Zine Workshop on Co-operative Art Education. Conway Hall, 23 Nov 2019

OPEN CALL: URgh! zine #1

OPEN CALL: URgh! zine #1 on Alternative Art Education

DEADLINE Friday, 21 Feb 2020

Submissions are open for the first issue of URgh! We welcome contributions that explore and document alternative art education and self-organised, DIY, peer-led art schools and collectives, to extend the existing research and amplify the movement.

URgh! is a new zine on precarious labour dreaming up alternative economies at the coalface of the art educational creative industrial complex. The first issue will be launched on Saturday, 21 March 2020 at the Festival of Alternative Art Education 2020 at Conway Hall.


Fuelled by economic crisis, austerity and the liberalisation of higher education, alternative art education has burgeoned into a full-blown movement in the last decade. But what is alternative art education? Who is it for, and what is it an alternative to? What is the difference between alternative art schools and peer support groups? What does higher education offer that alternative art education cannot provide and vice versa? Could self-organized art schools eventually replace mainstream art education?

There are as many different formats and models of alternative art education as there are alt art schools and peer groups, but in what ways is alternative art education different from traditional art education? What do we mean by “alternative”? Are alternative art schools expected to resist and reform institutional models of education and pedagogy? Should they resist and challenge art institutions and the art market? How can alternative art education address class, race and gender inequality in the arts? Can there be an “alternative” if we keep reproducing the same structures and behaviours? 

Is alternative art education only for those who can’t afford an MFA? Is it a temporary foothold up the ladder of the mainstream art world or an ongoing engagement that is integrated with artists’ professional lives? Alternatively, is it a movement for radical change in higher education and the art world more broadly? Can alternative art education challenge the commodification and instrumentalisation of education and knowledge? How can alternative art schools become sustainable? Can we imagine alternative art schools as institutions of the commons? What is the future of alternative art education?

Contributions are welcome in the form of interviews, reviews, essays, documentation, fiction, poetry, collage, painting, drawing, photography, illustration, comics etc. on alternative art education and the following relevant topics:

  • histories and documents of alternative art education
  • self-organisation, collectivity and collaboration
  • co-operative art education
  • alternative economies in art and education
  • mutual aid and the commons
  • peer-support and study groups
  • art education and pedagogy
  • self-education
  • the educational turn
  • skills, de-skilling, creative labour and precarity
  • critique of neoliberal reform in higher education
  • institutional critique

Submission guidelines

Please use the online form below to submit your work for the zine. Every effort will be made to include all submitted work so long as it meets the requirements. However, in the event that submissions exceed the capacity of the zine a selection will be made on the basis of relevance and variety.


The zine will be issued as an A5 booklet with approx. 36 pages. You can submit up to two projects with a capacity of up to three (3) pages per project. Please submit each project separately. If you need more space please get in touch to discuss. For more details on submission limits for texts and images please scroll down.

If you want to retain the formatting of your text and your page layout please submit a preformatted page file (specs below). You can include up to three (3) preformatted pages per submission. Alternatively, you can submit a PDF guide and we will try to replicate your formatting. 


You can submit up to 1000 words, if you would like to squeeze more words in, include images or special formatting please submit up to three (3) preformatted pages or a PDF guide. Please remember to include image captions where necessary.

WRITTEN WORK Interviews, reviews, essays, documentation, fiction, poetry, etc.
WORD COUNT 1000 words maximum

You can submit a series of up to 10 images but they will be squeezed into three (3) pages. If you would like to squeeze more images in, include text or if you have a particular layout in mind please submit up to three (3) preformatted pages or a PDF guide.

VISUAL ART Collage, painting, drawing, photography, illustration, comics, etc.
FORMATS TIF or PSD preferable, PDF or JPG if you don’t mind losing quality
RESOLUTION 300-600 dpi at 15 x 21 cm (minimum 2500 pixels long edge)

You can submit up to three (3) preformatted pages per project. Please remember to include image captions where necessary.

FORMATS TIF or PSD preferable, PDF or JPG if you don’t mind losing quality
PAGE DIMENSIONS 14.8 × 21 cm + 3 mm  bleed
RESOLUTION 300-600 dpi at 15 x 21 cm (minimum 2500 pixels long edge)

The zine will be issued in print and PDF form. The print issue will be largely or exclusively in black and white so please consider whether the colours will translate into monochrome with sufficient contrast.


Please upload your files to a cloud server (wetransfer, dropbox, google drive etc.) and include a link to the download folder, together with the password if it is password protected.


The zine will be available at Conway Hall from 21 March 2020 for a voluntary contribution of £1 to help cover printing expenses.

Contributors can pick up a copy of the zine from Conway Hall from 21 March 2020. If you cannot get to Conway Hall please send me your address and I will post a copy to you.

The zine will also be distributed to relevant libraries and art spaces, and circulated at zine fairs and relevant events.

This project is entirely voluntary and self-funded, there is no budget, no funding and no pay and I cannot provide monetary compensation to contributors.


Please read the submission guidelines before submitting your work. If you have any questions please get in touch. Data collected  in this form will be used for the purposes of compiling this zine only and deleted within 6 months of the deadline. Your personal data will not be shared.