Arising from Our Dance Democracy 2, a successful conference organised online by Dr. Sarah Black (Liverpool Hope University) and Karen Gallagher and Associates (11 and 12 February 2021), proposals are invited for contributions to the Forum Kritika on Dancing Democracy in a Fractured World, a special, themed, section of the online open access journal Kritika Kultura. All articles accepted will be submitted to blind peer review, and the Forum Kritika will be edited by Dr. Black and Victor Merriman, Professor of Critical Studies in Drama (Edge Hill University), who delivered keynote addresses at Our Dance Democracy (2018) and Our Dance Democracy 2 (2021).

Artists and cultural workers perform a critical public role in exposing ideas and practices—whether novel or inherited—to examination and re-examination. In our hyper-connected and ever-changing global society, social media facilitates the circulation of opinions and prejudices rooted in frequently unexamined ideas of who’s entitled—and who’s not—to protection and opportunity. These are taken up, legitimised, and recycled as common-sense master-narratives across the discursive circuits of established media and political debate. A real expansion of inclusive public space is one outcome of this turn; paranoid introspection and white supremacist nationalisms, another. Both tendencies expose boundaries in human relations, always constituted—contradictorily—as zones of exclusion which are always also points of contact. Contemporary assertions of national and transnational states as bounded and bordered territories, alongside movements to address gendered pay disparities, and decolonise university curricula, demonstrate that perceptions of (in)visibility, identity and belonging have real-world significance, and the importance of interrogating assumptions underpinning them cannot be over-stated.

Our Dance Democracy 2 explored the proposition that, because Dance lives by contact across boundaries, borders, and frontiers, it has proven capacity to enable critical understanding of the human and historical contingency of even the ‘hardest’ borders, erected in the name of immutable, non-negotiable, traditions, beliefs, and value systems. While ritual dance—think of the Haka—can perform difference as historical defiance, our art form is also practised in creative ways that can name—and, therefore, resist—complex contemporary forms of oppression, not least by promoting and supporting social and political activism. Dance and dancers model, rehearse, and embody ways of living together for mutual flourishing, thus reinvigorating democratic concepts, practices, and structures for a fractured twenty-first century.

Dance and dancing, pedagogy and performance making, writing and critical discourses, are dynamic sites for critical thinking, progressive social intervention, civic engagement, ethics and activism—both established and emergent. Accordingly, contributionsmay be proposed in the form of academic papers (5,500 words), activist case studies/artists’ statements (1,000-2,000 words), photo essays (3/4 pages), manifestos (1,000 words), or provocations (1,000-2,500 words). The editorial board of Kritika Kultura is especially keen to encourage contributions which include perspectives from/on the Philippines and Southeast Asia—or, more broadly, the global South.

The editors welcome proposals from critical perspectives in areas such as, but not limited to, the following: performance studies; migration studies; political economy; postcolonial studies; posthumanism, eco-criticism, social studies; urban studies; visual studies. Interdisciplinary papers are very welcome. Contributors may find the following indicative list of themes helpful in framing proposals:

  • •     Dancing uncertainties
  • •     Dancing social justice
  • •     Dance as protest, resistance, conflict
  • •     Embodied identities
  • •     Embodied labour
  • •     Dance as positive action; for example, peace-building 
  • •     Movement of peoples: Belonging/displacement/segregation
  • •     Internal Borderspaces: dancing the maternal in mind and body
  • •     Cultural forms as political legacies
  • •     Cultural amnesia
  • •     Postcolonial and decolonial dance
  • •     Borders, boundaries, frontiers: contacts, exclusions, histories and futures

Key production deadlines are, as follows:

  • •     30 September 2021:   proposal deadline
  • •     15 October 2021:          confirmation of acceptance of proposals
  • •     28 February 2022:       submission deadline
  • •     15 April 2022:                circulation of peer reviewers’ comments
  • •     31 May 2022:                 deadline for final, revised, contributions
  • •     August 2022:               publication

All proposals should be presented in the form of 300-word abstracts, and should include details of authorship, institutional affiliations, and preferred email addresses. Please submit proposals jointly to [email protected] and [email protected] no later than 30 September 2021.Kindly cc all communication to [email protected], and use the subject heading Our Dance Democracy.