9th Nida Doctoral School 2024:
Of Collaboration and Contention

26–30 August

Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts
E. A. Jonušo g. 3
Nida LT-93127

The 9th Nida Doctoral School (NDS) pivots on the relationship between collaboration and contention. The program foregrounds practices of collaboration, sharing and exchange which draw from participants’ own research areas with the intent to address the significance and role of contention in negotiating, managing and attending to differences in process-led research. 

Approaching the particular locality of Nida – a village located on a 98 km-long sand dune shared by Lithuania and Russia, overgrown with forests, separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea, each day of NDS is organised with methodological interventions to provide groups with frameworks to expand and explore their research and practice through collaborative and individual activities.

Noun (often followed by on, with, etc.)
1. the act of working with another or others on a joint project 
2. something created by working jointly with others
3. the act of cooperating as a traitor, esp with an enemy occupying one’s own country
(Collins Dictionary)

1. a struggling between opponents; competition 
2. dispute in an argument (esp in the phrase bone of contention)
3. a point asserted in argument
(Collins Dictionary)

Collaboration is often deemed to be desirable in bringing artistic practitioners in harmonious cooperative production with other researchers, scholars and communities with the assumption of shared motives and intentions. But collective and collaborative practices are difficult because they require discussion, negotiation and at times compromises. Acknowledging contention, differences inherent in the methods of working, references and knowledge paradigms can often produce frictions. 

This program invites doctoral candidates from diverse artistic disciplines, with varying epistemological paradigms and several institutions to share the space and time, to experiment with formats and strategies, to negotiate the tensions and resistances and to participate in the joys and generosities of situated and collective ways of knowing, citational practices, mutualisation of knowledge and speculative imaginings and worldings.

NDS will unfold with daily specific focus approaching the unique site of Nida: drifting dunes and the beach of the Baltic Sea, the waters of the lagoon, the mountain pine forest, the lighthouse and the national border. Proposing the approaches of thinking in motion and through locality to work through various states of kinaesthetic and tactile encounters with specific points in and around the environment – the structure of the program creates the conditions for alternative approaches to connections and kinship through listening, gathering, sharing and making, inviting practices of connectivity through situatedness and attentiveness to what different environments provoke.

The program affords the opportunity for valuable detours in artistic research, serendipitous encounters of inquiry through participant’s sharing of their work and questions prompted through the group tasks and joint activities. Over the five-days, participants will share and develop their ongoing research through peer-driven exchanges and individual tutoring sessions, plenary reflections, shared meals and time allocated for informal meetings and activities. 

The concept and structure of NDS 2024 evolves from previous iteration in 2023 with Jyoti Mistry (HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University) and Egija Inzule, Director of NAC, Hanna Husberg (Stockholm University of the Arts), Mika Elo (University of the Arts Helsinki). 

Over the last decade, NAC as a site and infrastructure has established itself as a productive, hospitable venue which creates opportunities for conversation on the relationship between research, practice and pedagogy. This year the focus on the summer school is to explore this objective further by focusing on the collaborative approaches to artistic research.


In 2024 NDS is joined and co-funded by ten partnering PhD in Practice programmes:

HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University
Estonian Academy of Arts
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague
Stockholm University of the Arts
University of the Arts Helsinki
University of the Arts London
Zurich University of the Arts
The Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb
Vilnius Academy of Arts


To ensure the peer-to-peer character of the course, tutors are the PhD candidates themselves, as well as recent graduates from a PhD programme and professors from the partnering universities. Besides their input in conducting some of the activities during the course, they offer one to one tutoring sessions.

Dr. Jyoti Mistry
Dr. Hanna Husberg
Dr. Mika Elo
Dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius

Further tutors from the network to be confirmed.


Crona Connolly – University of the Arts London
Gerda Liudvinavičiūtė – Vilnius Academy of Arts
Haidi Motola – University of the Arts Helsinki
Hendrik Quast – Stockholm University of the Arts
Ilja Mirsky – Zurich University of the Arts
Indre Liškauskaitė – Vilnius Academy of Arts
Joanna Kalm – Estonian Academy of Arts
Justina Semčenkaitė – Vilnius Academy of Arts
Monika Klimaitė-Daunienė – Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
Nkule Mabaso – HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University
Nerijus Rimkus – Vilnius Academy of Arts
Paola Torres Nuñez Del Prado – Stockholm University of the Arts
Rut Karin Zettergren – University of the Arts Helsinki
Siiri Haarla-Vahvelainen – University of the Arts Helsinki
Šárka Zahálková – The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague
Taavi Varm – Estonian Academy of Arts
Thiago de Paula Souza – HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University
Tina Rowe – University of the Arts London
Vladimir Novak – The Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb


[1] https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/collaboration
[2] https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/contention