Call for Submissions

[…] Ellipses Journal acts to use the multi-media and interactive online spaces of the internet in the presentation of possibilities and potentials for publishing of creative and artistic research.

Creative practice outside of creative writing is presented and engaged with via physical exhibitions, live performances, on site installations, collaborative developments, etc.  And yet when presented as research, the norm is to present reflective written research via books and text based journals.  […] Ellipses proposes the meeting of the ‘liveness’ of creative practice and the published form via an online and interactive journal for creative research.  In aim is to retain a creative encounter with the work for an audience and to engage practitioners in a continued creative encounter with making.

SPECIAL ISSUE: Johannesburg Lasts

Call for Proposals
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: 4 August 2019

Call Details for Special Issue: Johannesburg Lasts

Guest Editors: Naadira Patel & Ruth Sacks

Johannesburg Lasts is a creative research project that looks at what it means to be a last in the agglomeration of infrastructure, institutions, plant, animal and human activity that makes up the greater environment of the city. 

Considering the concepts of last, lasting and lost, we question toxic legacies and hierarchies and attempt to rethink contemporary urban spaces and their “lastingness”. From gated communities and leafy green suburbs lined by once-foreign forestry, to communities living with mine dumps embodying the noxious afterlives of the city’s founding industry, Johannesburg Lasts investigates what it means for something to last as the ghosts of apartheid’s legacy linger in the public and private spaces of the African metropolis. At the same time, the project follows what forms of growing and repurposing are taking place as electricity and water are running out. 

Focusing on issues of land, air, infrastructure and plants, Johannesburg Lasts speculates on what new species of animal, human and vegetable will grow from concrete, poisoned earth and air specific to Johannesburg. Led by a collective of artists working together as a research community, this special edition of [] Ellipses Journal for creative research will focus on spaces that the contemporary city often forgets, in order to generate new projects.

Proposal Submissions:

We invite proposals for work that takes into consideration the concepts of last, lasting and lost in relation to Johannesburg, or similar research in another African city. Please see the list of potential themes below. This could be a scholarly essay or a body of artwork. 

The special issue will publish by November 2019, so your work or proposal needs to be able to realise your project within this time frame. Once the initial selection has been made, participants will be invited to attend a workshop in which we will facilitate or guide the production of work or research, writing, and working towards the digital / web-based iteration of your work. The collective will play a range of roles from editorial to facilitation and research support, as well as makers and creators.

Suggestions for possible translations online: Interactive maps, sonic archives, audio or video recordings, visual essays, interactive texts, design projects, online games, musical compositions, screenplays, music videos, blogs, comic strips, downloadable multiples and works of fiction and prose. Ellipses is an online platform for innovation, so those submitting more conventional proposals (eg. essays & slideshows of work) should approach with an openness to translating your work into this medium.

All accepted participants will be invited to attend a 3-day workshop, taking place from 23-25 August in Johannesburg

Suggested Research Areas

  • Infrastructures: mine dumps; bridges; farms; vegetable gardens; railroads; dams; concrete; spectral residues
  • Abandoned/aging city leisure sites: Sports clubs; parks; playgrounds; cultural institutions; building communities; communal ownership
  • City Plants: Food production; recipes of local plants; food sovereignty; farming for a future without industrialization; reinventing colonial gardens; questioning what is indigenous 
  • Migrant Stories: Past and future projections; narratives told with food and objects; local traditions and rituals; modes of travel
  • Toxicity: Issues of air, the residue of building activities; illnesses; the repercussions of mining

Submissions for […] SPECIAL ISSUE: Johannesburg Lasts Should Include:

  • A biography of the author or authors.
  • A 250 to 500 word abstract describing the research or project;
  • A broad description of initial thinking on how the author(s) would like to use the digital publication platform;
  • Supporting documentation.

Submit Proposal at : ARA Submissions Portal

Johannesburg Lasts is produced through collective forms of thinking and working. The collective, including Tara Weber, Andrei Van Wyk, Karin Tan, Skye Quadling, Jarrett Erasmus, Ruth Sacks and Naadira Patel, was formed in late 2018 and will be continuing to work together for the foreseeable future.

All proposal submission are managed via the ARA Submissions Portal, through which all submissions are logged and reviewed. Submissions via the Journals contact form will not be accepted. For a submission to be considered the online submission form needs to be completed in full.

Review and Publication Process

  1. All submissions are reviewed by the Editor in Chief, Guest Issue Editor and Digital Editor of the Journal via the ARA Submission Portal.
  2. Two review rounds are conducted.
    • The first round outcomes will be a short-list of accepted submissions that fit the criteria of the specific Issue’s area of interest and the requirements for creative research within the framework of […].  Candidates on this shortlist will be invited to submit further information or supporting documentation and engage directly with the Issue Editor on the proposal, thus leading into a second review round.
    • The second round is a final review led by the Issue Editor, Digital Editor and any additional advisors. This round reviews the potential of the submission to be both relevant and suitable as creative research and how publishable it is in the digital and interactive format of […] Ellipses Journal.
  3. Once submissions have passed the second review phase, authors will work closely with the Issue Editor, Digital Editor and the digital content team to develop the creative research for its online publication.
  4. Developed and pre-published submissions are sent for blind peer review via an access only section of […] Ellipses Journal site.  Each submission receives two blind peer reviews, which can be responded to within limits of the online development.
  5. Published submissions are further reviewed in an open manner by peers in respective fields of creative research. In much the same manner as a performance or exhibition would be publicly reviewed via an art critic in a public platform, such as newspaper or blog (reviewers may remain anonymous).

Editor in Chief & Digital Editor: Dr. Tegan Bristow

Journal Frequency

[…] Ellipses Journal issues are published annually with occasional Special Issues in the same year.  Annual issues are theme based and led by an elected Issue Editor/s, who develop the annual call for submissions, review & select submissions and assist in the development of the research on the Journal’s digital platform.


Need to know more

Journal submissions are taken in response to annual issue calls. To know more or be informed when future calls are issued, please send your details via the contact form.