Call for Creative Contributions: How does it feel? Dante's Emotions Today

February 28, 2023 by CMS Communications

Call for Creative Contributions:

How does it feel? Dante's Emotions Today

What happens when 21st-century people from diverse linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic communities confront and creatively reinterpret the emotional landscape of the opening scene of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, one of the most celebrated works of medieval times and world literature?
The exhibition How does it feel? Dante’s Emotions Today aims to tackle this question by sparking reflections on the vital relationship between emotions, literature, and community-making across cultures, places, and times. To do so, we are seeking creative contributions on the seven main emotions displayed at the very beginning of Dante’s masterpiece (in Inferno I and II): fear, courage, hope, love, compassion, desire, and joy.
If you wish to participate, please select one emotion from the dossier linked below illustrating Dante’s emotional landscape and share your relevant piece of creative work with us.  PDF iconHow does it feel? Dantes Inferno in 7 emotions.pdf
Each submission should focus on one emotion only, how this emotion can be represented in today’s language, and how it differs from Dante’s times.

Admissible pieces of creative works include:

  • Painting (max. 60x90 cm/26.3x35.4 inches)
  • Collage (max. 60x90 cm/26.3x35.4 inches)
  • Drawing (max. 60x90 cm/26.3x35.4 inches)
  • Photography (max. 60x90 cm/26.3x35.4 inches)
  • Video art (3 min. max)
  • Video performance (3 min. max)
  • Movie/Cartoon (3 min. max)
  • Music (3 min. max)
  • Short poem

A selection of seven creative works, one for each “emotion,” will be displayed at the in-person exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute (ICI) in Toronto on 11-21 April 2023, which will accompany a two-day international conference on Community and Emotions in Dante (U of T, 12-13 April 2023).
During the exhibition at the Institute, visitors will be invited to feel Dante’s array of conflicting emotions thanks to a virtual reality, full-immersive rendering of the Inferno’s opening miniature in the Dante Guarneriano, a 14th-15thcentury illuminated manuscript of the Commedia. They will be then invited to re-discover each of these emotions individually thanks to illustrative panels and your creative work.
After the exhibition in person, all admitted creative works will also be included in an online, open-access, permanent exhibition.
The authors of the seven submissions included in the in-person exhibition will be invited to attend its opening on April 12, 2023. All other participants will be invited to attend it over the following weeks.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Deadline for submission of your creative work: Friday, 24 March 2023.
  • Please send your submission to: Giulia Gaimari:
  • For heavy files, please send an email with a WeTransfer link (or similar).
  • All submissions should be accompanied by a one-page cover letter, including your name, the title and the descriptive caption of your work and explaining your reasons for submitting it.
  • Your authorization to display your work in-person and/or online should also be included.

 Selection Criteria

All submissions will be evaluated by the adjudication Committee formed by Prof. E. Brilli (CMS Director), G. Gaimari (Italian post-doctoral fellow), Prof. L. Ingallinella (Italian/CRRS), and V. Manson (ICI Toronto, Director), according to the criteria of pertinence, significance, and accessibility.


Learn more


How does it feel? poster