Open call for mural paintings

‘Renewal’ is the word of the moment in South Africa today.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the oldest political foundation in Germany with headquarters in Bonn and Berlin. We are committed to the advancement of socio-political and economic development in the spirit of social democracy, through civic education, research, and international cooperation.

We are excited to open the doors of our new conference facility. To mark this occasion, we invite young, curious and socially conscious artists to submit work in response to theme ‘renewal - what if?’

This opportunity is for the creation of mural artworks for the FES Johannesburg campus – a space that houses FES South Africa, which supports partners that are pursuing projects designed to overcome the multiple challenges in SA as well as the FES Trade Union Competency Centre (TUCC) that supports organised labour in sub-Saharan Africa in the drive to create more just societies. The successful artist will be invited to paint the walls in different parts of the building.

Renewal. What if….?
‘Renewal’ is the word of the moment in South Africa today. We hear it when trade unions decry declining membership and challenges in recruiting the most vulnerable workers. Traditional political parties use the word to talk about how they have been taken over by elites and contaminated by corruption, politics of money and the trappings of power.

But, what if we were to stretch the word beyond these common understandings that imply a once-off event – a stop gap measure to ‘recover lost ground’? What if we stretched ‘renewal’ to imagine new possibilities – new analysis for changing conditions, new energy, new political agency and an open door to difficult questions?  

What if ‘renewal’ meant going beyond the smouldering cynicism of the moment – a world of pandemics and war? What if renewal became part of the vocabulary of a new political culture? A direct challenge to patriarchy and the politics of exclusion? A genuine interest in a new feminist politics and new actors? A renewed commitment to fight the intersectional inequalities of race, class, gender and sexuality? A renewal of progressive projects on an international scale?

What we are looking for
For the opening of our new conference facility, we invite socially conscious and up and coming artists to submit mural works that help us to interpret the politics of ‘renewal’ exploring some of the ‘what if’ questions outlined above:
Who we are looking for
•    Young, curious and socially conscious up and coming visual artists
•    Artists must be 35 years or younger
•    Priority will be given to artists from disadvantaged backgrounds
•    Artists must have a genuine interest in the politics of ordinary people – trade unions, social movements or community organisations. 

What we offer
The winning submission will get an allocation for supplies, prize, and an opportunity to give meaning to our new conference facility! 
All artist supplies needed and the travel expenses for the artist will also be covered. 
Only commissioned work will be paid for.
The deadline for submitting is 29 July 2022. The final decision will be communicated by the adjudicating committee on 8 August 2022. The winning artist will be expected to complete the artworks on our new building before 15 September 2022.

How to apply:
Please complete the application form and submit together with supporting documentation to kulani.mashele(at) Marked Attention: FES Mural Art Application by close of business on 29 July 2022. The application form can be downloaded from the FES SA website using the following link
•    Completed application form
•    A sketch of your mural idea (four artworks per submission max) with a brief description
•    Examples of previous murals (3 images max)

Measurements of the walls:
-    Wall inside: 3.6m x 2.45m 
-    Outside wall: 4.3m x 2.4m 
-    Foyer wall outside: 2.7m x 2.6m
-    Outside TUCC big wall: 5.3m x 2.7m 

Please find out more about the work that we do on our websites
FES South Africa:
FES Trade Union Competence Centre:   

South Africa Office

34 Bompas Road
Dunkeld West

+27 11 341 0270
+27 11 341 0271

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