KISMIF Conference 2020


Keep It Simple, Make It Fast!

DIY Cultures and Global Challenges

8-11 July 2020

KISMIF SUMMER SCHOOL ‘Not Just Holidays in the Sun’

7 July 2020

Porto, Portugal


Proposal Submissions:

From 1 October 2019 to 15 February 2020.


Warm Up: 6 July 2020

KISMIF Summer School: 7 July 2020

KISMIF Conference: 8 – 11 July 2020

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Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto

Casa da Música

Casa Comum Universidade do Porto

TM Rivoli

Palacete Viscondes Balsemão

Barracuda Clube de Roque

Plano B


Keynote speakers confirmed: Anna Szemere, Hyunjoon Shin, John Street, Matt Worley Mykaell Riley and Thurston Moore

KISMIF Convenors: Andy Bennett and Paula Guerra

KISMIF Scientific Committee: Alastair Gordon, Amélia Polónia, Andy Bennett, Anthony Fung, Augusto Santos Silva, Carles Feixa, Catherine Strong, Dick Hebdige, Fátima Vieira, George McKay, Gina Arnold, Guilherme Blanc, Heitor Alvelos, Ian Woodward, João Queirós, José Machado Pais, Júlio Dolbeth, Manuel Loff, Mark Percival, Matthew Worley, Mike Dines, Nick Crossley, Nuno de Campos, Paul Hodkinson, Paula Abreu, Paula Guerra, Paula Cristina Pereira, Pauwke Berkers, Pedro Costa, Ross Haenfler, Samantha Bennett, Sara Cohen, and Will Straw.

KISMIF Organising Committee: Ana Oliveira, Ana Rocha, Benjamin Duster, Carlos Pinto, Esgar Acelerado, Catherine Strong, Celeste Reis, Claire Hodson, Giacomo Botta, Gil Fesch, Hélder Ferreira, João Queirós, Lisa Nikulinsky, Margarida Vales, Mary Fogarty, Matt Worley, Michael MacDonald, Paula Abreu, Paula Guerra, Paulo Nunes, Pauwke Berkers, Pedro Menezes, Pedro Quintela, Raphaël A. Nowak, Robin Kuchar, Samantha Bennett, Scott Regan, Susana Januário, Susana Serro, and Tânia Moreira.

We are pleased to announce the fifth KISMIF International Conference ‘Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! DIY Cultures and Global Challenges’ (KISMIF Conference 2020) which will take place in Porto, Portugal, between 8 July and 11 July 2020. The submission of abstracts for this conference is open to academic researchers working in all areas of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural economics, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, urban planning, media, and cognate disciplines, such as design, illustration, popular music, cinema, visual and performing arts. This initiative follows the great success of the past four KISMIF Conferences (held in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018) and brings together an international community of researchers focusing on underground music scenes and do-it-yourself cultures.

The KISMIF Conference offers a unique forum where participants can discuss and share information about underground cultures and DIY practices. KISMIF focuses on cultural practices that are often pitched against more mainstream, mass-produced and commodified forms of cultural production and mediation. Aligned with this is an anti-hegemonic ideology focused around aesthetic and lifestyle politics. KISMIF is the first, and so far only, conference in the world to examine the theory and practice of DIY cultures as an increasingly significant form of cultural practice in a global context. The conference has a multidisciplinary approach, welcoming contributions from the global community of scholars, artists, and activists working on all aspects of underground scenes and DIY cultures, and based on various methodologies — quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods analysis. The goal is to discuss not only music but also other artistic fields such as film and video, graffiti and street art, theatre and the performing arts, literature and poetry, radio, programming and editing, graphic design, illustration, cartoons and comic fiction.

Seeking to respond to the desire reiterated by researchers, artists and activists present at previous KISMIF conferences, the 5th KISMIF will focus on ‘DIY Cultures and Global Challenges’. The world is currently living through a maelstrom of societal challenges. In parallel to the questions of migration, populism and an upsurge in nationalism, we find growing antagonisms facilitated by austerity, displacement, racism, class tensions, economic crisis and environmental change. As such, the world is becoming an increasingly precarious place. In this context, we truly believe that DIY cultures—and the diverse processes and ways in which they work—offer real resources and forces for hope and change. As a cultural form and practice, DIY has evolved from its early history during the punk era of the 1970s to become a trans-local and innovative matrix of culture. At its core is a desire to blur boundaries, demystify processes and provide space for marginal voices and communities. For all its spiky confrontation, punk’s cultural practices—its DIY ethos, networks, spaces and means of communication (records, styles, fanzines, cinema, performance, video art, design and other diverse creativities)—have facilitated and allowed for inclusivity and agency. While not neglecting or forgetting its origins, such an ethos may be brought to the fore when addressing questions of ongoing social change. Within DIY practice lies the potential to overturn existing hierarchies, to respond to many current challenges and to engage constructively with social, racial, sexual, gender, health and other differences. 

The fact that DIY is a vital part of the artistic process is highly relevant. In truth, there are many collaborative and community-oriented art practices born of DIY cultures, such as non-official socio-cultural centres, urban scenes and grassroots artistic projects deeply embedded in local communities. The arts have never been merely a commercial product of hegemonic power; rather they are expressions, reflections, and interpretations that encompass an array of meanings. They have always been a semiotic means of protest and experiment; they have ever seen things differently and served as a resource for creative action. They can be quietly searching or openly disruptive; they can be pacifying as a distraction or work as a means of engagement. However, through creativity, people acquire knowledge—they find and express emotions and take control of their surroundings. We intend to explore DIY and related underground cultures by constructing a matrix for converting art into action. The aim is to analyse and enhance possible intersections between non-hegemonic art and civil society in order to empower individuals and communities both at the local level, and across social and geographical boundaries. DIY cultures are important to find strategies of action, to connect and unite communities and to strengthen resilience in the face of future societal challenges. Through collaborative research and practice, we aim to demonstrate innovative ways of doing and co-creating. Using examples of empirical and artistic engagement with multi-generational DIY scenes across Europe, we will reveal how over the last 40 years these apparently ‘peripheral’ arts have harnessed a range of practices to both address and promote themes of democracy and social and spatial justice. Effectively, they provide multifaceted responses to the challenges of our world, promoting seminal ideas for a better future.

In 2020, KISMIF’s scientific programme will once again be accompanied by a diverse social and cultural programme, characterised by a series of artistic events, with special focus on underground music and other artistic expressions. The aim is to provide a unique experience in terms of the transglobal and inclusive DIY cultures.

The Conference will be preceded by a Summer School entitled ‘Not Just Holidays in the Sun’ on 7 July 2020 at Rivoli Municipal Theatre of Porto. The Summer School will offer an opportunity for all interested persons, including those participating in the Conference, to attend workshops directed by specialists in these fields, namely arts and community-based projects. More information about the Summer School will be progressively disseminated on the KISMIF Conference website:

The Conference Convenors welcome abstracts pertaining to the following topics, taking into account the KISMIF 2020 theme – DIY Cultures and Global Challenges:

  • The role/importance of social spaces/places/territories in underground music scenes and DIY cultures at the local, trans-local and virtual level.
  • Gender, migrations, diasporas, refugees and artistic and musical movements.
  • Cities, space and contemporary countercultural resistance, social and artistic practices.
  • Music scenes, new actors, new equalities: gender, immigrants and the unemployed.
  • New artistic and musical productions and intermediations that support spatial justice and environmental stability.
  • Transitions towards sustainability in the DIY scenes and new DIY sustainable (sub)cultures that re-think the traditional processes through the–social, economic and environmental–sustainability lenses.
  •  ‘Green’ movements aiming to improve local community life, fight environmental challenges and promote sustainable development, and their relationships with music/artistic scenes.
  • The role of societal challenges, trans-local and virtual mechanisms of production, intermediation and musical consumption.
  • Developments in social theory around the counter-hegemonic art worlds, musical fields, artistic fields, local/trans-local/virtual music scenes.
  • Humanitarian movements, instabilities and disasters, memory, historicity, genealogy and diachrony of music/artistic scenes.
  • Subcultures, post-subcultures, tribes, neo-tribes and aging.
  • Heritage, retromania and local/trans-local/virtual DIY archives and community development. 
  • Theoretical and methodological challenges/dilemmas in the research of artistic differences all over the world.
  • Urban micro-economies, DIY careers and inequalities: alternative forms of musical, artistic and cultural entrepreneurship.
  • Pedagogies and interventions based on artistic/musical DIY and socioethnic justice.
  • Music scenes and (sub)cultures, ageing, ethnicity and development.
  • City, aesthetics and gentrification: resisting gentrification.
  • Crisis, protest songs and new dynamics of social inclusion through music and underground artistic practices and DIY.
  • Spaces, places and the festivalization of culture, music, underground and DIY practices.
  • Peripheral music and artistic scenes, empowerment and social justice.
  • Post-colonialism, decolonisation, transglobal artistic and musical scenes and citizenship.
  • Arts-based research, cultural policies: global North and global South.


The conference will feature:

  • Keynote Lectures;
  • Paper Presentations; 
  • Artistic Performance-Based Presentations;
  • Creative Workshops (Summer School);
  • DJ Sets;
  • Exhibitions;
  • Film and Documentary Screenings; 
  • Book Launches.

The language of the conference is English. Paper presentations must also be in English and all the materials submitted must be written in English.


  • The KISMIF Conference 2020 welcomes the submission of proposals for paper presentations and performance-based presentations.
  • All proposals must be written in English and submitted no later than 15 February 2020, to the KISMIF Conference website:
  • Each author cannot submit more than one proposal as first author.

Specific Instructions for paper proposal submissions:

  • Paper proposal abstracts should be approximately 250 words in length.
  • The information requested with abstract submissions includes:

(1) The name(s) of the author(s), their area of expertise (sociology, economy, etc.), their institutional affiliation (department, university, country), and e-mail(s);

(2) Title of the proposed presentation;

(3) Abstract with approximately 250 words;

(4) Keywords – between 3-5.

Specific Instructions for artistic performance-based proposal submissions:

  • In relation to the Conference’s main thematic focus — DIY Cultures and Global Challenges — the Conference will also allot time for participative creative sharing, around the practice of DIY music, improvisation and exchange.
  • In this context, the KISMIF Conference 2020 invites all conference presenters and all visitors with a creative background (whether amateur, semi-professional or professional), to either host/coordinate or to participate in one of the daytime creative performances during the conference.
  • We ask potential participants to submit a proposal for creative performance. The performances can be related to any artistic fields (music, dance, poetry, etc.). They should not exceed 20 minutes.
  • The information requested with proposal submissions includes:

(1) The name(s) of the performer(s), their area of expertise (sociology, economy, etc.), their institutional affiliation (department, university, country), and email(s);

(2) Title of the proposed performance;

(3) Type of performance (music, dance, etc.);

(4) A short description of the proposed performance with a maximum of 250 words and 3-5 keywords;

(5) Duration of the proposed performance;

(6) Description of the necessary equipment (please note that we are based in a University; we do not have access to a lot of very advanced equipment/technology. So remember to Keep it Simple, Make it Fast!).

Important dates:

1. Conference

Proposal submissions: From 1 October 2019 to 15 February 2020

Opening of Registration: 15 October 2019

Notification of proposal approval: 10 March 2020

Deadline for early registration: 31 March 2020

Deadline for registration of conference presenters: 15 April 2020

Deadline for registration of all other delegates: 1 July 2020

KISMIF Conference: 8-11 July 2020

2. Summer School

Submission of applications: From 1 October 2019 to 15 February 2020

Notification of application approval: 10 March 2020

Deadline for early registration: 31 March 2020

Deadline for late registration: 15 April 2020

On-site registration: 07 July 2020

Summer School: 7 July 2020

Please, consult our website ( for other information and updates.


KISMIF (Portugal)

Institute of Sociology – University of Porto (IS-UP, Portugal)

Department of Culture – Porto Municipal Council (Portugal)


Centre for Social Studies – University of Coimbra (CES-UC, Portugal)

Centre for Socioeconomic Change and Territorial Studies (DINÂMIA’CET-IUL, Portugal)

Centre of Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT, Portugal)

College of Arts and Social Sciences – Australian National University (CASS-ANU, Australia)

Contratempus Quartet (Portugal)

Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research of the Griffith University (GCSCR-GU, Australia)

Rectory of the University of Porto (Portugal)

Research Group Philosophy and Public Space – University of Porto (IF-UP, Portugal)

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT, Australia) 

Transdisciplinary Research Centre Culture, Space and Memory (CITCEM, Portugal)

For more information about KISMIF Conference:


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