Deadline for proposals:  March 18, 2013

IMPAKT (foundation for critical media culture) in Utrecht (NL) invites interested parties to submit curatorial proposals for the 2013 Impakt Festival, which will take place from 30 October – 3 November focusing on the theme ‘Capitalism Catch 22′.

The Impakt Festival is the annual culmination of the activities of Impakt as an organisation that specialises in critical media culture: a multi-media festival with conferences, readings, performances, screenings, exhibitions, presentations and music.

The curatorial proposal can be submitted by curators individually or collectively and should revolve around this year’s theme:

CAPITALISM CATCH 22 (working title)

Many people argue that, so far, humanity hasn’t come up with any feasible alternatives to capitalism, whilst – at the same time – this economic system seems a dead end. How do we solve this dilemma?

The word capitalism has a negative connotation for many people. Artists, critics and scientists mostly focus on the negative aspects of this economic system and many blame it for the current economic crisis. At the same time, capitalism contributed to a significant increase in the standards of living in and outside the western world and it cannot be denied that capitalism has served as a motor behind important innovations at all levels of society.

The ‘Critique on Capitalism’ is often based on ideas concerning the fair distribution of wealth and the differences between poor and rich that capitalism maintains or even stimulates. Communism tried to come up with a more fair alternative, but failed, as did all the other alternatives that have been tried so far. Capitalism curbed by social democracy in a welfare state can offer a solution to the differences in living standards that Capitalism engenders, but does not offer a solution to the inherent problem that will ultimately make Capitalism fail: the system depends on the ongoing increase in consumption whereas, with the world’s population growing and natural resources diminishing, decreasing consumption is the only sustainable solution. Capitalism can, to a certain extent, deal with a need for more efficiency, but it cannot deal with the notion of consuming less.

Technological developments have increased the speed and complexity of the capitalist system’s products and processes, creating immense risks for our society. More and more people question the incentives that capitalism gives to bankers, markets, producers and consumers, and their short-term effects versus the long-term consequences.

How can we introduce ethical notions of the consequences for people and planet in a system that only cares about profit ? How can the media industry, the historical ally of consumerism, make the idea of ‘non-consumption’ fashionable and desirable. How can it advocate sustainable and responsible consumerism when these ideas are no longer the products of fringe ideologies, but an economic necessity that will only become increasingly urgent in the decades ahead.

With the world population increasing, imminent energy and natural resources crises and the growing complexity of financial structures we want to study the future of Capitalism as our society’s basic principle, possible alternative systems, the role media culture plays in a market economy and how new technologies and small scale initiatives can offer solutions.

We expect curator(s) to present a clear vision on the above issues and the relationships between economic developments, the media industry, cultural identity, artistic movements from the past and present, etc. in order to investigate and analyse both past and future structures using the programmes presented at the 2013 Impakt Festival.

The curator or curatorial team can be responsible for the entire festival programme comprising films, lectures, new media projects, presentations, a music programme and an exhibition. It is also possible to submit a proposal for one or some of the parts of the festival programme. (You can, for instance, choose to hand in a proposal just for the film programmes or one that doesn’t include a music programme.)

The screening programme of the Impakt Festival consists of artist’s films and videos, but it can also include documentaries, commercials, archival footage, etc. Works in the programme can be historical or contemporary.

For application guidelines and additional information, visit


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