We are inviting submissions of short film and video works by early-career artists to be part of Whitstable Biennale 2022, which will take place from 11-19 June 2022.

The title for this year’s festival is taken from the evocative poem Afterwardness by Mimi Khalvati. Through the eyes of 'an eleven year old boy from Aleppo' the poem explores loss, trauma and the concept of ‘afterwardness’, a term originally coined by Sigmund Freud.

Both directly and indirectly, ‘afterwardness’ connects to the themes of this and the last two editions of the festival, touching on ideas connected to global movement, exile, how we find ‘home’ and a way to tell our own story, and on the complex and uncertain place we currently find ourselves in, in the wake of major global events.

We are looking for submissions of existing films and video works from early-career artists that resonate with or relate to the concept of ‘afterwardness’ and its associated themes.

Curator Jas Dhillon will select up to 10 works which will be shown during Whitstable Biennale 2022, with each selected artist receiving a £100 screening fee.

In particular, we welcome and encourage submissions from artists without formal art education and/or who identify as Deaf and/or disabled, neurodivergent, global majority (referring to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and/or have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’), working-class, LGBTQIA+, migrant, and/or otherwise marginalised in the arts.

About Whitstable Biennale

Whitstable Biennale is a contemporary visual art festival that brings people together to experience some of the most exciting new visual art being made in the UK today in film, performance and sound. Founded in 2002, the next edition in 2022 will be our tenth. 

We work closely with artists early in their career to create new and experimental work, providing crucial time, space and support so they can take risks with their artistic practice, enabling them to develop new ideas and artworks at important moments in their careers.

As a small fishing town on the Kent coast, Whitstable has no big city infrastructure of cinemas, large gallery spaces and empty buildings, so we work with artists to find ways to weave their artworks into the fabric of the town, the idiosyncratic halls and huts, the alleyways and oyster beds, pubs, newsagents, beach huts, and bingo clubs, the working harbour and the steep shingle shoreline, and to work closely with the people who live and work there. 

Whitstable Biennale is part of Cement Fields, our new umbrella organisation founded in 2019, which works closely with artists and communities along the Thames Estuary from Dartford to Whitstable

About Jas Dhillon

Jas Dhillon is a multimedia practitioner inspired by the people, language, symbolic objects, and poetic experiences, of the love and identity imprinted on her as a first-generation Indian female raised in Kent. Her practice is rooted in the exploration of her identity, with a palpable reverence for her ancestors, ancestral traditions, symbology, and spirituality.

Drawn to folk art traditions based on the toil, skill, devotion, poetry and community they embody, she strives to express these qualities in her own work. She is particularly drawn to objects that serve a utility purpose, and textiles - with an eye to a very Indian colour palette.

This is also reflected in her approach to art facilitation, where she is committed to the accessibility of art and artistic expression, through the utilisation of everyday creative experiences and activities.

A lifelong consumer of the arts in all its forms - visual, experiential, poetic, musical and theatrical, Jas developed her own practice late in life - encouraged by her artist friendship group. Her broader influences include nature, travel, anthropology, fashion, hip hop, photography, and multicultural urban living.

Cover image: Laura Alhach, Remembering the Taste of Avocados (2017), Artists’ Short Film Programme, Whitstable Biennale 2018.

Before submitting please ensure your work meets the following criteria. Any submissions that do not meet these guidelines will not be considered.

Films must:
- Be no longer than 30 minutes in length
- Have been created in the last 3 years (no earlier than 2019)
- Be available in a digital format

You must:
- Be an early-career artist (broadly, we consider ‘early-career’ as meaning artists who are in the first five years of establishing their practice)

How to apply

1. Submit your film via FilmFreeway
2. Email a CV and completed Equal Opportunities Form (available at whitstablebiennale.com/film-open-call) to info@whitstablebiennale.com. Please use the email subject line ‘Whitstable Biennale 2022 Film Open Call’.

You must complete both steps for your application to be considered.