International cultural and artistic exchange is based on mobility, freedom of assembly, access to physical and digital infrastructure and financial resources. The current COVID-19 pandemic seriously restricts these opportunities for cultural and creative sectors worldwide. The production and presentation of cultural programmes is significantly limited, and many artists and cultural managers suffer from economic hardship and isolation.
This new situation also affects the work of international temporary shelter and relocation initiatives that support artists and cultural workers at risk. Such programmes were a response to repressive contexts and shrinking civic spaces worldwide.
They aim to strengthen civil society actors who are threatened or persecuted by state and non-state actors because their work touches on issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of the arts, democracy or human rights. Temporary relocations enable them to go abroad for a limited time, to rest and respite and ideally to continue their work. Under the circumstances of COVID-19, the question is how such programmes can keep maintaining pre-political spaces of freedom both in the physical/local and in the digital sphere.
With the help of this research project, the Martin Roth-Initiative would like to gain insights into the subjects listed below and thus provide suggestions and impulses for learning from the current experiences:
- Which restrictions and obstacles do artists and practitioners from the cultural and creative sectors face under the conditions of the current pandemic?
- How do these obstacles impact the conditions and the practice of international temporary relocation programmes?
- Which of these changed circumstances and practices might have a longer-term impact on relocation programmes, also in post-pandemic times?
- Which infrastructures and best practices and are developed to cope with this situation and to provide alternatives to what was common before?
- What additional measures are needed to tackle the identified obstacles effectively?
- Are there specific groups (or regions) in the cultural sector that are disproportionally affected in a negative way? What are their coping strategies, and what kind of extra support would they need?
- What can actors both from the cultural and creative sectors and the field of relocation (including host programmes and donors) learn from these experiences, and what learning effects could be used for positive change of their practices? What are recommendations for them in order to learn from the pandemic and to successfully support at-risk artists in the future?
Format: The study will be published in the form of a written report; the researcher will present interim results at an online workshop
Duration: 4 months
Begin: April 2021
Remuneration: 6,000 € (gross)
Application deadline: 15 March 2021
You can read more information here.
ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany’s oldest intermediary organisation for international cultural relations.
Photo and ©: Edwin Hooper via Unsplash