Victoria Machipisa

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CIMAM 2021 grantee Victoria Machipisa, Student, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

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.

Victoria Machipisa's Conference Report

My expectations were to get a worldwide view of the curatorial perspective of international curators and artists. To see different forms of art and art spaces which l was able to view because of the CIMAM 2021 world conference which has a perspective of the European art spaces and the types of artworks. The different types of medium and styles of art available in Europe and the issues being addressed in Europe. To be able to have a holistic approach to contemporary art as in African contemporary art the colors they use, and the mediums used are very different and the schools of art are different showcasing the diversity of art.

To be able to see what is currently trending in Europe and the title of CIMAM 2021 “Under Pressure: Museums in times of Xenophobia and Climate Emergency”. The selection of speakers addressed the topic very well highlighting new aspects to the topics they addressed. The speakers were knowledgeable, and l will do more research on each of them because l am interested in their research topics and publication on the topics they presented and the exhibitions they have curated and set up in the different galleries and museums they represent including the different universities and institutions they represent.

There was a diverse panel of speakers from the humanities to the sciences. Giving details that were clear and detailed in the times we live in and the emergency to change the way we do business in the different organizations we represent and from the networking sessions, we discussed ways of changing our ways of doing business to reduce our carbon footprint.

To be able to share and improve the ways we are currently running the art spaces we operate in and also to highlight the times we are in to educate other curators, researchers, and cultural heritage professionals of the effects and also the downside of doing business with organizations with a huge input to the carbon footprint and also to create campaigns and active citizenship to change the way we do business and be conscious of how we can start changing the way we do things daily.

To be able to change and improve including our own personal daily usages of electricity, printing, wasting water and products we use to become more conscious to purchase and to promote an organization that is environmentally friendly and also to do CSR that assists us to educate our communities to practice environmentally friendly practices in their daily lives and also to promote artists who are environmentally friendly to also educate other artists to in cooperate and to also educate them of the effects of the Greenhouse effect and the chemicals we use and use less toxic paint and materials and to promote recycling in galleries spaces.

I would have liked it if the discussions sessions were longer so we could give more input. I would also have liked if there was an opportunity to check up on participants if they have implemented what they have learnt and also to give further reading for people before the conference of the speaker so that before the conference individuals will be aware of who is presenting and which topic and will have questions prepared in advance for the speakers and also give the speakers time to then answer the questions in an email for all the participants to also learn from.

The sessions were engaging and there was the need for participants to receive their funds early because for me l was unable to revise a lot of the sessions and would like to receive my funds to be able to do a proper report that is wholistic and will give further information and notes on certain aspects that could have been done differently including there was a need for subtitles. I will watch again the conference sessions and take detailed notes because l applied to be able to use the information l got from the conference to work on my research topic challenges of born-digital collection in art spaces in a number of art spaces which from the conference l received a lot of information and data which l would like to access and use in my minor dissertation l am working on and from the networking l got

l will be able to go further and get detailed input from art spaces that use born-digital collection which consists of photography, videos, and audio and other forms of visual art. I would like to write a 1200-word report which will be detailed with all aspects of the conference and also details of my research.