To Touch at the Edge. Open Call EEP Berlin x KO-OP Sofia

by Maya Hristova

deadline: 20th of April 2022 (23:59 CET)

In the uncertainty and precariousness of the present - filled with conflicts, health crises, social, financial, racial and gender inequalities and struggles we have come to a place in which to reconsider the definition of borders, dividing lines and edges. Through this open call, we at EEP Berlin and KO-OP art space are inviting lens-based artists, photographers and researchers born or based in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey whose work and practice engages critically with the notion of borders.

One way of looking at what a border could be is from a purely legislative perspective. Borders are imaginary, unseeable lines separating states, and countries created and defined by governments. They cannot stop the flow of culture, language, nature, narratives, ties, aspirations and ideas.

However, citizenship has transformed to membership in an isolationist collective, a status determined by governments through imperial and colonial methods, as Azoulay describes. Thus, we are interested in critical approaches, shared histories and lived experiences in regards to the subject of borders and citizenship. Borders are also a product of socio-economic policies; for example, race and/or class segregation in urban spaces is a direct product of neoliberal and capitalist politics as described by Wacquant. On a smaller scale, borders construct one’s self and identity - they play a role in national identity, belonging, collective memory, culture and rituals. On the other hand, borders could also be seen as a result of natural phenomena which divides and splits up spaces. A river, a mountain, a desert - could separate, defend and enclose, could be a point of content and reconciliation following an ecological discourse.

We will select six individuals (one from each of the countries mentioned above) and will work collaboratively with them in the development of a publication and an exhibition. The publication and work developed will challenge and counteract classical photobooks and image-making; we aim to produce a book that encompasses work-in-progress, experiments, written and visual collaborations, documentation of the collective work, research and conversations between the participants.

As part of this project, there will be six online meetings happening in three months (May-July 2022) which will serve as grounds for discussion, experimentation, peer-to-peer feedback and development of the publication. In the first two meetings, the organisers will lead short talks and exercises on topics such as visual arts research, contemporary bookmaking, socio, political and creative interpretations of borders. In the third and fourth meetings - the selected individuals will be invited to lead and facilitate the sessions in a way beneficial for their research, thoughts and works. In the fifth and sixth meetings, we will work closely with Denislav Golemanov, who is one of the team members and a graphic designer, and we will look at options and drafts for the book, and discuss the exhibition.

The selected practitioners will:

. Be a part of printed publication, presented at KO-OP art space, Sofia, Bulgaria

. Show the collaborative work and discussions in an exhibition at KO-OP art space, Sofia, Bulgaria.

. Be a part of online meetings and events; through which the project will be developed.

. Receive a fee of 670 leva.

Schedule of the project:

. Open Call taking place between 21.03.22 - 20.04.22

. Evaluation and selection of individuals: 21.04.22 - 28.04.22

. Announcement & contacting of selected individuals: 28.04.22 - 31.04.22

. Meetings with the selected individuals occurring bi-weekly between the 01.05.22 - 30.07.22

. Design & production of a book, and organisation of exhibition and events: 20.07.22 - 22.08.22

. Book launch and opening of an exhibition: 25.08.22-25.09.2022

How to apply?

1. Fill in and submit this application form (download here)

2. Submit your PDF portfolio (up to 20 MB): include examples of previous work, series, initiatives, collaborations, workshops, curatorial projects, research studies etc.

Submit everything by the 20th of April 2022 (23:59 CET)

We also accept submissions of the application form in video/audio format. We are happy to answer any questions regarding the open call and application via our email

The project is implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund.

Facilitators & selectors:

Krasimira Butseva is a visual artist, researcher and educator based in London, United Kingdom. She is the editor of EEP Berlin, a lecturer at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London and a co-founder of Revolv Collective - a platform creating exhibitions and publications with works of emerging photographers.

Martin Atanasov is a Sofia-based visual artist. In 2014 he graduated from FAMU - Prague, in the Photography department. He works mostly in the field of photobooks. In the last years, he has developed and participated in projects connected to the visual anthology, photography and books such as Nature Index, Impossible Actions and How to Forget Your Past.

Vasil Vladimirov is curator and coordinator of the art program at KO-OP art space, Sofia, and works as a freelancer. He has participated as a guest-curator in the festivals “Month of Photography” in Bratislava and “International Photographic Meetings” in Plovdiv, and is the director of FIG. - a festival for illustration and graphics in Sofia. He is currently part of Swimming Pool’s “Social Vision Centre” working group and is developing a research project related to Bulgaria’s cultural heritage, and is curating an exhibition programme at Project Room

Denislav Golemanov is a graphic designer focusing on communication design, interested in the needs of contemporary art and culture. He has worked on a number of conferences, exhibitions, festivals in Bulgaria and the Netherlands such as NEXT Balkan - a platform for the exchange and collaboration of artists and art experts from Balkan, and the Institute for Contemporary Art in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Maya Hristova is a curator from Sofia, Bulgaria, who is based in Berlin, Germany. She is the founder of EEP Berlin - a platform for contemporary photography from Eastern Europe; with a focus on presenting the works of emerging and established artists through physical and digital exhibitions, publications, interventions in public spaces, interviews and articles.

Leave a comment