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Awards 2016

Well..yes. We got actually four of them for you this year:


Memefest Curators and Editors will carefully review submissions. Each Curator will choose 7 works according to their field.

Authors will receive special Memefest recognition. They will represent the top of the field of Socially Responsive communication/design and art and will actively shape quality standards of socially engaged communication/design and art. All curated and edited works will be part of the special Memefest 2016 Good communication/art work edition.


Authors of chosen works will get written feedback from Memefest curators and editors. This feedback is our special contribution to your work and a gift to you. It is also a public contribution to the field of Socially Responsive Communication and Art and helps you to reflect on qualities of communication and art in an interdisciplinary and contextualized manner.


A special Award in each category will be given in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne: Memefest/ Swinburne Award for Imaginative Critical Intervention.

This Award is part of our artist/designer-communicator/theorist in residence program. We will fly one author of a chosen project in each category (Visual communication practice, Beyond..., Critical writing) to Melbourne, Australia.

You will be able to participate in an international symposium and a special workshop for extradisciplinary investigation at the Swinburne Faculty of Health Arts and Design. You will be invited to collaborate with some of the best hearts and minds in communication/design/art on projects that will result in a public intervention in the city of Melbourne. Check the last event from 2014 here.


Authors of best works in the category Critical writing will be invited to publish their works in a special book planned to be published with Intellect books.

So, what do you think? 


Among all submissions curators will choose works from the fields of:

Critical writing:

a) Student/Academic

b) Non academic/Professional

Visual communication practice:

a) Student/Academic

- Graphics (Static)

- Film/Animation /Video

- Web /Interactive

b) Non academic/Professional

- Graphics (Static)

- Film/Animation /Video

- Web /Interactive


a) Student/Academic

b) Non academic/Professional


More about Awards:

More about Awards:

There is something about awards that is very appealing. Getting recognition and being one of the best in the field of our work and interest is important for all of us. The communication sphere – mainly in design and advertising- has therefore many awards. So does the institution of Art. Usually this award institutions claim they are concerned with the quality standards and this is what they are striving for. Better quality of communication and art work.  But is this really so?


At Memefest we believe that award competitions are not the right mechanism to raise the quality bar of our creative and intellectual work.  Awards are a result of competition. A festival that gives awards and produces winners, produces also losers. This practice reproduces the basic ideology of the neoliberal capitalist system. Instead of competition we believe in collaboration and we are sure that results based on collaboration are much better. Therefore the evaluation process at Memefest is much more dialogic. It is public and educational. It is much more formative than selective. There are no stars (but good communicators, artists, thinkers, writers and researchers) at Memefest and the whole process is open to critique and is inclusive instead of exclusive. The community as a whole contributes and everyone benefits. This is why we call it friendly competition.


On the other hand awards competitions try to make the impression that the works are being judged objectively. Is that true?  The problem with the prevailing modes of evaluation of (visual) communication and art work submitted to festivals, biennials and other competition events is that works are being judged on the surface level. How can you judge or reflect on communication and art work without relating to context: work conditions, production circumstances, cultural specifics and ways of distribution? How can you evaluate (visual) communication and art work without reflecting on the communicative effects- which are also social and cultural, not only economic?

At Memefest we are very aware of the importance of context. Our Curators are hand-picked. They are very good at what they do and are deeply interested in holistic approaches to communication. They are open to dialogue and have a sharp eye, extensive in-depth knowledge and experiences in good communication, research, critical writing and education. And they have integrity. 


At Memefest we love the power of words. We have always encouraged theory/critical writing as a highly important practice of critical reflection, analysis, research, education and commentary. But when it comes to theory we learned about the trap of academia.

The current University environment is highly commercialized and more and more hostile to theory in its true sense. Theoretical production is mostly doomed to be structured around academic journals that give academics points they need to collect in order to remain in the system. It's important to understand that this practice is highly destructive to independent creative theoretical production. In most cases it destroys critical thinking, research, and writing that go beyond the safe net of academic institutions and pragmatic market oriented choices.

Memefest therefore provides a platform where written argument can find a place without institutional limitations, market pressure, or career calculations. We believe this is highly important for independent theoretical production and critical thought. Independent theoretical production is key for understanding our position in this world and for the development and reflection of radical communication practices. However, we would also like to liberate the universities, so we will subsequently try to assist such work to enter, or return to, the academic context.  


More texts about the one way road of prevailing communication (advertising, design, communication, arts...) competitions:

Jason Grant : Awards Madness, click here.

Sandy Kaltenborn: dear contributors - dear ...,
the jury dilemma and some other thoughts..., click here.

Maria Popova: Death to design Awards, click here.

Oliver Vodeb and Nikola Janovič: Demonstrating relevance: Response- Ability, click here.



September 20. 2016