Up to 3 months
Southern Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Switzerland, West Africa
March 1, 2022
Contact the staff
Cultural practitioners from Switzerland may apply for residencies in Southern, East, West or Central Africa, while cultural practitioners from Southern, East, West and Central Africa can apply for residencies in Switzerland. Below you will find more information about the countries in question.
Applications may be submitted once a year (application deadline: 1 March 2022).
Pro Helvetia supports three residencies per person at most.
The residencies programme is open to artists and cultural practitioners working in the fields of visual arts, design and interactive media, music, literature and performing arts, as well as arts practitioners with a transdisciplinary focus.
Residencies serve to gain inspiration, to establish networks and to work on projects. Pro Helvetia offers accommodation, travel costs, a daily allowance, professional supervision, a workplace (on request) and a contribution to production/material costs (on request).
- Convincing track record: professional activity with a national / transregional reach
- Context-related motivation
- Sufficient knowledge of English
- Concrete exchange project with a lasting impact
POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS FOR CULTURAL PRACTITIONERS FROM SWITZERLAND:
Cultural practitioners from Switzerland may apply for residencies in two different regions covered by Pro Helvetia. Two separate, complete applications must be submitted. A maximum of one application per person will be approved within the framework of one call for applications.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Préncipe
Central African Republic
CULTURAL PRACTITIONERS FROM THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCIES IN SWITZERLAND:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Préncipe
Central African Republic
We look to customise each residency according to the needs of the individual arts professional as far as possible. We work with a network of organisations that can host residencies in different urban centres on the African subcontinent and in Switzerland. Residency applicants are invited to consider, but are not limited to, the below list of partner organisations.
Atelier Mondial | Basel
Founded in 1986, Atelier Mondial (previously the International Studio and Exchange Program of the Basel Region) supports interdisciplinary regional and international artist residencies and exchange through an adjudicated grant programme and in parallel with an international network of partners. The residency house aims to promote intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue, and is located at Freilager-Platz 10 in Dreispitzareal, across the street from the Academy of Art and Design Basel and above the House of Electronic Arts.
Antigel Festival | Geneva
Since 2011, the annual Antigel Festival has taken place in winter in unusual venues and spaces in the municipality of Geneva. The festival features an international programme focusing on music, dance and performances with special focus programme platforms including ‘Africa, What’s Up?’. Antigel organises short residencies focused on collaborative production, feeding into the festival programme.
Château de Lavigny | Lavigny
Located in a small village between Geneva and Lausanne, Château de Lavigny is a writer’s residence housed in an historic villa. The villa accommodates six writers or literary translators and provides a quiet and tranquil setting for residents to pursue their work. Residencies conclude with a public reading.
Cima Città | Valle Blenio
Cima Città is an interdisciplinary residency programme in a historic chocolate factory in the scenic Valle di Blenio in Ticino. It is a space for creation, concentration and connection of committed individuals from the arts, society, politics and science. The premises consists of several buildings and offers various interesting indoor and outdoor spaces. In addition to living quarters, Cima Città has an atelier, a music room, a workshop, a rehearsal room for dance and performance, and a vegetable garden.
Embassy of Foreign Artists | Geneva
Located in Geneva, the Embassy of Foreign Artists was founded in 2012 and provides much-needed affordable housing for visiting artists and performers, studio, exhibition and performance spaces as well as an international interdisciplinary residency programme. Embassy of Foreign Artists accommodates all stages of creative production across disciplines, from research trips to presentation of finished work.
Gleis 70 | Zurich
Since 2014, the Gleis 70 artist cooperative has offered a live-in studio for visiting artists to pursue independent projects with the possibility of networking within and outside the house. Gleis 70 is located in Zurich with approximately 130 studios spread over 6 floors. It offers its members affordable studio space and the diverse mix of tenants work across creative and artistic disciplines.
The Grütli Theatre | Geneva
The Grütli Theatre is a theatre and performing arts centre that produces and shows. Artists have access to rehearsal spaces as well as production support. A weekly ‘open office’ provides artists the opportunity to share an “office” with other professionals to discuss practices, issues and difficulties in the artistic field.
Kaserne Basel | Basel
Kaserne Basel is the largest centre in north-west Switzerland for the free contemporary theatre, dance and performance scene, and for innovative popular music. As an international concert and theatrical venue with roughly 270 events and 50,000 visitors each year, Kaserne Basel combines artistic avant-garde with modern pop cultures. Visiting cultural practitioners selected for a residency at Kaserne will be able to use some of the spaces for rehearsals and take advantage of the staff’s extensive network.
Kulturhaus Villa Sträuli | Winterthur
Kulturhaus Villa Sträuli is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting national and international contemporary artists from all disciplines. The organisation promotes the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through an interdisciplinary, international residency programme and a year-round public centre for cultural events and exchange. The international Artists in Residence programme is conceived to support and enhance professional growth of artists from around the world, regardless of age and origin. The AiR focuses on providing project assistance, supporting network, and facilitating visibility and collaboration. The programme is intended to support all artistic disciplines and does not set any media restrictions.
La Becque | Geneva
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Becque artist residency hosts visiting artists from all backgrounds and disciplines in exceptional lakeside facilities suited for both research and production projects. A communal workshop, library and event/conference space are also available. La Becque dedicates particular attention to projects exploring the ever more intertwined notions of nature, the environment, and of technology. La Becque offer several annual residency programmes in partnership with institutions and organisations.
L’Abri | Geneva
Nestled between the cathedral and the old cellars of the Priory prison, L’Abri occupies a disused air raid shelter. Around ten artists join the space annual and for that 12 month period redefine the strategy for the space. Year after year, L’Abri undergoes a metamorphosis in contact with the new sensibilities that inhabit it. Alongside the associated artist programme, L’Abri partners with organisations, networks and institutions around the world to facilitate residency exchanges. The space also supports emerging artists from all walks of life in their projects by providing rehearsal spaces, a recording studio, by organizing meetings with professionals from different fields, by setting up exchanges with structures and artists both regional and international.
Lago Mio | Lugano
Lago Mia was founded in 2018 and is situated in the old town of Lugano. The residency comprises ten rooms and provides artists-in-residence with curatorial, production and travel support during their stay. Residencies normally conclude with a public exhibition.
Musikerwohnhaus Lyseloth | Basel
Four apartments offer visiting musicians and creative artists the space for an effective working sojourn at the Musikerwohnhaus Basel. The guest apartments were designed with the special needs of musicians in mind and are intended for work and practice. In addition, two larger rehearsal rooms are available upon request. The infrastructure of the building was designed with the artist in mind, with a centrally located courtyard canteen, a recording studio and three rehearsal spaces available upon request.
PROGR | Bern
Since 2004, PROGR art centre has provided working space for artists and cultural institutions with over 80 studios housed in an historical building in the centre of Bern. The house provides a door-to-door working environment with public exhibition and performance spaces on the ground floor.
Residency.ch | Bern
Since 2012, the association Resiency.ch has offered an international residency programme for visual artists at PROGR art centre in Bern. Visiting artists are accommodated on the top floor of the house with access to studio space and amenities. Guest artists are selected by the cooperation partners in consultation with the executive board of the association.
Rote Fabrik | Zurich
Since 2008, the IG Rote Fabrik has hosted foreign artists working in the fields of visual arts, dance, theatre, music and film for studio residencies. Each year, three artists are selected from the Pro Helvetia liaison office network and one artist is selected by Rote Fabrik directly. With its unique lakeside location in Zurich, the Rote Fabrik is an expansive centre for cross-disciplinary artistic production and presentation.
Schweizer Textilfachschule | Zurich
The STF Schweizerische Textilfachschule is THE competence center in the textile, fashion and lifestyle industry in Switzerland since 1881. The school stands for sustainable educational competence around the entire life cycle of textile, fashion and lifestyle products and offers numerous training and continuing education courses, from basic education to a master’s degree. Cultural practitioners interested in textile design or working with new materials in general and selected for a residency at the STF can take advantage of the school’s specialised infrastructure.
SMEM | Fribourg
SMEM (Swiss museum for electronic music instruments) aims to establish as the world’s first platform for electronic music instruments. The first base of this project was laid by the incredible collection of Klemens Niklaus Trenkle who for the last 35 years collected numerous and valuable synthesizers, organs, keyboards, effects- and studio gear. SMEM is located in the innovation centre of the “BlueFactory” in Fribourg. It will gradually build up its different activities on an international level while increasing its current collection. Cultural practitioners primarily interested in electronic music will be able to take advantage of SMEM’s infrastructure and of the extensive staff network.
Solothurner Literaturtage | Solothurn
The Solothurn Literature Days, founded in 1978, is an annual forum for current literary work in Switzerland. In addition to readings, there are discussions, translation workshops, performances and exhibitions. New literary works are intended to create contacts between writers from all four language regions as well as invited international writers as well as the public, media and publishers. Dealing with foreign literature has been an integral part of the Solothurn Literature Days since the beginning. Renowned past international guests included J.M. Coetzee, Günter Grass, Imre Kertész, Herta Müller, Claude Simon and Wole Soyinka.
Utopiana | Geneva
Utopiana was founded in 2001 in Geneva by Anna Barseghian and Stefan Kristensen. It occupies a house provided by the City of Geneva and focuses on hosting residencies, events and workshops of a transdisciplinary nature. Visiting artists are hosted throughout the year.
Verzasca Foto Festival | Brione (Verzasca)
Verzasca Foto Festival takes place in a remote mountain valley with a small village of stone houses. It aims to promote emerging international photographer and support visual arts in rural and peripheral areas to explore dialogues with nature through visual storytelling. The festival includes outdoor exhibitions, portfolio reviews, artist presentations, night screenings and live music. The residency programme takes place alongside the festival, and provides visiting artists the opportunity to create a new project in this remote context.
Villa Ruffieux | Valais
The Villa Ruffieux is a residence for interdisciplinary artists located at the heart of the Alps in the town of Sierre (Valais, Switzerland). Built in 1902, Villa Ruffieux is part of the Château Mercier estate and became an artist residence in 2011. Each year, around 10 artists stay at the villa for around 1 to 3 months at a time. The residency is open to all professional artists working in the field of visual arts, music, literature and theatre as well as researchers and scientists. Project proposals from visiting artists should engage in some way with the villa and context of the region.
woerdz | Lucerne
The woerdz international spoken word festival is a biannual meeting of the most famous figures in the spoken word scene and, thanks to work orders, workshops, premieres of new stage programs and offers in networking and communication, provides impetus for the further development of this art form. woerdz offers a stylistic variety within the spoken word on several stages with regional, national and international artists with content ranging from popular formats such as poetry slams as well as experiments with new formats.
The Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) was founded in 2005 and is active in research, education and musical creation. Besides the long-standing focus on three-dimensional sound projection, current research fields include interfaces and augmented instruments, network-based composition and performance systems, interactive movement and music, musical notation and representation, immersive and virtual environments, electroacoustic performance practice, sonification and acoustic ecology. The residence programme offers artists the opportunity to engage in scientific and artistic research at the institution and realise their own project.
August House | Johannesburg
August House is situated in Doornfontein, an un-gentrified area of the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The building provides private studios and open-plan spaces to a diverse community of contemporary visual artists as well as hosts regular Open Studio events where artists engage directly with the public. Two simple live-in studio apartments are available in the building for visiting artists.
Association of Visual Arts | Cape Town
Located in the heart of Cape Town, the Association of Visual Arts (AVA) is a non-profit membership-based art gallery dedicated to promoting the discursive and experimental nature of contemporary art and contributing to the ‘open texture’ of the South African art community. The AVA hosts visiting artists from the continent and abroad within a nine to sixteen-week residency format with accommodation at Greatmore House in Observatory. A studio space in the AVA gallery is provided and visiting artists are supported in hosting workshops, performances or unconventional presentations. Local mentoring from university professors, curators and arts professionals can be arranged. Residencies conclude with an exhibition.
Bag Factory Artists’ Studios | Johannesburg
The Bag Factory houses seventeen artist studios, a lithography print studio and exhibition space in the un-gentrified area of Fordsburg in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Bag Factory is one of the original partners in the global Triangle Network, with residencies forming an important area of the organisation’s programme. Two studios are reserved for visiting artists, who are encouraged to engage and network with resident artists, host an open studio exhibition at the end of their residency and lead an outreach workshop during their stay.
Bubblegum Residency | Johannesburg
Bubblegum Residency is a multidisciplinary studio residency programme established by Bubblegum Club, a publishing and cultural organisation based in Johannesburg with a multi-faceted approach of working across platforms and mediums. Artists in residence have access to a studio space, curatorial support, press and marketing support and the option to exhibit work in the Bubblegum Gallery in Braamfontein.
Centre d’art Waza | Lubumbashi
Centre d’art Waza is an arts initiative in Lubumbashi, DR Congo. The organisation has developed as an artistic resource and project initiator that speaks strongly to the specific history and contemporary reality of Lubumbashi. Waza works with artists, researchers, cultural and social actors of Lubumbashi and the region in the development of experimental artistic practices. Waza coordinates several regional residencies and professional exchanges for artists of all disciplines.
CultureArte | Maputo
Established in 1998 by choreographer Panaibra Canda, CulturArte functions as a centre for the development of contemporary performing arts and particularly dance in Maputo. Working with a regional, continental and global network, CultureArte has supported the development of a new generation of choreographers, dancers and independent dance companies in Mozambique.
The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative | Mpumalanga
The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) is a leading dance organisation in South Africa. Based at the Ebhudlweni Arts Centre on a farm in rural Mpumalanga, FATC is strongly committed to mobilising the arts as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. FATC hosts visiting artists who work in all art disciplines in a range of residency formats. Accommodation is provided in simple self-catering cottages powered by solar energy and gas, and residency artists have access to the centre’s facilities and dance studios.
Kin ArtStudio | Kinshasa
Established in 2011, Kin ArtStudio has recently moved into a new space on a main arterial route in the centre of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Previously a fabric factory, the new space accommodates more than 15 artist studios together with a large project and exhibition space, library and technical studios. Kin ArtStudio focuses on visual arts disciplines as well as other forms of contemporary expression, and hosts regular regional and international artists and curators on residencies. In 2019 Kin ArtStudios organised the inaugural Congo Biennale.
La Teinturerie | Antananarivo
La Teinturerie is a vibrant multidisciplinary artist hub in Antananarivo, Madagascar, dedicated to promoting contemporary art, exchange and collaboration between artists and the surrounding public. Is’Art Galerie is the only contemporary art gallery in Madagascar, and besides providing an exhibition space, hosts regular workshops, training and residency programmes. La Teinturerie welcomes visiting artists working in all disciplines and encourages networking, collaboration and skills sharing with local Malagasy artists.
The Livingstone Office for Contemporary Arts (LoCA) | Livingstone
Founded in 2014, LoCA is an artist initiated non-profit library and research centre based in Livingstone, Zambia. LoCA functions as a collective/collaborative platform for reflections and an experimental think-tank, exploring histories (colonial histories, social and political histories and their legacies) and how they relate to language and contemporary art on both a local and an international context. LoCA strives to raise awareness, facilitate and promote Zambian contemporary art, African art history, and research. The residency programme is open to local and international artists and curators with research interests related to Livingstone’s history and Zambian histories and current affairs.
Modzi Arts | Lusaka
Founded in 2016, Modzi Arts in Lusaka, Zambia is committed to strengthening the local art scene and has evolved into a place for interdisciplinary experimentation, cultural knowledge sharing and the presentation of work. Modzi coordinates several regional residencies and professional exchanges with partner organisations. Modzi welcomes artists and researchers working in all disciplines and encourages the sharing of ideas and collaborative approaches. Visiting artists are accommodated in a shared living home, and have access to galleries, studios, an art archive and library of books and tools.
Nafasi Art Space | Dar es Salaam
Since it was founded in 2008, Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has built from the ground-up a thriving artistic ecosystem of studios, exhibition and performance spaces. Nafasi provides opportunities for learning and collaboration between emerging and professional artists in Tanzania and gives audiences a place to experience and appreciate arts and culture. The Nafasi artist collective, which drives the activities of the space, is home to 60+ member artists working in 37 studios. Nafasi regularly hosts visiting residency artists from the region.
Njelele Art Station | Harare
Njelele Art Station is an independent project space located in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe, established in 2013 by artist Dana Whabira. Named after a sacred shrine and located on the oldest street of the city, Njelele acts as an urban laboratory that focuses on contemporary, experimental and public art practice. Njelele has a regional residency programme and professional exchanges for artists, curators and writers, concerned particularly with questions around publication/s, libraries and archives.
Nirox Foundation | Kromdraai
The residency is located on the grounds of the 30-hectare Nirox Sculpture Park in the “Cradle of Humankind”, the world-renowned paleoanthropological site outside of Johannesburg. The residency is fully serviced with meals provided. Visiting artists have access to the grounds (which are open to the public on weekends) as well as the adjoining private nature reserve. In addition to a quiet living space, the residency provides visiting artists with studio space and sculpture workshop, as well as various other facilities.
Nzango Artist Residency | Maputo
The brainchild of Matchume Zango, Nzango Artist Residency was built between 2008 and 2014. The residency includes accommodation for 16+ people, a rehearsing space, instrument construction and a professional recording studio in a semi-rural location on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique. Nzango Artist Residency offers a creative place and different cultural environment to professional musicians, students of music and lovers of music from around the world, where people can work, learn and develop their ideas in music; being, sleeping and establishing the contact with the local artistic movement. The residency also serves as a rehearsing space for dance and theatre artists.
32° East Ugandan Arts Trust | Kampala
Located in Kabalagala, Kampala, 32° East produces the city’s public art festival, KLA ART and is committed to raising the awareness and understanding of contemporary art in Uganda. Each year approximately 10 artists are selected to take part in the residency programme with the objective of providing meaningful interactions with the artistic community through collaboration, discussion and innovative programming. Visiting artists are encouraged to engage with the community of member artists and broader Ugandan arts scene. Resources include studios, accommodation for artists in residence, an African art library, exhibition space, equipment and support for documenting work and outdoor workshop space. The programme offers artists drop in sessions for critique and professional development, workshops for practical skills and the opportunity to take part in the regular discussion series, Artachat. Residencies normally conclude with an open studio and/or artist talk.
Contemporary Nights | Addis Ababa
Contemporary Nights is a curatorial forum directing, showcasing, and documenting post-disciplinary artistic productions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. CN is committed towards nurturing a sustainable arts ecosystem and sense of community. CN facilitates spaces for experimentation and aims to forge meaningful connections among art practitioners in Addis Ababa and beyond. GOJO residency is a new addition to the organisation’s programming, which focuses on collective and collaborative thinking and creating. CN facilitate a curated experience for resident artists that immerses them in Addis Ababa’s multidisciplinary artistic landscape. The organisation mediates collaborations and hosts artist-led workshops, open studios, and studio visits. The residency culminates in a public programme which includes an exhibition/showcase, artists talk, and published catalogue. Residents of all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
Nyege Nyege Festival | Kampala
Nyege Nyege formed as a club night in Kampala in 2014 with the aim to create a space where homegrown, East African DJs, musicians and artists could take risks playing a wide range of sounds in a safe and supportive environment; a place where like-minded people could hang out and enjoy music, share ideas and become friends. These objectives continue to inform Nyege Nyege projects, which now include an internationally renowned music festival, a professional community recording studio and residency space and two record labels. The residency house is an Boutiq Foundation initiative and is located in a green suburb of Kampala called Kawuku that is 5-minutes from Lake Victoria. The house can accommodate up to 10 artists simultaneously with a large communal kitchen and 2 recording studios. The residency aims to support artists from East Africa in their artistic development and to facilitate collaborations with artists from outside the region.
The Assembly Hub | Lagos
The Assembly Hub is situated in the heart of Southwest Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria in the Whitespace/So.NNE building. Each resident is accommodated in a 25sqm living space with an 80sqm exhibition space. The building also provides a large communal project space for artists to use for installations or simply to photograph their pieces. The residency supports experimental designers and artists working within visual arts and fashion and their journey through collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. The residency provides an opportunity for visiting artists to create new connections with local designers, curators, researchers and design experts. The Assembly Hub aims to set up local talent for global success through resources, network, connections and infrastructure.
Bakwa | Yaoundé
Founded in 2011 by Dzekashu MacViban, Bakwa is a non-profit Cameroon-based organisation which empowers creatives through workshops, mentoring, and publications. To effectively carry out its mission, Bakwa set up and runs the following projects: Bakwa Magazine, an online and print literary magazine; Bakwa Books, an independent publisher which focuses on fiction, nonfiction and translation; BakwaCast, a conversational podcast that cuts across tech, policy, arts and politics; Bakwa Reading Series, a meet-up between writers, editors and translators and audiences in different cities. Throughout its decade long existence, Bakwa has hosted in various capacities international visiting artists, facilitating their stay from logistics to research assistance. Its multi-layered approach towards literature has made it a unique platform to access and collaborate with Cameroonian writers and other authors from within the continent and beyond.
Donwahi Foundation | Abidjan
Since 2009, the Donwahi Foundation residency programme has been supporting local and international artists in their research, creations and conceptual implementation of projects at all stages of development. The multi-functional space has hosted practitioners from various disciplines including performance, visual arts, mixed media, script development and script writing. The Donwahi Foundation provides a setting conducive to experimentation and base from which visiting artists can explore the various art microcosms of Abidjan and the rest of Ivory Coast. Depending on the agreement, residencies can culminate in an exhibition or benefit from a dissemination campaign through the foundation’s established Pan-African and global art networks. Donwahi hosts visiting artists at its main site in Abidjan, or at 3 other sites in collaboration with private and institutional structures: KYC Cultural Centre, Abidjan, Abobo commune; Charles Donwahi Research Centre in Mayo, a forest town in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire, Nawa region; or Assinie space.
Plan B | Lagos
Plan B is a multi-hyphenate space in Lagos, Nigeria, that is interested in the idea of intersections and employing artistic enquiry in creating cross-sectoral solutions that help informal societies and economies. The artist-in-residence spaces support contextual and critical overviews of the city by giving visiting artists direct access to the four central modes of enquiry at Plan B: Agricultural practices via The Lost Community Garden; Art and design practices via Ma-tt-er School and Maker Space; Conversations via an online radio station; Processing and hospitality practices via an on-site bar.
We have strong existing partner networks in DRC, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and Madagascar that can host visiting Swiss arts professionals, and developing networks in East, West and Central Africa. In countries outside of these existing networks, applicants would need to give some consideration in their proposals to potential host partners and local arrangements for their residency.
How to apply
Application must be submitted in English, via the online portal myprohelvetia.
Applications for 2022 have closed. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application by the end of June 2022.
The next open call will be issued in January 2023.