to 6 speakers per panel)
– Artistic contributions

Performance, film and other artistic expressions are welcomed in the place of reports/papers or as artistic interludes and side events. Please get in touch with the conference convenors to discuss the possibilities and timeframes available for such contributions.

Abstracts and artistic expressions of interest are to be submitted using the following form:

The deadline for submissions is Friday 15 October 2021 at 17h00 (FJT). More information about the conference (which is currently envisaged as taking place via Zoom) and how to register will be available online from Monday 25 October 2021.

Any questions about the online conference or submitting an abstract/artistic expression of interest should be directed to transmissionpaapacific.
Images courtesy of VOU Dance Fiji; photographed by Mereia Rova