Issue 05. Seeking Sanctuary

Issue 05. Seeking Sanctuary

Rasheed Araeen. A Retrospective, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019 (courtesy of Alexey Narodizkiy)

Issue 05 (spring 2022)


Edited by The Garage Journal in consultation with Iaroslav Volovod (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art)  


Meaning a sacred or holy place, and a place of refuge or safety, the concept of sanctuary has roots in Abrahamic and other religions. It conveys the idea of hospitality toward strangers and the provision of protection for fugitives. In recent years, in the post-capitalist economy, ‘sanctuary’ has been imagined as a reserve of beauty, peace, and harmony (i.e., a resort, retreat), re-emerging as a point of reference in the environmentalist discourse. And in media studies, ‘information bubbles’ created on social media have also been linked to the idea of sanctuary. ‘Sanctuary’ is also an imperial fantasy of ‘noble savages,’ that is, the indigenes, or wild humans, who have not been ‘corrupted’ by civilization and who, therefore, harbor humanity’s virtues.


‘Sanctuary’ is a condition of ambivalence and hybridity insofar as, when in a sanctuary, the subject becomes aware of their own exclusion, albeit gaining safety and protection. It is also a temporal exclusion—or an interruption—since the subject is cognizant of their in-between status vis-à-vis the law, tradition, and everyday practice. In postcolonial discourse, the subject should reclaim and re-gain visibility, agency, and power; however, ongoing ghettoization of subjectivities continues to be evident. Hybridity becomes a strategy for self-determination, and ambivalence secures privacy and collaboration. Therefore, enactments of sanctuary supply acts of citizenship to irregularized subjects, which is why contributors to the issue should be critically concerned with structural (in)justices.


Contributions may consider different contexts; however, we will prioritize those that explore the relationship between ‘the global’ and ‘the intimate,’ rather than exclusively between ‘the centre’ and ‘the periphery.’ In theoretical terms, we invite contributions that explore new ways for postcolonial theory to engage with the world, reflecting on the insights and limitations of the discipline. Contributions that make use and supply a critique of postcolonial theory, gender and queer theory, and/or other critical approaches are particularly welcome.  


Key concepts and approaches: ambivalence; borders and unbelonging; colonialism and post-colonialism; de-centralisation; dissemination; empire; escapism; fluidity; ‘location of culture’; polycentrism; ‘regions’ and locality; resistance; securitization 



To submit a proposal, please provide the following information in English: 


• contribution type (e.g., article, visual essay, data essay, interview, etc.); 

• language of contribution (English, German or Russian); 

• title of contribution; 

• abstract (300 words); 

• key words that indicate the focus of the contribution (e.g., colonialism and post-colonialism, escapism, ‘regions’ and locality); 

• biographical information, including a short biographical statement of maximum 100 words stating research interests and relevant professional experience, and a list of no more than 10 publications relevant to the themes of the special issue. 


Proposals for contributions are due on October 15, 2021. Send all the information requested above—as a single PDF document—to the  




Founded in 2019, The Garage Journal is an independent interdisciplinary platform advancing critical discussions about contemporary art, culture and museum practice in the Russian and global contexts. It publishes empirical, theoretical and speculative research in a variety of genres, celebrating innovative ways to present research. Fully peer-reviewed, it provides a source book of ideas for an international audience.