Call for Applications: Creative Commissions on ‘Creating Diasporic Worlds’ 2022



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The Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies and the Centre for the GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London in collaboration with the Cyprus High Commission in London and the Fitzwilliam Museum – University of Cambridge, are pleased to announce the funding of up to three (3) Creative Commissions on the theme of ‘Creating Diasporic Worlds’.


The Greek word diaspora indicates the dispersal of a group of people from one original country to other countries, or the act of spreading in this way. Embedded in its etymology (dia ‘across’ + speirein ‘sow seed’, ‘scatter like seed’) is a centrifugal movement away from a shared place of origin. This physical movement is usually balanced by a centripetal imaginary movement towards a longed-for homeland, which often translates into nostalgia (nostos ‘return home’ + algos ‘pain’) – the yearning for return home, or to an irrecoverable past condition. Lingering between past and present, and crossing geographical and political boundaries, diasporas are nonetheless deeply rooted in territorial imaginations and in a sense of place. They at once transcend and rest on the map. Diasporas are thus commonly defined by their geographical, social, political and spiritual liminality. Yet diasporas are also culturally expressed, creatively practiced and continually performed. In scattering seeds across the world, they create their own worlds and fertilize others.


This joint edition of the Creative Commissions calls for creative collaborations that explore diasporic identities, cultures, politics and ways of being. In particular, applicants are invited to consider the arts and humanities as a set of mutually attracted approaches through which to explore the historical and contemporary implications of displacement, dispossession and migration; intergenerational memories, emotions and traumas; nostalgia, belonging, estrangement, alienation and reconciliation; as well as the constitution of new relationships to space, place and landscape in the midst of a climate emergency.


Each Commission will be funded with up to £3,000. The Creative Commissions will run from 14/3/2022 to 31/5/2022. The programme is open to any collaboration between creative practitioner(s) and early career researcher(s).

Application will be through a short application form and accompanying curricula vitae (CVs) of collaborators to be submitted by 5 pm GMT on 14th February 2022.


An exhibition at the Cyprus High Commission, 13 St. James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LB in June/July 2022 (or an alternative venue in London) will provide a platform for the presentation of commissioned works.


These Creative Commissions emerge from a collaboration between the Cyprus High Commission – Cultural Section, the Fitzwilliam Museum – University of Cambridge (under the project “Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the Large Mediterranean Islands”), the Hellenic Institute, the Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies (http://hellenic-institute.uk/) and the Centre for the GeoHumanities (www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geohumanities & www.geohumanitiesforum.org) at Royal Holloway, University of London.