21 September, 2023 | by Rushi P

Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença



The Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies [Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença], an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that does not charge any submission or publication fees is accepting until July 31, 2019 submissions of original papers within the scope of the general topic CULTURAL ACTION AND ARTISTIC ACTION.

Cultural Action and Artistic Action are two expressions whose distinction is not always clear.

The first one stems from a long trajectory whose foundations were launched in 1958 by André Malraux, Ministry of Culture of France, and later revised by Francis Jeanson in the light of the thinking of the 1968 movement in that country. Subsequently, the premises of this notion were addressed in the Brazilian context in the 1990s by Teixeira Coelho. However, previously, in 1975, with the publication of Paulo Freire’s Cultural Action for Freedom (republished in Brazil by Paz e Terra in 2011), the term spread in Brazil, in close association with the exercise of a critical understanding of society.

In contradiction to the consumption of objects considered as part of the cultural sphere, these actions are focused on the organization of the necessary conditions for people and groups to determine their own purposes in the cultural universe. Generally, the starting point of these actions is the territory in which they are conducted and the population that inhabits it. Thus, for instance, artist groups and collectives can establish strong bonds with social movements or organize community literary events and community festivals in which poetry and music can create solidarity, paving the way for common goals and transformations in daily life. These groups and collectives can be characterized by networking that engages schools, cultural centers, libraries and NGOs in their actions. Related to the notions of formative or educational action developed in cultural institutions like museums, cultural centers and similar entities, cultural action is also recognized as a pedagogical activity produced outside school settings.

The notion of artistic action, meanwhile, has a less clear origin and encompasses a wide variety of artistic practices intended for anyone wishing to try them, irrespective of previous experience. Lacking a consistent conceptual systematization or assumed generically as “artistic events”, these actions are not always identified, even by their stakeholders, through the terminology we use here. Artistic actions always come to be through practice, by confronting the restrictions of formalizing an idea, an emotion, a symbolic meaning to be shared. This is what happens when artists propose relational actions in public spaces, calling passers-by/spectators to interact with or even activate the work. Some actions not only depend on the encounter with the spectator to happen, but also on the presence of the artist, whose function moves from the act of representation to the organization of interrelational devices, for example. In this sense, besides bringing the experiences of passers-by to the fore and summoning their bodies into the action, such artistic actions can give rise to stories, drawings, pictures and videos. Spectators assume, in this way, a place of co-authorship in the creation, not only in the enjoyment of the work. Recently, it can be observed that artistic actions have been associated with experiences of social work or contemporary experiences related to the field of performance, in which relational or proximity actions are proposed in different social and political contexts. In this way, trivial proposals – like calling on people to remain in public space and talk or explore other ways of using it – or politically engaged proposals aiming to challenge public power, with a greater or lesser degree of civil disobedience, are possible examples of artistic actions in the field of performance.

In recent decades, as the performing arts have undergone profound changes, notions of cultural and artistic action have also been transformed in the light of contemporary challenges, including often surprising and destabilizing operations.

It is therefore a moving field, where the two expressions overlap, depending on the political and social context in which they are situated. As a result, these two concepts combine the spheres of art and education, thus allowing mutual influence between artistic and pedagogical processes, sometimes on an ad hoc basis, sometimes cumulatively. Some group theatre experiences in Brazil involve citizens not only as potential spectators, but also as interlocutors participating in the debate on issues that arise during the creative process, which characterizes them as actions in the cultural sphere. Sometimes, the same groups go even farther, proposing artistic partnerships with these citizens, inviting them to engage directly in the composition of the work.

In this sense, it is important to highlight the extent to which the friction between these two notions contributes to the revision of both expressions, while promoting the widening of possibilities for arts and education.

In this manner, in order to foster the problematization of the relations between cultural action and artistic action, this special issue aims to provide an opportunity to explore this area of tension from different perspectives, by soliciting articles from Brazilian and international authors. Those interested can submit theoretical essays, papers from their research in artistic or pedagogical fields, about the different meanings of cultural action and artistic action, either by linking the two concepts in order to bring them closer together or to make them diverge, or choosing one of these modalities as the focus of reflection.

Possible approaches to the theme include but are not limited to the following:

– Cultural action and its variants in distinct contexts and meanings.
– Interconnections between Cultural Action and Artistic Action.
– The emergence of Artistic Action as a development of the notion of Cultural Action.
– Artistic Action as performing exploration of social relations.
– Cultural and artistic actions in the context of social counterparts.
– Public policies that promote cultural and artistic actions.
– The artist or the theater group as cultural agent.
– The tenuous line between Artistic Action and Cultural Action: interconnections and distinctions.
– The role of Cultural Action in public policy.
– Proposals for Cultural Action and Artistic Action as formative actions: when arts and education are imbricated.
– Pedagogical implications of Cultural Action and Artistic Action.
– Cultural Action and Artistic Action and contemporary challenges in the arts.
– Artistic Action in the Performing Arts field, relational and user-friendly experimentation.
– When Artistic Action invites itself into a director’s work through the presence of non-actors on the stage.

The Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies accepts articles on research conceptually linked to the fields of performance, theater, dance and other similar fields, paying special attention to those using images and videos to develop their reflections. It also accepts articles from interdisciplinary and related fields, which are in dialogue with the concerns of Presence. Submissions should conform to the journal’s standards and be posted directly into our submission system, where they will go through our general evaluation process. In order to submit a paper for this call, it is essential to select the proper section (Cultural Action and Artistic Action). We remind you that the journal does not charge for submission or publication and uses the double-blind peer-review system. The text can be sent in Portuguese, Spanish, English or French and will be published in two languages. Authors who send texts in Portuguese and Spanish (and those who are Portuguese speaking) will be asked to send a translation in English. The journal will provide the translation to Portuguese of those papers sent in English or French whose authors are native in these languages. Additional information can be found in our website, ; our guidelines can be found in “Author Guidelines”.