CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
An online symposium organized in conjunction with the Toronto Queer Film Festival
April 24 & 25, 2021
Proposal deadline: Jan 5, 2021 Submit proposals here.
Everyone is welcome to apply. All participants will be paid.
Confirmed keynote speaker: Dean Spade with more TBA
The Toronto Queer Film Festival is seeking proposals for a symposium on the theme of Queer Emergencies that aims to address queer, trans, and two-spirit experiences and challenges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This is a landmark time for humanity. Homebound and with resources dwindling, many of us continue to create art and engage in solidarity practices from within our communities. Queer Emergencies celebrates the resilience, resistance and creativity of our community in its response to the intense pressures and transformations wrought by the global pandemic. It seeks to engage work that is vital in this moment, speaking to the unique challenges that precarious and marginalized queer and trans communities are facing today.
We’ve noticed a prevailing capitalist logic to the disbursement of resources, while artists are incurring losses of incomes and/or assets due to the economic contraction caused by widespread social distancing measures. Current structuring of funds prioritizes the privileged among us, leaving most people who were already struggling with few to no resources.
The Queer Emergencies 2021 Symposium asks the question: what are our current limitations and how can we work within them in creative ways? What are the issues facing queer, trans and two-spirit communities in the current moment and how can we allow them to radicalize our collective future?
As ever, TQFF’s mandate remains to decolonize queer and trans art and media histories and practices. This symposium seeks projects with a unique perspective who frame their work in a critical, anti-oppressive and future-bound model.
We are interested in papers, workshops, roundtables, readings, performances that critically engage and reckon with and through media and the arts.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
Queer and/or Indigenous histories of organizing and reisistence to public health crises
Anti-racism/decolonization in artistic practices and/or arts organizations
Unpacking inclusion & building social/class alliances and solidarity
Queer and/or Indigenous perspectives on climate emergency, both locally and beyond
Mutual aid & food justice
Solidarity & allyship both within the queer/trans/2S communities and beyond
Community resilience & self-care
Envisioning the future of queer and trans resistance
Queer and trans organizing and activism before, during and after COVID
Mental health and artistic production/practices during and after COVID
Queer/trans pandemic crip time: living and working with chronic illness and disability
Essential and abandoned: intersectional (anti-racism, decolonial, disability justice) approaches to the disproportionate impact of economic and public health failures on our queer/trans/2S communities
Coalitional organizing and solidarities: defunding the police, abolishing prisons, workplace safety, and envisioning a world where public health and art are prioritized over property, police, prisons, and imperial global militarism
Combatting, strategizing/organizing against, and documenting the present and future of genocide (pandemics, climate emergency, structured institutional/infrastructure neglect and abandonment)
Queer migrant justice: open borders, mass migration, and worldwide worker solidarity
Rent strikes, mass evictions, kangaroo “housing courts,” and housing for all
While papers, roundtables, workshops, and other typical academic conference formats are welcomed, we especially encourage more creative formats including but not limited to: arts-based research, poster presentations, poetry, performances, music, readings, artist talks, and other presentation formats that innovate and encourage online participation. As a symposium organized with a film festival, we are particularly interested in contributions that engage in some way with queer and trans media and/or art practices.
As a grassroots organization embedded within our communities, the Toronto Queer Film Festival encourages contributions from folks across our community – not just academics embedded within universities, but also independent scholars, activists, artists, community members, and other people with lived experience that would provide valuable perspectives to discussions on global queer liberation art and media.
Everyone is welcome to apply.
Please submit the following information via our online form by Jan 5, 2021
Institutional or other affiliation (if applicable)
Presentation format (i.e. paper, roundtable, workshop, creative)
250 word abstract
Email address you can be contacted at
This symposium will be held online. We are particularly interested in submissions that take full advantage of the capabilities of online platforms. Individual papers and presentations should be no more than 15 minutes. Roundtables, workshops, panels, should be no more than 1 hour, including opportunity for Q&A. We will also accept submission for proposals with shorter durations (i.e. lightning talks, microsessions, etc).
Only selected participants will be notified.
Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 30, 2021
ABOUT THE TORONTO QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
TQFF is a registered not-for profit organization formed and run by an ad-hoc collective of artists and arts professionals who came together in 2016 to launch the Toronto Queer Film Festival. We began this project out of an urgent need to provide screen space in Toronto for media by and about marginalized queer and trans people.
We have three primary mandates:
1) to exhibit queer independent and experimental film and video art;
2) to support the production of alternative queer film and video art through community-based arts education and professional development; and
3) to foster community engagement with the arts by welcoming all attendees to our accessible venues with “pay what you can” pricing for events, ASL interpretation, and closed captioning of all programs.
TQFF distinguishes itself from other Toronto cultural events that serve the LGBT community by focusing on experimental time-based media that challenges and expands social, political, and artistic conventions. Our curatorial mandate is to centre the programming of work by and about queer and trans people of colour, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, as well as the work of local artists, low-income, DIY filmmakers, and emerging artists.
You can read more about TQFF on our website: https://torontoqueerfilmfest.com/about/
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