Call for Papers – CounterPlay ’16


*Call for Papers and Proposals: CounterPlay ‘16: Exploring play when
it’s difficult*

Conference and festival. April 14-16, 2016

Dokk1, Aarhus, Denmark

Deadline for proposals February 1, 2016

What is play? Why is play important? How do we overcome the challenges
to play?

CounterPlay explores the role of play in society and focus on supporting
and inspiring playfulness. At CounterPlay ‘16 we encourage contributors
to examine play when it’s difficult.

Play is often thought of as a “luxury” and as something we do when every
other need is satisfied. Contrary to this, CounterPlay sees play as an
essential part of human society as well as mental and physical
well-being and coexistence. It is in this context that we ask for
proposals that investigate the ways in which playfulness can contribute
to coping with adversities and how play can be a mode of expression that
creates connections, raises questions, fuels creativity and inspires to
challenge the status quo. We wish to know more about the role of play in
times of severe crisis, but we also want to address less threatening
situations, where various obstacles nonetheless get in the way of play
or in which play can contribute to overcome obstacles. Play when it is
difficult should be understood in a wide sense and it encompasses
everything from play in war zones, refugee camps and prisons to schools,
libraries, museums, public/urban spaces and private companies.

At CounterPlay ‘16, we investigate ways of thinking and talking about
play: through conversations, panels, workshops and – most importantly –
through play. To achieve this, we aim to create a safe and inclusive
space for a diverse community of people, where failure is just an
opportunity to learn, where taking risks is natural, and where you feel
comfortable playing with strangers. We emphasize the playful,
exploratory, experimental cross-pollination, collaboration and
co-production – of knowledge, ideas, projects, concepts and prototypes.
Consequently, we are particularly interested in contributions that are
participatory and interactive.

Proposals could be for workshops, paper and panel presentations,
maker-spaces or take a variety of other explorative forms. Proposals
should be 200-300 words and describe the core theme(s) of your
contribution. As part of your proposal, please inform us about the
minimum requirements for your session (materials, tools, technologies,
space), but please also consider what you can bring yourself and how you
can keep it simple. Additionally, we ask you to include a short bio of
50-75 words of each person facilitating the session along with a photo
(for the description on the website).

Deadline for submissions: February 10, 2016

Notification of acceptance: February 17, 2016

Submit your proposals to Mathias Poulsen

Mathias Poulsenwill also be available for questions. For more information about the festival visit:


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