Call for proposals

Festival chat 2020

Join us this October for a festival-style weeklong celebration of CHAT. This is a contemporary and historical archaeology event like no other! So, get your virtual wrist bands on…

This year CHAT is trying something new. The global pandemic has prevented us from coming together in person, but we will congregate virtually this October for a creative event! The idea for a festival derives from several overlapping desires: to celebrate the touch and togetherness that many of us would normally have during the festival season, to experience levity and celebration in a time of crisis and change, and to embrace diversity. This is a do-it-yourself festival, where the exciting contributions will come from you. Warning: This is NOT a conference!

Open call for proposals:

We invite proposals for Festival CHAT. This could be an online talk, a film, blog post, a discussion, performance, poem, twitter paper, guided tour, quiz or online exhibition. You may want to host an event in your location, which you can share with us live or afterwards. Perhaps you would just like to go for a walk and share this with us in your own way. The festival will take place over the course of a week, bringing together a series of independent events each with its own local organizer. Maybe you would like to propose a group of events for a stage? CHAT will organize the events into a series of stages and publicize them on the festival website.

Open theme: We want to leave event and stage themes open, allowing you to be creative. Please get in touch with your ideas. As usual, we welcome contributions from other disciplines such as history, geography, anthropology, creative arts, and beyond. Some suggested topics include:

The archaeology of festivals: Material traces of ephemeral events. For example, Carolyn White’s work at Burning Man, and Guerilla Archaeology at Glastonbury Festival.

COVID-19 pandemic: This could address material and social traces of the negatives (loneliness, stress, depression, abuse) and positives (togetherness and resilience) of the pandemic.

Equality & Diversity: October 2020 is Black History Month in the UK. We welcome submissions that link with this event and its themes.

Decolonializing contemporary archaeology: Where does contemporary archaeology take place and by whom? How can we work to decolonize our field and ourselves? For example, Alfredo González-Ruibal’s “Ruins of the South”

Archaeologies of protest: For example, work at Greenham Common, sites of Occupy protests, archaeological engagements with the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations and environmental movements such as Extinction Rebellion.

Togetherness & Fragmentation: How and why do things, people and other beings coalesce and disperse? What is the condition of late-capitalism, neoliberalism and a post-truth world?

Drift: Go with the flow, take this as you wish! A psychogeographical tour, follow things, paths & patterns.

Core events run by CHAT:

  • PubCHAT launch – we will host a virtual social event to launch the festival
  • Blue Bird Tent (Twitter sessions) see here for more information
  • We will host a number of online talks
  • PubCHAT after party – we will host a virtual social event to end the festival (fancy dress)
  • The rest is up to you!

Platform: You can host your event on a range of digital platforms to suit (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Zoom, TikTok, etc.), or simply send us documentation afterwards. We want the festival to be global and would like to programme events to suit organizers and different time zones. We encourage events in different languages.

What we ask from you: Working with the CHAT team, you will be responsible for hosting your own event on your chosen platform, documenting the event and providing something for the festival website (if appropriate). Unfortunately, we cannot pay contributors for their time or events. We ask you to do it for the love! The overall festival is FREE.

When? 23-30 October 2020

Please send proposals for events, stages and activities to by 18 September 2020 (max 1 side of A4 with a key image that we can use). The CHAT committee will assess and curate the proposals, organize the stages and manage the festival programme.

The call has now closed! Watch this space!

So, pack your virtual bags and check your tent – you’re going to Festival CHAT 2020!

Festival CHAT Organizing Committee

CHAT Standing Committee

Hashtags: #FestivalCHAT2020 #CHAT2020