Call for proposals - Spring School 2019 - The Arts of Integrating: Labouring and Resting

Call for proposals - Spring School 2019 - The Arts of Integrating: Labouring and Resting

Issued: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 15:53:00 GMT


Spring School 2019 banner


 The Arts of Integrating: Labouring and Resting

1-3 May 2019



Stepping up

Falling back

Labouring and resting.


In her exquisite one woman performance Wind Resistance, the artist Karine Polwart uses these words as a refrain for understanding the spaces of refuge and sanctuary created by the work of migrating geese. She sees their flight paths as a ‘gale-bitten struggle to sustain cooperation’ within the ‘Laws of Motion’, the title of her most recent album.

People move, birds fly and change their song to adapt to new environments, objects circulate and there is constant resourceful traffic in ideas. We aim to capture this resourcefulness in our second Spring School.

The Second UNESCO RILA spring school will focus on the arts of ‘labouring and resting.’ What is the work of integrating, who does it and how? How do new forms emerge and how are the old, precious forms of culture, art and language shared? How do languages shift and adapt, how do people learn new languages and translanguage? What does it mean to make culture, food, art in a new place, or with new people as part of integration?

The Spring School falls on May Day. It is the day when, internationally, workers’ rights are celebrated and also a day of observing the changing of the seasons. Many traditions have been created around seasonal motion and also around the observation of workers’ rights and their labour. This should include the often unseen labour of provisioning for families, communities. The opposite of work is rest: holiday times, day trips, family celebrations. We are keen to consider forms of rest and recovery from the labour of integration.

What does it mean to integrate through work and to integrate through rest? How do tourism and cultural institutes offer spaces for rest as well as for the work of learning? How do people labour, resist and rest in captivity? What happens to the caged birds’ songs, to the languages and emotions of those who are forced to be non-migratory against their will? How can the digital world support cooperation and integration in labour and at rest?

The Spring School will showcase the ways in which individuals, communities, societies and institutions have accommodated and hosted each other and reflect on the ways in which the arts and academic research offer insights into the processes of welcome and integration. Interpreted in the broadest sense, these themes range from how we engage with our neighbours to topics such as slavery and imperialism and their connection to the present. In particular, the Spring School will focus on artistic, multilingual and educational dimensions.

We welcome proposals for workshops, papers, interventions from artists, scholars, activists, workers and resters, which address any of the themes below: 


1) Labouring and Resting in integrational settings

a. Work, places and patterns of work and provision of care
b. Holidays, tourism, family setting and cultural institutions
c. Digital facilitation of integration through work and rest

2) Creating shared culture

a. What is culture?
b. Festivals, celebrating culture, breaking bread together
c. Language learning, teaching and translanguaging, language evolution

3) Caged birds’ songs

a. Labouring, resisting and resting in captivity
b. Languages and emotions of the forced non-migratory
c. After detention


Suggested duration of presentations: 

  • Workshop / panel / performance: single slot of 45 mins or double slot of 90 mins
    Session blocks through the day will be either 45 or 90 mins in length, so any proposals with a performative or workshop element should bear this in mind. This is just a guide and proposals of a longer/shorter duration will be considered. 
  • Academic papers / presentations: 30 mins + 15 mins Q&A/discussion
    If your proposal has a more academic slant then please submit as a paper/presentation. Academic proposals will be allotted 45 mins (30 mins presentation plus 15 mins Q&A) and grouped accordingly by the organisers.

Please be aware that the size of the audience will be a maximum of 80 people. If your session only works with a smaller number of people, please state this clearly in your proposal and we will try to accommodate this where we can.

Format of submission

Please send your submission to one of the following formats:

-      Written description/abstract of maximum 500 words

-      Link to an Audio/video recording of maximum 2 minutes

Please include the names of the people involved in your session, as well as the name(s) of the organisation(s) they are from. If you need audio-visual equipment, we advise you to get in touch with us to see what is available in the venue.

Deadline for submission is midnight on 16 December 2018. Proposals will be reviewed the following weeks and you will be notified of the outcome by 14 January 2019.

Fees & Expenses

The organisers cannot pay fees to those who will present at the Spring School. The event will take place in Glasgow, Scotland. We have a small travel budget for a limited number of presenters. If your proposal is accepted, you will receive more information on how to apply for travel support.

Childcare: Due to the location of the event, it will not be possible to provide on-site childcare.  If you will require childcare, please get in touch with the organisers as soon as possible, to see if we can assist or partially subsidise childcare as required.


For questions, comments, or to discuss your ideas, please contact the UNESCO Secretariat at


Spring School 2019 call pic 

Jane Bentley - Art-Beat: Practising musical hospitality - an exploration
Adel (Del) Salmanzadeh: Project Pensive
From Spring School 2018 - The Arts of Integrating: Stories of Refugee Hospitality and Agency