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Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Central School of Speech & Drama

14th December 2022

performingborders and Central School of Speech and Drama are proud to announce a new Collaborative Doctoral Award, now open to application by any prospective student interested in borders, digital performance, live art and transnational research.

Border-artists: Critiquing border logics in transnational digital performance
Supervised by Dr Diana Damian Martin (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and

Please note the application process has two deadlines:

Deadline for Expression of Interest with CSSD: 20th January 2023: (you must do this before applying to the Collaborative Doctoral Award)

Deadline for CDA funding applications with LAHP: 27th January 2023:

This collaborative doctoral award looks at the reproduction and revisioning of borders in contemporary transnational digital performance. Its objective is to develop a method of analysis — ‘border work’ – that captures the complex artistic and political processes that shape contemporary transnational digital performance, its production and curation, advancing new imaginaries for migrant-led social change.

Starting from the performingborders archive, this CDA examines the development, curation, and outcome of four digital performances by migrant artists of colour working in the UK and internationally, exploring how borders are experienced and how they become a space of fluidity and agency, rather than violence and separation. The performances in question are: a collaborative multi-site film (Boderline Dialogue by Tara Fatehi Irani, 2019); a durational drag performance involving crafting documents submitted to the Home Office (Moebius Stripping by Istanbul Queer Art Collective, 2019); a performance to camera with a community of asylum seekers in the UK (Re:seeding, in correspondence by Jade Montserrat 2020),and a digital exploration of magic for radio (Recipes for Autonomy by Syowia Kyambi 2020). Please note that the performances in question are suggested as a starting point for your research, whereas the whole performingborders archive is available to you.

Whilst mobility is often celebrated in the cultural sector, little research exists on how curators and audiences not only navigate complex systems and processes in seeking to undertake transnational work, but also how migrancy itself shapes a different view of borders. This CDA therefore considers how these performances use digital platforms to critique the naturalization of borders and analyses how the curation of this work, which produces the material conditions for its development, shapes cross-border relations at a time of heightened nativism and digitization of immigration.

Working in collaboration with leading curatorial platform performingborders, the studentship will contribute to self-representation of migrant artists working against the violence of hostile environments in the UK and beyond. The studentship will also explore performance as a tool for critiquing the expansion of borders and shaping migrant-led futures. The student will work with performingborders’ extensive network and archives, supported by research expertise from Central.

As the focus of this studentship is on border-work, this application is open to candidates
with lived experience of migration.


Note on forms & methods of research: The form (practical or written) of your research is open to your suggestions and needs. Please ensure you will include this information on your application. performingborders and CSSD will always support the presentation of your research in the best way that suits you and the research in question. Should you want to engage in field work, we suggest you include this information on your proposal and how you will go about it (inc seeking extra funding for international or national travel).

Note on international students: The CDA bursary/funding only provides home-student level of University fee support, however the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama will cover the remaining costs of international annual fees for the awarded student, should there be a requirement to do so.

Note on access: Please note that there is no offer of administrative or access support for the application stages of this process as unfortunately this is out of our scope. However, any recipient of the award will be provided with access support from CSSD and performingborders throughout the period of engagement of this award.

Border-artists: Critiquing border logics in transnational digital performance Collaborative Doctoral Award is a partnership between Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and performingborders. It is fully funded through the London Arts & Humanities Partnership.