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The British Council’s Call for Applications for Early to Mid-Career Visual Arts Curators: Venice Biennale Delegation November 2022 is now open. They are looking for applications by five early to mid-career visual arts curators from the UK and five early to mid-career visual arts curators from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa or Zimbabwe whose practices are collaborative and draw from personal experience or interpretation of identity, gender, and race politics.
Together, they will travel to the Venice Biennale for an enriching programme of activities and events in celebration of the historic number of black and African women artists and countries participating in this year’s Biennale for the first time such as Cameroon, Namibia and Uganda. They will explore the work of artists such as Golden Lion for Best National Participation winner Sonia Boyce, Alberta Whittle and Zineb Sedira, Golden Lion for Best Participant winner Simone Leigh, Acaye Kerunen and Na Chainkua Reindorf. The delegation will create opportunities to find synergies between curatorial practices in Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK around shared issues presented by these themes and made more visible in this year’s Biennale.
This delegation is part of the British Council Visual Arts Biennials Connect programme. The programme promotes cross-cultural and cross-border exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for curators to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships with colleagues across the globe and to nurture future engagement with British Council arts programmes and partners.
A programme of networking, events and Pavilion visits
Travel to and from airport
A daily stipend of £50 for meals/local travel
Access budget to support atypical childcare needs, D/deaf, disabled or neurodivergent delegate needs
Eligibility for Visual Arts Curators
Applicants do not have to hold a relevant degree or have had formal education, but they must:
Be over 18 years old to apply
Be based in the UK, but do not need to be a national of the UK OR
Be based in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, or Zimbabwe but do not need to be a national of these countries
Not be in full or part-time formal education
Be an early to mid-career curator
The programme will be delivered in English.
This programme is not for artists.
They will prioritise applications made by those who have not received support from British Council in the last two years.
They recognise that the term ‘early to mid-career curator’ has many definitions and takes many forms. For the purposes of this delegation, they mean the following:
If you are early career, you will have at least one of the following:
A relevant degree or relevant experience (instead of formal education) working in the arts sector either within an arts organisation or independently
Experience working with artists on a commission, production, or programme as part of a wider exhibition or festival
Contributed to an exhibition, public programme or arts publication through research or organisation and administrative support
If you are mid-career, you will have at least one of the following:
Worked as a visual arts curator either within an arts organisation or independently
Led on the curation of at least one high-profile exhibition that has received significant press coverage
Undertook research/critical study on one of the themes of the delegation either for exhibition development or publication
Application of Visual Arts Curators
Applicants are expected to provide the following:
Curriculum Vitae (No more than 2 A4 pages)
A signed letter of support by someone you have worked with, or for professionally, but NOT a family member or friend (No longer than 1 A4 page)
And must answer the following questions:
Why do you want to participate in this delegation and how will it benefit your career development and connection with the African visual arts sector (for those applying from the UK) or the UK visual arts sector (from those applying from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, or Zimbabwe) (Max 350 words)
Thinking of the themes of the delegation, which Venice Biennale artist participating this year inspires you and why? (Max 250 words)
Explain how your personal experience or interpretation of identity, gender and race politics informs your curatorial practice (Max 350 words)
For the above questions applicants may either submit written answers or a video.
If you are submitting a video application, the video must be:
No more than five minutes maximum in length (The selection panel will only watch the first five minutes of any longer videos), submitted as an mp4 or mov file
Delivered in English and/or with an interpreter for D/deaf sign language-using candidates
Applicants must clearly state the question before their responses
A clear recording – no distracting background noise etc, but does not need to be professionally recorded
No more than 20MB (please note you may need to compress your file to do this – as long as it is a clear recording the production quality does not matter)
Applications will be considered incomplete without completion of the Equality and Diversity Monitoring questions, although these will not be used to inform any decision regarding your application.