imagining America 20th Anniversary National Gathering
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Friday, October 18, 2019 – Sunday, October 20, 2019
Submission Deadline: Friday, June 7 11:59 PM PT
Rising global inequality, political instability, violence, food insecurity, climate change: these and other factors have resulted in a worldwide refugee crisis unprecedented in scale. From Syria to South Sudan, Myanmar to Guatemala, tens of millions of people around the world have left their homes in search of safety and survival. In the United States, fires, flooding, and lack of affordable housing and job opportunities are among the environmental crises and economic injustices influencing internal migration and sweeping demographic change within cities, states, and regions. With migration often painfully disrupting personal and collective understandings of culture and place, displaced, recently arrived, and changing communities are seeking new meaning and hope around what it means to live and belong in America and the world.
Despite the urgent challenges we face, we are also living in a time of renewed civic, activist, and human spirit. Indigenous peoples continue to fight for sovereignty, self-determination, and thriving ecological futures. Cross border and international immigrant rights coalitions are building sanctuaries and diverse coalitions to combat nativist ideology and violent state policy. Instead of giving up or retreating with despair, youthful and more seasoned artists, designers, scholars, and organizers are together creating spaces to heal, find a sense of belonging, and construct new ways of being, living, and working in community. This work requires compassion, courage, strength, experimentation, and an expansive imagination of the world as it could and should be.
This year Imagining America (IA) celebrates twenty years of supporting publicly engaged artists, designers, scholars, and organizers who imagine, study, and enact a more just and liberatory America and world. Inspired by the cultural landscape of New Mexico and the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections, IA’s 20th Anniversary National Gathering will consider how we define, design, and foster belonging in our home communities and as a nation state. With belonging, indigeneity, and migration serving as framing concepts, IA invites proposals that advance public scholarship, dialogue, collaboration, research, programs, and advocacy on realizing an America that, as in Langston Hughes’ mighty dream, is the land it must be – a place of opportunity and equality for all. The gathering will explore such questions as:
● How do our diverse relationships to land, displacement, and migration inform and interact with the ways we envision place and belonging – culturally, socially, politically, economically, spiritually, ecologically, and agriculturally?
● How may Indigenous, traditional, cross-border, and community-based ways of knowing be used to shift how belonging is defined and designed, and who participates in this process?
● In what ways can public memory, history, art, and design be used to address living legacies of oppression and to foster belonging within our institutions and communities?
● Given that our own histories and narratives of land, belonging, and migration are often different from one another, how do we build cross-movement solidarities towards the long haul project of social change for a more just, equitable and liberatory future?
IA also welcomes proposals that provide participants with new skills or tools, create opportunities for collaboration, and/or more generally strengthen publicly engaged knowledge and practices that integrate the methodologies of arts, design, and the humanities.
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