The 15th edition of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts will be curated by Matt Packer

TULCA Festival of Visual Arts is pleased to announce that the 15th edition will be curated by Matt Packer titled They Call Us The Screamers. Matt Packer  is a curator, writer and Director at CCA Derry – Londonderry.

They Call Us The Screamers takes its title from a book written by Jenny James, which details the history of the radical primal therapy commune (Atlantis) that she established in the West of Ireland in the mid 1970s. The book tells the story of arrival in Ireland, the aspirational life of the commune, and the public notoriety that followed.

Atlantis sought an alternative way of life, unmediated by traditional societal, technological, and commercial values. During their time in Ireland, the community of Atlantis focussed on ‘de-programming’ themselves from the modern world through self-sufficient farming, collective living, and psychotherapeutic exercises that took inspiration from Wilhelm Reich, Arthur Janov and the People Not Psychiatry movement; many of those in the commune refused the state support of medical and educational services for themselves and their children. In James’ own words, Atlantis was an attempt to ‘turn its back on the entire project of modern civilisation.’

Although generally welcomed by local people, the lifestyle behaviours of Atlantis did attract the unwelcome attention of newspapers, social services and police authorities. They were nicknamed ‘The Screamers’ in a 1976 Sunday World article, referring to their practice of primal scream therapy. This was a form of psychotherapy developed by Dr Arthur Janov that sought to re-enact the traumas of birth and reverse the neurosis that follows in later life. John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Steve Jobs were among the many advocates of primal therapy during this same period.

Atlantis did not have a fixed membership or strict organisational structure. In 1993, after almost 30 years in Ireland in one iteration or another, coinciding with broader cultural and political changes in the country (the Troubles in the North; the wane of the Catholic Church; EU citizenship; economic modernisation), the core members of Atlantis set sail for Colombia in a refurbished boat, where they remain today.

The exhibition They Call Us The Screamers is a project that uses the history of Atlantis in Ireland as a narrative framework of references. Their story is a story of anti-modernism, cultural withdrawal, primal voice, self-enlightenment, and an attempt to establish new forms of social relations in a world that otherwise seemed doomed. The exhibition will include artworks that variously connect with these ideas and reference points, while also proposing relation to the crisis (and neurosis) of our present day. . Alongside material from the Atlantis archives, They Call Us The Screamers will be curated through invited artistic participations and an Open Call process. Please see below for information on how to apply.

Open Call Process & Guidelines

TULCA is curated through invited artistic participations and an Open Call process. The final selection of artworks will be based on thematic connection, artistic quality, and feasibility.

Application Process:

Deadline: 17th March 2017

Please send a single PDF attachment that includes the following material:

(Items 1 – 3 are obligatory)

  1. A concise artist’s statement (max 200 words)
  2. CV (max 2 pages)
  3. Examples of previous work (no more than 10 images; each image of existing work must include the title, its dimensions, the material/medium, the date and your name, and also information on where the work has been shown, if applicable). Web links to up to 2 video works can be sent, accessible at either YouTube or Vimeo – you must include passwords for any private videos, and works longer than 5′ must be abridged.
  4. (Optional) Where new work is being proposed please include a clear outline text not to exceed 250 words. Please include any sketches or visualisations in the PDF document, and any available information on costings, materials, and venue requirements etc.

Applications should be submitted via email to

Notes for Applicants:

TULCA is a focused visual arts festival with limited resources, so please bear this in mind in developing your proposal.  

TULCA typically takes place across a range of art and non-art venues, such as Galway Arts Centre, Nuns Island Theatre, University Hospital, 126, and off-site locations. If you develop a proposal for a specific location or context, we cannot guarantee its availability or feasibility. We encourage artists to take a flexible approach in this regard to allow for a variety of options and discussion with the Curator.

We will acknowledge the receipt of all applications. Selected artists will be notified no later than 14 April 2017. Due to the large volume of proposals, we regret we are not able to give individual feedback for unsuccessful applications.

There is no submission fee

TULCA reserve the right to photograph works and to use elements of accepted entries for exhibition for publicity purposes, unless the artist expressly states the contrary in writing. Copyright of all work remains the property of the artist.

All artists are invited to apply, but artists living and working in Ireland will be prioritised in the Open Call selection process.

For any further queries please contact Festival Producer at