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Biennale of Western Balkans, Ioannina, Greece

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  /  Open Calls 2021

Open Call.

For Communities, Artists and Researchers

18 Dec 2021 (closed)

The Biennale of Western Balkans presents the 2nd edition of Art Pluriverse, a Community Science Series for Intangible and Natural Heritage in the Balkans, under the title Iatrosophia: On folk medicine and phytogeography. We invite artists and researchers to collaborate online with communities of practice, co-documenting traditional knowledge through research-based art and FAIR & CARE community archiving.

From January to February 2022, the Biennale of Western Balkans will hold the 2nd edition of the Art Pluriverse annual programme, a community science series on intangible and natural heritage in the Balkans where communities of practice meet and collaborate online with artists, and researchers.

Iatrosophia: On folk medicine and phytogeography aims to explore folk medicine in the Balkans and empower living and past communities that safeguard local traditional medical practices, through research-based art documentation and community archiving.

BoWB launches an open call in the context of the 2nd Art Pluriverse online programme addressed to international artists, researchers, and local communities of practice. Participants can apply under two tracks, the Artist-Community Synergies and the FAIR & CARE Community Archives course.

Illustration Christos Kotsinis, CC BY-SA 4.0 Biennale of Western Balkans

Artist-Community Synergies

For Artists

For the Artist-Community Synergies, artists and communities will have the opportunity to cooperate together online, in order to co-document community cultural knowledge through contemporary art practices.

Up to five (5) communities and an equal number of artists will be selected, forming artist-community synergies. Pairs will be able to meet online, set their course of action and work together throughout January and February for 4 weeks. Artists are free to suggest any combinations of art forms, media and creative processes (e.g. sketches, sound, GIFs, photographs) for the research-based artistic documentation of the community. The synergies will be featured on BoWB’s website in order for the audience to follow along.

The outcome of the synergies will be the documentation of the community’s traditional knowledge, experience, history and/or practices with artistic media, encouraging a research-based creative process of several art notes and records rather than the production of a single artwork.

Selection Committee (alphabetical order):

Steve Bisson, Faculty member at Paris College of Art, Art Director of Lab27 and Co-director of the Move Cine Arte Film Festival | Cultural landscapes, planetary urbanization, community empowerment, bottom up and social arts, ecology and politics

Ksenija Orelj, Curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka | interdisciplinary curation on labour, hyperproduction, and the lack of free time

Dr Bill Psarras, Assistant Professor at the Department of Performing and Digital Arts, University of the Peloponnese and Artistic director of Primarolia organisation | urban-cultural studies, performance art, technology and geohumanities

FAIR & CARE Community Archives course

For Researchers

Within the FAIR & CARE Community Archives course, researchers will be able to practise cultural data mindfulness and enhance their knowledge in digital cultural heritage, learning to create community archives based on the FAIR and CARE principles.

Up to five (5) selected researchers will be able to attend the distance learning course held by representative tutors in their fields and work together with communities in pairs by co-documenting their traditional knowledge. The course sessions will run throughout January and February for 4 weeks (approx. 4-5 sessions, 1-2 hours each) and will include workshops and talks on the topics of digital cultural heritage, cultural commons, community/participatory art and intangible/natural heritage.

The outcome of the course is the creation of open-access community archives for the participating communities respecting their rights for data self-governance, connecting their work to Wikimedia/Wikidata and digital cultural infrastructures as the Greek National Documentation Centre and Europeana.

Selection Committee (alphabetical order):

Dr Milena Dobreva, Associate Professor, Library and information studies, UCL Qatar, Lead of the DISTILL project | Digital transformation, user experiences and innovation in big digital cultural collections

Pavlos Georgiadis, Adjunct Lecturer at the American University of Armenia and Research Associate at the Department for Societal Transition & Agriculture at the University of Hohenheim | Biodiversity, ecosystem restoration and sustainable food systems specialist

Dr Manvi Seth, Dean, NMI and Professor & Head in the Department of Museology, National Museum Institute, India and Chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage Working Group, ICOM CIDOC | Museum Education, visitor studies, documentation of intangible cultural heritage


We invite communities of practice to apply for the call, including regionally active groups, and underrepresented collectives of the Balkan region, who safeguard traditional medical techniques, are holders of ethnobotanical knowledge and/or other grassroots health care practices, people from different regions, social/ethnic backgrounds and age groups, LGBTQ, BIPOC as well as diasporic, cross-border and common interest or common needs communities.

*Please send us a brief description of your folk medical practices (texts, photos, links). All applying communities and GLAM-represented collections will have the opportunity to be featured on our website, in an encompassing index of folk medicine-related communities.


We invite artists from the local and international scene working with folk medicine or any other form of intangible/natural heritage, extended to eco-art and new media approaches, who are interested in experimenting in the field from diverse perspectives, bringing forth gender, ecological, intercultural and other critical issues.

*Please send us your statement and a link to your portfolio, along with your idea for a research-based artistic documentation related to folk medicine that can be gradually co-created from January to February 2022. If you are an artist who is already working with a community please let us know. Each selected proposal will be awarded an honorarium of 300.


We invite researchers, οpen GLAM enthusiasts, students, curators, educators, archivists and cultural professionals or other social sciences and humanities scholars from the local and international scene to take part in the 2nd Art Pluriverse Community Science Programme. The course can be attended by both, experienced and beginners in digital cultural heritage and community archiving.

*Please introduce yourself and express your interest in participating in the Art Pluriverse course. Registration and attendance is free, with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. Upon completion of the programme, each participant will receive a certificate under the auspices of the History of Art Laboratory, School of Fine Arts, University of Ioannina.

 Important information:

Deadline:  Monday, 13 December 2021, 24h00 (UTC) Saturday, 18 December 2021, 24h00 (UTC) (extended) (closed)
Selection announcement: early January
Event launch: mid January 2022 – Event conclusion: mid-February.

For inquiries please send an email at: