Respect! (Just a little bit): Arts, Activisms and All Bodies’ Rights

Basia Sliwinska Discussion
Call for Papers
May 15, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Women's & Gender History / Studies

International Forum


Respect! (Just a little bit): Arts, Activisms and All Bodies’ Rights


18-19 April 2024


This is a call for contributions for an International Forum Respect! (Just a little bit): Arts, Activisms and All Bodies’ Rights, 18-19 April 2024, hosted by Instituto de História da Arte | Art History Institute, FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.


In Re-enchanting the World. Feminism and the Politics of the Commons (2019) Silvia Federici argues that in Latin America women’s activism is the main force of social change. Other massive mobilisations across the globe in support of bodily rights demonstrate that women are the main protagonists in social struggles because their everyday lives are most affected by unequal and violent neoliberal and late-capitalist politics distributing resources unevenly and favouring the rights of some bodies over others. Increasingly, artistic practices transgress the boundary of socially engaged arts, to actively support and engage in social change that de-centres subject positionings grounded in what has been conceptualised as the Anthropocene. Increasingly, activism serves not only to protect lives but also to make lives survivable at times when human activity has profoundly and irreversibly disrupted the ecosystem and the services it provides, including water, food or shelter.

This Forum addresses the triangulation in-between the arts, activisms and bodily rights to question and imagine a communal future equal for all bodies, human, non-human and other-than-human. It interrogates the diverse historical and cultural trajectories challenged via visual activist practices which at their heart are driven by the desire to abolish exploitation and anthropocentric positionings. It is choreographed via a constellation of concepts borrowed from bell hooks’s proposal, who in Love as the Practice of Freedom (1994) suggests that, ‘Love is a combination of six ingredients: care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.’ These ingredients inspire the diverse conceptual approaches and the formats the Forum will imagine. hooks’ conception of love is grounded in healing as a growing-up process which enables us to move against domination. We invite submissions for individual or collaborative interventions and creative panels imagining alternative presentation and discussion formats, that explore the triangulation in-between the arts, activisms and bodily rights and engage with following questions:

  • care: how can politics of commons critical for visual activist practice challenge the logic of capitalist accumulation towards transformation of social relations to encourage an ethics of care as foundational to co-habitation?
  • commitment: how can artistic practice nurture and commit to an equal distribution of bodily rights for all?
  • knowledge: how can we un-learn to open ourselves up towards other ways of acquiring and sharing knowledge that are mindful of the spoken, the experienced, the lived and the felt?
  • responsibility: how can artistic practice foster co-existence and communal belonging to enable alternative communities respectful of all bodies, matter and the earth?
  • respect: what kind of artistic practices and pedagogies can be centered on respect for all and introduce positive change?
  • trust: what are the collective artistic and activist processes that enable the building of trust to make it resistant to conflict and violence, and an unequal distribution of power?

The Forum is imagined as a collaborative effort in practising ‘care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust’. There will be no keynote speakers and no parallel sessions to enable a communal space for a generous encounter and discussion.



We invite proposals for creative panels and we strongly encourage alternative formats, such as, for example, walkshops, garden conversations, performative interventions, object-based discussion fora.

Contributions must be on material that has not already been published. Selected contributors will be invited to develop their material into either a book chapter to be included in an edited volume; or a journal article to be included in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.

Please submit your proposal with ‘Respect!’ in the subject line, and send it to the Organisers:

Basia Sliwinska:

Giulia Lamoni:

Margarida Brito Alves:

The deadline for sending proposals for creative panels is 15th May 2023.

Please submit a single document with the following information:

  1. a title for your creative panel contribution
  2. an abstract up to 300 words in length; please specify the format for the panel
  3. a short biography, including your current institutional affiliation (up to 150 words).

Applicants will be notified of decisions by mid June 2023.



Contact Info: 


Basia Sliwinska:

Giulia Lamoni:

Margarida Brito Alves:

Contact Email: