Contested That: Creative conflict in theory and practice

Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th April 2021

An International, interdisciplinary conference organised by the Created and Contested Territories Research Group at Norwich University of the Arts, Norwich, Norfolk, UK


The conference Contested ‘That’: Creative conflict in theory and practice’ aims to connect with creative practicitioners and theorists tackling conflict around or within art practices that might be broadly characterised as dealing with ‘that which is contested’. 


Art is frequently depicted by art history, and by history more widely as being possessed of the quality of transcendence or transgression. Over time, many creative practitioners have turned their gaze to varied and disparate manifestations of social division, grappling with issues of diaspora, migration, colonisation, decolonisation collective amnesia, gender, identity, transnationalism and climate change in their practice. This with greater or lesser measures of success. 

The new coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharper relief the shifting ideological and ethical dilemmas brought about by the recent environmental, racial and social mo(ve)ments. In light of these seismic shifts, many creative practitioners have felt compelled to reconsider their place, means of production and distribution, along their role and usefulness to society.

This reconsideration has, in many instances, taken place behind closed doors, in isolation or in archipelagos of unshared understanding. This conference is an attempt to re-connect the creative conscious and conscientious at a time when individual practice can seem insignificant in the context of what some have described as a global scientific and political headwind. The conference looks at shared experiences of the contested in a changed world, and in doing so, it addresses some of the fundamental, if not existential, questions facing creative production and interpretation against a backdrop of uncertainty and a future in flux.

The conference seeks to air thoughts from artists, designers, architects, historians and film makers whose work contests ideas and practices that have been accepted or taken for granted, or the work of practitioners who are calling for new modes of creative production and/or new frameworks of understanding its own domain; in short, those who are seeking to re-locate themselves and find ways of re-inhabiting the mantle of ‘creator’.


Download Programme PDF

Download Conference Booklet PDF