On 9 and 10 October 2015, Dark Ecology and Fridaymilk will organise a two-day Critical Writing Academy in Murmansk, Russia. Dedicated to enhancing the art of critical writing and to creating a community of writers across the Barents Region, this workshop is aimed at emerging and mid-career writers, critics, bloggers, theorists and journalists in arts and culture from the Barents Region (which encompasses the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and Northwest Russia).

Sonic Acts Critical Writing Academy 2015. Photo by Rosa Menkman
Programme Critical writing is a special and powerful form of documentation that can open up an artistic work, and shape, expand or re-contextualise it according to a particular opinion, perspective or discourse. During the Critical Writing Academy, participants will be guided by Furqat Palvazande (RU) and Arne Skaug Olsen (NO). These two experts will share insights into the specific aspects of their craft (language, style, framework, focus), and provide feedback on texts written by the participants. The Academy will be facilitated by the media-collective Fridaymilk and Dutch artist and theorist Rosa Menkman. It will offer practical tools, perspectives, new ideas, and inspiration, but will also provide insights into the regional situation, and background to the concepts that drive the Dark Ecology project. The proceedings of the Academy will be published as a series of articles, interviews and reports. A selection of attendees will be invited to take part in the follow-up to the Dark Ecology Critical Writing Academy during the Dark Ecology Journeys from 26 to 30 November 2015 and June 2016. Furqat Palvazande (RU) held multiple positions within the educational and cultural sector before he became editor of Theory and Practice in 2011. In the fall of 2014, Palvazande launched Syg.ma, a publishing platform describing cultural, political, and social events. Arne Skaug Olsen (NO) is a curator, art critic and writer. He was curator at LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival) in 2015 and at Visningsrommet USF in Bergen (2008–11 and has written for Camera Austria, Klasskampen and Billedkunst. Olsen currently teaches at the National Academies of Art in Oslo and in Bergen. More information about Arne Skaug Olsen can be found on this website. Rosa Menkman (NL) is an artist, curator and theorist. Since 2007 Menkman has written for multiple platforms and publications, Sonic Acts among them. Her book Glitch Moment/um, which focuses on the exploitation and popularisation of glitch artefacts, is published by the Institute of Network Cultures. Menkman is currently pursuing a PhD at Goldsmiths, London. More information about Rosa Menkman can be found here. Fridaymilk (Oleg Khardatsev / Zhanna Guzenko) (RU) is a well-known media platform in Murmansk, Russia, run by a team of ten people who are eager to promote new life approaches and facilitate discussions and conversations on issues in the Barents Region. Friday Milk organise live and online discussion platforms, regular public discussions at Ledokol in Murmansk, and publish articles and interviews on their website. Practicalities The selection procedure is closed. We had a great international response to the open call and have selected participants from Norway and Russia. Participation is free of charge. Costs for travel and accommodation in Murmansk are covered by Dark Ecology, and the Troms County Council through Transfer North, funded by the Nordic Culture Fund, and through Norwegian–Russian Cultural Cooperation – Visual Art 2013–2015, funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture. See here for more information about Dark Ecology and the second research trip.

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