Mayday Magazine 2023

The Age of Crisis

Extended Deadline!

19 February 2023

We’re commissioning pitches for features (1,200-2,000 words), personal stories, photo series and photo essays, infographics, illustrations and comics that tackle the themes below. We welcome all voices, and particularly encourage young people to pitch!

The final deadline for submissions is 19 February 2023, but early pitches will be considered. 

Commissions will be remunerated and appear in print in the fourth issue of Bozar—Centre for Fine Arts’s Mayday Magazine.

Why Mayday?

Europe Day on 9 May marks the anniversary of Robert Schuman’s declaration which, in 1950, launched European unification. Every year it is an ideal opportunity to take stock—where does Europe stand, and where is it going? 

For Bozar—Centre for Fine Arts, Europe Day is part of a programme of debates, lectures, exhibitions and performances reflecting on topics germane to Europe.


This year’s topic:

The Age of Crisis

From Brexit and COVID-19 to the war on Ukraine, the energy crisis, the climate emergency and rampant inflation. If you have recently found yourself in disbelief about the state of the world—whether in the supermarket or while watching the news—you’re not alone. Today’s challenges didn’t just arrive at the same time. They feed off each other to create a perfect storm.

These simultaneous crises wear down on existing inequalities while getting in the way of economic recovery and climate action. On a European level, they pose a serious challenge to democracy and its institutions, with anti-democratic and populist rhetoric proving particularly appealing in hard times. Yet as the Ancient Greek word κρίσις suggests (“decision, choice, judgment, dispute”), a crisis contains the possibility to choose. If in every crisis lies opportunity, then a “polycrisis” contains myriad courses of action: which one we take is up to us.

With this magazine, we want to zoom in on these crises and their impact on individuals, society and on the values and institutions of democracy, exploring the potential they contain for moving forward. We are looking for journalists, writers, photographers, illustrators, artists and academics to untangle the crises going on in Europe today, and reflect on the choices we need to make moving forward.

Looking for inspiration?

Here’s some of the questions we’d like to explore: 

  • How are individuals and communities across Europe and beyond responding to crises? How does solidarity increase resilience? 
  • What do the different reactions people have to the threat of extinction tell us? 
  • Are crises really new? Or have we been coping with crises all along? How can a historical view help us put things into perspective? 
  • How do crises challenge democracy? How can trust be rebuilt when people feel increasingly distant from democracy’s institutions?
  • How can we approach crises with a sense of agency and empowerment rather than helplessness and despair?
  • How might doing nothing be a radical response to the current crises?
  • Nature, history, mythology, alternative systems of thought — where might we look for antidotes to the age of crisis, and what might they look like? 
  • Have we lost the ability to be alone, as we’re always connected? Is it important, and possible to be solitary, and how might we rekindle a meaningful connection with nature?
  • Who bears the responsibility for the world’s crises, and why do we assume the burden should fall on the youngest, when their role in bringing about these crises has been limited?
  • What can be done to hold corporations and the elite accountable for their actions?
  • What is happening to the climate movement and how might we still avert climate catastrophe?
  • How do panic and inspiration manifest themselves in art? What is the role of the arts in an age of crisis? 
  • What is the impact of dealing with crises as a fact of normality on humans?
  • What can we learn from philosophy, both ancient and contemporary, in an age of crisis?
  • Who are the people we should be listening to to understand and learn about the world today? 
  • What happens when all points of reference are up for question? 
  • How can an intersectional perspective help make sense of some of the challenges we’re facing? 
  • How can speculation, science fiction and world building help us out of crises? 

Pitch through our pitching form through the link below.

Select Mayday 2023 in the “Publication” field

FINAL DEADLINE: 19 February 2023