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RUUKKU - Studies in Artistic Research

RUUKKU call: Artivism

Dismantling the contemporary conception of art has enabled a space where conceptions of art, ideals produced by art, working methods, and contents have changed. This space also enables negotiations and struggles between various conceptions of art. The art-historical contexts of activist art are rooted in feminist and avant-garde art and in the anti-war and anti-racist civil rights movements of the 1960s. Suohpanterror, a group operating in Arctic communities, is the epitome of activist art. The group seeks to draw attention to the rights of the Sámi people and grievances they experience, such as colonialism, racism, and the exploitation of the Sápmi, the Sámi homeland. Politically transformative and critical art plays a central role in fights for social justice, such as environmental rights, gender diversity, and antiracism. Activist art, being often radical, searching for something new, and integrating environments, is tied to power-knowledge relations. In this issue, we approach artivism as performative art, which is related to questions of power, matter, and representation as well as their relations. We focus on the fact that art, in its various creative forms, includes political objectives. At the same time, we explore the ways how political action can be creative. Artivism, based on the interests of a researcher, artist, activist, or various communities, may be connected with personal and political objectives related to subjugation, resistance, and empowerment. Activism as a form of artistic practice may also be quiet, tentative, experimental, and searching. Sometimes, it leads to social changes. At other times, it appears as slow, nearly invisible movements and powers.

The Artivism issue's research expositions may address the following questions:

    • Artivism and the chance for social change

    • Gender, corporeality, class, and race in activist art

    • Gender-based violence

    • Environmental issues

    • Rights of indigenous people

    • Creative potential of politics

    • Artivism's forms, materials, and practices

    • Artivism and new forms of knowledge production

    • Artivism and the ethical issues of art

    • Searching, trying, and failing

    • Quiet resistance and slow changes

The Artivism issue's editors are Mari Mäkiranta, Jonna Tolonen, and Vesa Puuronen. The issue will be produced in cooperation with the research project "Artivism on Edges – Art, Activism, and Gendered Violence", which is led by Mari Mäkiranta and funded by the Kone Foundation.

Please submit your proposals for peer review via Research Catalogue by 10 March 2023.

See the complete call at:


Image credit: Flowing Waters collective, 2022, still image from the video work "Twenty-Five Kilometer Walk".






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