THE DIGITAL DIASPORA- artists open call

THE DIGITAL DIASPORA- artists open call

The Digital Diaspora is an exhibition exchange partnership co-organised by Centrala, Birmingham and Studio 44, Stockholm in collaboration with Short Circuit.

Based on the topics of unity and division this timely project lays particular emphasis on Europe as its arrival marks 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent overthrow of Communist rule. Providing an opportunity to reflect on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening up of Eastern Europe, the exhibition also contrastingly takes place during the British Exit from the European Union. The project offers a chance to speculate on the uncertain future of the UK and how its departure from the EU will impact on the the Central and Eastern European (CEE) diaspora that have settled here.

Through an exhibition open call, artists from CEE communities living in the UK are invited to respond to these themes and also consider the following: How do we continue to sustain international discourse and collaborative practices in light of tightened border controls and restricted movement? How will this impact the cultural output of the UK? How will this affect artistic development?

The exhibition will open at Centrala in Birmingham and Studio 44 in Stockholm on the same day, presenting itself to two different European audiences – one remaining in the EU and the other in pursuit of its former sovereignty and independence.

Mirroring the physical movement of the diasporic communities, the artworks will also migrate in an attempt to bypass physical boundaries and establish more human and digital connections. This innovative structure requires artworks to arrive at each exhibition venue independently using the internet as a conduit. Artists working with digital and new media, moving image and photography will be selected, as their interdisciplinary mode of practice produces work in a pre-digitised format. Artworks will then be transported via the web to re-materialise in each gallery space.

This process aims to produce an aesthetic cloning of the same grouping of works as they are received at both venues and proposes a fluid, experimental approach of exhibition-making that allows the artworks to continually ebb and flow between physical and virtual forms and thresholds. It further offers contributing artists and curators the opportunity to work together, take risks and test out works in new formats and spaces and consider how the process has affected or ‘corrupted’ the work.

The collaborative nature of this international project is key to its successful functioning and pertinent in its reflection of the increasing number of contemporary practitioners working together to share skills and exchange knowledge and experience. This method enables the sharing of new ideas, draws connections between artists across geographical boundaries, attracts new audiences and allows for the diffusion of knowledge and local cultures. It meanwhile opens up a continued international dialogue between artists and curators and ultimately promotes transnational partnership and mobility.


About organisers:

Centrala is a multifunctional art space in Birmingham run by the Polish Expats Association, a non-profit organisation presenting art from Central and Eastern Europe and the UK.

Studio 44 is a dynamic organisation, characterised by its openness to different forms of expression. It was founded in 2003 by a group of Stockholm-based artists with the aim of creating an independent space for contemporary art.

Short Circuit is an international platform for collaborative practices in moving image and digital art, developed and directed by Independent Curator and Producer, Aly Grimes.


Both exhibitions will open at Centrala and Studio 44 on 15 March 2019. Studio 44 is also hosting the closing party of Supermarket Art Fair on 7 April 2019 providing further exposure to the works on show in Stockholm. We have also been selected to take part in the Supermarket Art Fair which takes place from 4 – 7 April 2019 providing an opportunity to present and  sell work produced from this project.

 What you’ll receive as part of this opportunity

An artist fee of £500

A production fee

Gallery exposure at Centrala, Birmingham

Gallery exposure at Studio 44, Stockholm

Presence at Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm.

Professional photographic documentation of the exhibitions

Membership to Centrala’s new Central and Eastern European artist network- Central Bloc

Opportunities to deliver talks and workshops



We are inviting submissions from artists working with digital media and moving image or artists who are able to submit their work in a digital format. Artworks could take the form of photography, film, computer graphics and animation, virtual reality, augmented reality, internet art, interactive art, video games and 3D printing although this list is non-exhaustive.

Participants must either be from Central and Eastern European communities and living in the UK or UK-based artists interested in the CEE region.

Join up as a member to Centrala’s Central and Eastern European artist network – Central Bloc by completing the form (membership is free).

Have demonstrable career experience as a practicing artist.

The production of new artworks is encouraged.

How to apply

Please email your application to with heading: THE DIGITAL DIASPORA and attach the following:

  • Artist CV
  • Artist Bio
  • Link to your website (or social media page if no website)
  • 4-6 JPEG images of previous work (please keep total image data size below 1MB)
  • A description and sketch of the artwork you would like to create in response to the call out or imagery of the pre-existing work.
  • Confirmation of completed online membership form Centrala Bloc


The deadline for submission is midnight on 30 December 2018