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graphic design: Bękarty
Gallerygraphic design: Bękarty

Generator Malta is the curatorial programme of the Malta Festival Poznań, a theme related to human rights, urbanization, migration and nature, promoting social empathy, dialogue and value-creating art. For several years, a part of the program is invented in the form of an open competition for the artistic community.

We invite visual and performance artists, dancers, researchers, activists to take part in the recruitment "Zaklepane / Ground Rules" - we are waiting for ideas for perfomative, site-specific, sound, animation, installation, interventions or workshops on reflection on property rights, law to land/ground and use of its resources. In the Wieniawski Park in Poznań, the "fortress of the claim" objects, designed by Iwo Borkowicz and Ola Korbańska (iwola), will be built, where the final presentations of the winning projects will take place. The object will be built from the dug and will be formed in the ground in the same place.

Every day a different resident will be given his piece of independent land for 48 hours. Selected activities will become part of the Malta Generator program. The budget of one project is PLN 4,500 gross. The deadline for submitting applications is April 9, and a four-person jury will select the winners on April 13. Details in the open call regulations and on the website www.malta-festival.pl.

Like children playing Scattergories– I cut out a piece of earth with a knife, an area in a public park, proclaiming it my temporary property.
I appropriate the surface: a piece of the Earth’s crust, a city, a park plot based on a local zoning plan. I mark the boundaries of the territory on a map.
I seize the space above it – the void to be defined and filled, the arena for potential events. All goods I find in the area, from a hundred-year-old trees to bottle caps and butt-ends.
The underground is mine, along with all living organisms, billions of geobionts and geophiles. I rule natural resources, elements of inanimate nature, reaching to the very core.
I declare the independence standing on the earth formed with human hands. I build a fortress from it. 

Cultivated, pristine, flooded, drained, poisoned, purified, deforested, afforested, covered in concrete, blown up, sold, abandoned, appropriated, protected, exploited, worshiped, fenced off, shared. Mine, yours, ours, someone else’s, common, nobody’s.

What happens with the land when a man walks on it? When he or she starts to feel like its owner? How did it come to it that we call ourselves owners of something that actually belongs to nature? Where is the boundary between using the resources and exploiting them, who decides about it and why? What is allowed when it is shared and what is out of this world? What are the rules?

Earth – the archives of battles for ownership, control, exclusion and using the territory. Ideology, greed, conflict, science, altruism have often stuck their flags in it. People – conquerors and cartographers, collectivists, imperialists and capitalists – cast their shadow on the earth, usually at its cost, as well as on the non-human organisms and indigenous people living on it.

One per cent of the biggest farm owners control 70 per cent of agricultural lands around the world. Chinese authorities build artificial islands on the South Chinese Sea in order to claim their right to exploit natural resources up to 12 miles from their territory. The cruel Israeli saga in which the land in the Gaza Strip is settled and guarded by armed men. Canadian investors in Honduras – thousands kilometres away from their country which protects the environment and human rights, get rid of a cemetery with 400 graves of indigenous people in order to mine gold on its territory. In 21st century, a Polish businessman, with the approval of local authorities, builds an island in the Natura 2000 area and erects there a 15-storey castle with a 50-meter high tower.

Sometimes, the fights for the land turn out amicable. On Hans island, which is located 12 miles away from the shore of Canada and Denmark, both nations interchangeably hang their flags on the flagpole, leaving Canadian whisky and Danish snaps for the „enemy”. In 1967 at a deserted air-raid platform on the Northern Sea, Roy Bates pronounces independence of a country in order to run a pirate radio station. Reclaim the Streets, an anti-globalisation collective, gives back the streets and public spaces to city inhabitants reclaiming them from advertisers, capitalists and the transport lobby. For 25 years on a deserted patch of the city, Poznan-based anarchists and activists have been creating an alternative area for culture, living and fighting for the rights of the excluded.

We would like to invite artists, performers, artivists, animators, researchers to submit projects deliberating on the issue of ownership, the right to the ground and exploiting its resources. Every day for 48 hours, one of the residents will take into possession a fortress in Wieniawski Park in Poznań (see the sketch: https://malta-festival.pl/public/upload/files/Wizualizacja_Zaklepane-Ground-Rules_Open-Call_Generator-Malta-2021.pdf), designed by Iwo Borkowicz and Ola Korbańska (iwola) who were invited by Malta Festival Poznań 2021. We will pay particular attention to the projects of those persons whose dwo-day residency will be preceded by process activities, such as workshops, working with the local communities or other groups, artistic investigation, a series of field or internet activities, a discussion or an intervention.

The projects will be included in the programme of Generator Malta and will be produced as part of Malta Festival Poznań 2021. 

practical information

recruitment: 17.03-9.04
announcement of the results: April 13, 2021
realization: Malta Festival Poznań (18-27 June 2021)

The maximum cost estimate of one project is up to PLN 4,500 gross, including the salaries and related items: PLN 2500 gross, production cost: PLN 2000 gross.

Applications for the open call "Zaklepane / Ground Rules" should be completed by filling in forms and send to the address generator@malta-festival.pl until April 9, 2021.