Once we hear the word „contraband“, we imagine dark coloured images straigt away – drugs, human trafficking, illegal cigarettes. However Vilnius Art Academy invites to look at this phenomenon from a wider point of view. Participants of Migrating Art Academies from different European countries will gather for a creative workshop organised in Nida Art Colony 1-15 September and will try to give this word a different meaning. All lectures during this event will be open to public.
„We understand contraband as a risky, dynamic, conflicting and creative situation in which confronting parties both justify their own actions in order to achieve material or immaterial use. Nida is also on a border with Kaliningrad Oblast, which historically was and still remains an active zone of smuggling, thus location specificity is also touched upon“, – tells Audrius Mickevičius, professor of Department of Photography and Media, Vilnius Academy of Arts.
The creative workshops for emerging artists will aim at a multifaceted and interdisciplinary analysis of smuggling. Negative and positive aspects of smuggling will be discussed, the former being the negative influence on state security and finance systems, the illegal trafficking of people, smuggling of goods, cybernetic attacks, viruses and so on, the latter including cultural-educational smuggling, book spreaders, homing pigeons, cultural-social protests, universities in exile, attempts to break through authoritative state information firewalls and illegal visual aesthetics. Some provocative themes (e.g. quantum world and illegal aesthetics) will also be offered.
The Migrating Art Academies (MigAA) platform is aimed at innovation and experience exchange in art teaching and research. It is a network of European universities and independent organisations. The Contrabbando* laboratory is supported by the European Commission Culture Program, the Culture Support Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania and the Nordic Culture Point. The laboratory is organised by the Department of Photography and Media Art of Vilnius Art Academy together with the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association.