In 2021, 50 contemporary art curators, researchers, and museum professionals from 32 different countries were awarded support to attend the CIMAM 2021 Annual Conference, in-person and online.
For the first time, and thanks to the generous support of The Getty Foundation who sponsored the virtual platform, 27 grantees attended the conference online, while 23 attended onsite.
Launched in 2005, CIMAM’s Travel Grant Program is designed to foster cooperation and cultural exchange between contemporary art curators and museum directors in emerging and developing economies and their counterparts in other regions of the world.
Tatiana Kochubinska's Conference Report
I am very thankful for the generous support of the V-A-C Foundation for giving me an opportunity to visit the annual CIMAM conference after two years of lockdown and isolation. It was very important and urgent exactly now to experience professional networking with curators, artists, and researchers from all around the world. I found this year’s conference topic “Under Pressure. Museums in Times of Xenophobia and Climate Emergency” significant especially in the context of Poland with the protests regarding the abortion, the situation on the border with refugees, etc.
In the first place, the conference was very fruitful and important in terms of networking, establishing, and re-establishing new contacts with international art professionals that might result in future collaboration and joint exchange programs. One of the threads that had penetrated the whole conference (both on the level of the keynotes speeches and discussions as well as through the in-between talks) was the question of decolonization: what it means, how and whether it might be realized or it is just a new title to continue the colonial politics? During one of the workshops, we had a very interesting discussion about diversity, and the participants asked a lot of valuable and sharp questions regarding the topic bringing more critical thought to the table. After the conference, I visited several museums that in their display and positioning are in line with the discourse proposed by the conference.
During the conference, I mostly enjoyed the speech by Joanna Sokolowska, who also mentioned today's political urgency in Poland, and her talk touched upon the real social and political issues and how they could be seen through the exhibition practice.
In this special conference and special city of Lodz, it was highly important to visit the wonderful Muzeum Sztuki with its unique history and collection. Being on-site made me want to return and explore this collection more precisely and devote more time to it.
Last but not least, I would mention the perfect conference kit with the book “The Museum: A Real Utopia” and some practical things, while the whole program of the conference was available online with the respective application.