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Artist Open Call: Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities

An opportunity for digital artists to create a digital artwork for the Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities project

The University of Manchester “Fear and Belonging” project research team, in collaboration with FutureEverything, is seeking a digital artist/collective to work with researchers to create an open-access online digital artwork for the Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust. 

Fee: £10,000 (incl. VAT)
Production (incl. web or tech support): £28,500
Start date: 1 August 2024
Launch: July 2026

The project

Fear is recognised as fundamental to human experience. In social sciences and humanities research, fear tends to be analysed as a negative and disempowering emotion and as a powerful political tool. Fear can create collective ‘others’ and delineate boundaries between ‘minorities’ and ‘majorities’ and it can fuel culturally motivated violence. But it can also be a productive force, creating solidarity, enhancing group cohesion, and generating change.

Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities’ investigates the productive role of fear in religious belonging and ongoing community formation, particularly in contexts where a community is minoritised. Drawing on the life stories of ‘ordinary’ lay members of two Asian minority Buddhist communities in the UK and Japan, the project analyses how emotions shape people’s negotiation, performance and experience of belonging, and the implications of this for the maintenance and renewal of religious communities.

There are conceptual and methodological challenges to fully exploring the relation between fear, belonging, and religious community formation across linguistic, cultural and sociocultural contexts. Experimentation in developing innovative communication methods is therefore central to the project. 

We are inviting an artist/artist collective (ideally, UK-based) to work with the researchers and community members to create an experimental, process-led, online digital artwork that visualises and explores the intersecting fears that shape members’ experiences of belonging.

The artist / collective is being brought into the project team for a period of two years so that they can understand the overall project development as they form their ideas. The artist will primarily work remotely, with project meetings taking place online. Some meetings may take place in person, if needed.

The digital artist / collective will:

  • Develop an open-access conceptual online digital artwork on fear and belonging in collaboration with the research team and Buddhist community members.
  • Create and deliver the artwork by the specified launch date.
  • Work with FutureEverything on evaluation and documentation of the artwork.

Deadline for EOIs: 9.00am, Friday 15 March 2024

Download the application pack below for further details and how to apply.

Downloadable Material