We are currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 at land’s edge Research Fellowship.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: October 6, 2017, 11:59PM PST
Activating culture as sites for resistance and thriving
The at land’s edge Research Fellowship aims to gather an intergenerational group of cultural workers who want to protect our collective memories and cultural practices from the distortion and erasure caused by racism and other forms of oppression. We seek individuals who strive to activate culture as a site of critical resistance and those who are committed to creating vibrant possibilities for our communities to thrive.
Based at the Southern California Library, a community library and archive in South Los Angeles, the at land’s edge Research Fellowship will work with fellows to conduct archival research and to incorporate this research into their work. Fellows will gain an analytical and material understanding of culture, memory, and resistance by participating in seminars held every other week, attending a series of public programs, and learning in community with other artists and organizers. They will also have the opportunity to deepen their historical understanding of politically engaged cultural practice and develop ethical and accountable research methods for cultural work. They will receive in-depth mentorship to help produce self-determined individual or group research projects, of which they will present publically at the end of the fellowship term. Fellows will also actively contribute to our community and will help organize our programming.
The erasures enacted by racism through war and state sanctioned violence are widespread.
We are being displaced and disappeared from spaces we have nourished for generations. The bodies of our loved ones have and continue to experience the violence of police, poverty, and societal neglect. Our ancestors’ land has been stolen, our natural resources exploited, and our waters made toxic. We are also criminalized for migrating to a country that instigated the very violences from which we fled. Across these experiences, we understand that our conditions of oppression are intergenerational, intertwined, and ongoing.
From Standing Rock to Afghanistan, we are told through violent means that our histories and futures are not worth protecting. Yet, we will not succumb to erasure. We will never forget where we come from, who we are, and what we can be. With the resilience imparted upon us by our ancestors, we stand together in solidarity to use our cultural work to remember our rich and complex histories, to bring them radically into the present, and to use our historical memory to create vibrant futures.
The 2017-18 at land’s edge Research Fellowship is for people who want to resist these erasures, who want to protect our memories and cultural practices from distortion, and who want to create possibilities for our communities to thrive.
The fellowship is an eight-month program that will support 10 individuals who are interested in pursuing cultural work as a site of critical resistance. Fellows will be nurtured through mentorship, intergenerational discourse, and a community of alumni and organizers who support each other and hold each other accountable. While there is no cost to participate in the program, fellows will be required to actively contribute to our community and help us organize this year’s series of events.
The fellowship program will be organized around the following questions:
● What does it mean to activate culture as a site of resistance?
● How have social movements engaged cultural work?
● What are the stakes of memory for our current political moment?
● How might archives be engaged as a form of resistance?
● What are the ethics of cultural work?
● How do we develop research methodologies and creative practices that are accountable to the communities we are a part of?
These questions will be explored through seminars, archival research, and community dialogues.
From October 2017 to June 2018, at land’s edge will provide ten research fellows with the mentorship and community to develop accountable modes of practice. While we wish we could accept many more than 10 research fellows, we have limited the number of spots this year to ensure the quality of the program for all participants.
The 2017-2018 at land’s edge Research Fellowship comprises the following six elements:
1. Two individual meetings with a Mentorship Coordinator
2. Three individual meetings with a mentor
3. Ten seminars
4. Six public programs
5. One public presentation of fellows’ projects
6. Participation in the organizing work of at land’s edge
Fellows must commit to all aspects of our program for eight months with mandatory attendance at all meetings, seminars, workshops, and public programs. For a complete list of dates when the fellowship will take place, please consult the calendar at the end of this open call. Fellows publicly present their projects at the end of the term. They will also contribute to the organizing work of at land’s edge by committing to help one of our following teams: Public Programming, PR/Communications, Archiving/Publications, Fundraising, or Youth Mentorship.
Please note: The fellowship seminar will begin on October 21, 2017 and will occur every other week through March 2018.
The 2017-18 at land’s edge Research Fellowship will be physically based at the Southern California Library (SCL), a community library and archive in South Los Angeles. SCL documents histories of struggle that challenge racism and other systems of oppression. Our collaboration with SCL has shaped the curriculum of this year’s fellowship program and our seminar will ground its inquiry in case studies drawn from SCL archival collections. Fellows will have the opportunity to examine these archives in-person and access SCL collections for their projects.
Why this fellowship program?
The philosopher-activist Grace Lee Boggs’ call for grassroots and autonomous forms of resistance inspired the founding of at land’s edge in 2015. We formed the at land’s edge Research Fellowship to create a self-determined pedagogical space that fosters radical political imagination and solidarity as well as an intergenerational, cross-movement, and interdisciplinary site where cultural production meets politics and grassroots engagement.
As working artists, writers, scholars, students, and educators of color–many of whom come from undocumented, immigrant, poor and working class backgrounds–we have experienced the forms of white supremacy that dominate cultural and educational institutions.
We understand the barriers that exist within these institutions and how they limit and block equitable access. We have also seen how our own entry into such institutions served to erase our histories and attempted to reshape our desires apart from our commitments to the people whom we love and care about. We reject the appropriation of our bodies, knowledges, cultures, and identities. We also resist the centrality of white European cis-male subjecthood and heterosexist understandings of the world.
We believe that education should not only be for the privileged. In contrast to the colonizing logics of most institutionalized learning, we believe in a model of education that honors the knowledge of those who experience oppression. Our fellowship program aims to create the conditions for learning that organize these knowledges from reflection to cultural action.
Through our fellowship program, we seek to push the boundaries of art, pedagogy, and politics, and help grow a community of cultural producers oriented toward liberation.
Who should apply?
This fellowship is intended for people whose cultural practice aims to resist domination. This includes traditional artistic forms, such as visual arts, writing, theater, dance, etc., and social forms of production, like community gardens, educational platforms, organizing activities, etc.
This fellowship is for you if:
● You are frustrated with the existing options for learning about, making, and presenting cultural work
● You are struggling to develop a rigorous cultural practice while juggling work, family, school, organizing, or other commitments
● You want to root your cultural work in social justice and self determination
● You are open to the vulnerability, risk, and effort that community building requires
● You have reflected deeply on the racial and gendered violence of history and want to develop a research-based practice to suggest other possible futures
● You have difficulty calling yourself an ‘artist’ because you have not been able to access art or educational institutions; or because of your political disidentification with the term
We are interested in working with people from all educational backgrounds–those who have not had access to institutionalized learning, but who are inspired to do liberation-oriented and research-based cultural work; and those who have had access to institutionalized learning, but who have not been able to develop the tools to address what it means to live under structures of white supremacy.
at land’s edge especially welcomes applicants who are indigenous, black, and people of color; queer; immigrants and undocumented; working class and poor; and those who reflect a broad range of generational diversity.
Please complete the online application by October 6, 2017, 11:59pm PST.
To access the application CLICK HERE or copy and paste the following url into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/YK4yPM4rRcT2dnen2
If you have any technical difficulties with Google Forms, you have two other options for submitting your application:
1) Email your completed application as an attached Word document or PDF to email@example.com
2) Drop off a hard copy of your application to the following location by 5pm on October 6, 2017:
Southern California Library
℅ at land’s edge
6120 S. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am-5:00pm
Please direct all questions concerning the application or program to firstname.lastname@example.org
About at land’s edge
at land’s edge (ALE) is an autonomous pedagogical platform based in East and South Los Angeles that nurtures the voices of cultural producers who are committed to social transformation. We understand pedagogy as not only a method of education, but as a critical space where the processes of teaching and learning, knowledge and action, and self and community are reflexive, interwoven, and oriented toward the liberatory possibilities of a just and democratic world. We move through our city with great intention, seeing it as a site of learning and as a place where we must stand in solidarity with community struggles against exploitation and marginalization.
ALE is a growing community of fellows, alumni, mentors, facilitators, lecturers, organizers, and participants who support and foster each other’s creative work. We come from a wide spectrum of experiences marked by race, gender, sexuality, class, citizenship, language, and education, but what we have in common is a shared ethic to interrogate our privileges alongside our marginalizations, to understand our conditions, and to learn from and contribute to grassroots struggles. We are artists, teachers, writers, organizers, students, self-learners, translators, workers, parents, caretakers, inventors, visionaries, dreamers, gardeners, chefs, lovers, warriors,
2017-18 marks the third session of our fellowship program. As a collective, we have gone through many phases and our vision has developed and changed over time. Each year, we’ve undertaken the difficult task of assessing our work, radically rebuilding our structures, and asking difficult political questions concerning our role in the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. We have been engaged in a constant process of undoing, we have been open to the ways that we can do what we are doing better, and we are organized through shared governance.