UNIT/PITT is seeking applications from early career artists and writers across British Columbia to create original works in response to a virtual free school, March-June 2021. 

LA COMMUNE 2021 is a free school* developed by Roxanne Panchasi, an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, and presented by UNIT/PITT. Ten successful applicants will each be assigned one week of the 10-week program, and asked to create an “affiche” in their own style — whether it be visual art, writing, music, video, or other. Each selected artist will receive $500, and the possibility of having their work exhibited when UNIT/PITT reopens a gallery space.

*”Free school” is a free, independent, and community-based alternative education, born out of the 1960s Free School Movement, and informed by anti-oppressive education and critical pedagogy. LA COMMUNE 2021 will be entirely free and available online. Registration will open in February 2021.


The Paris Commune erupted in the spring of 1871 following more than a century of political, social, and economic transformation in France. After months of war and siege, the French capital’s working-class population rose up in March, holding elections, and forming their own government. The revolutionaries of the Commune attempted a complete overhaul of all aspects of life in the city. Instituting political and economic reforms, they also pursued a program of universal public education, the separation of Church and state, and the promotion of a radical culture.

In 2021, the Paris Commune will turn 150 years old. Following roughly the weeks of its namesake revolution, LA COMMUNE 2021 is a virtual free school experience that will run online from March to early June. Open to the public, its multiple weeks of educational and cultural programming will include: readings, performances, lectures, musical and artistic interventions, and discussion. During the free school, content and forms will return again and again to the following questions: What was the Paris Commune of 1871 and why does it still matter now?


UNIT/PITT has loosely based its definition of early career artist and writer off the British Columbia Arts Council’s definition for an early career practitioner. To be eligible for this call, applicants must confirm the following:

  • They have been a resident of British Columbia for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline, and/or ordinarily reside in B.C.
  • Not be enrolled in full-time studies. 


  • Be under the age of 30 at the application deadline.


  • Have completed basic training** in their discipline within five years of the application deadline.

Full-time students graduating in January 2021 are eligible to apply. 

**“Basic training” means appropriate and relevant education that has prepared an early career artist or writer to work at a professional level, for example:

  • a degree or certificate program;
  • traditional knowledge transfer from a peer-recognized practitioner;
  • an apprenticeship with a qualified practitioner.

To apply

Send the following materials to submit@unitpitt.ca in a single PDF:

  • A short artist bio (150 words max) — this may be used for promotional purposes, if selected to participate.
  • One sentence confirming that you meet the eligibility requirements outlined above.
  • A short statement about your artistic practice, and/or your interest in this project (250 words max).
  • 3-5 images documenting previous work, or 3-5 links to previous work.
  • Social media handles, if applicable.

Deadline to apply: January 22, 2021, 23:59

Example of an affiche from the 1871 Paris Commune. Resident artists will be asked to create their own version of an affiche, in response to LA COMMUNE 2021

This project is made possible by our members, funders — City of Vancouver, British Columbia Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Artists — and through the generous support of the Audain Foundation.