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Opportunities: Open Call – EQUILIBRIUM 2014 5 Week Residency (India)

Opportunities: Open Call – EQUILIBRIUM 2014 5 Week Residency (India)
An open invitation to creative practitioners for a 5-week residency in Partapur, India
Deadline: May 15, 2014

EQUILIBRIUM is an international cultural initiative that aims at building creative contexts in villages and towns in India. Currently located in Partapur, the main aim of this project is to provide a platform for artists from Asia and Europe to enter into a dialogue with local communities via members of women’s self-help-groups in and around Partapur. We hope that there will be an exchange of ideas and skills, stories and recipes, and a new community based on creative practice will emerge.

We invite proposals for a 5-week residency in Partapur, during which participating artists will be introduced to women’s independent self-help-groups, and we expect the artist to spend time with members of her assigned group/s, conduct at least one creative skill-enhancing workshop at a local school, and create new work/ processes that emerge through dialogue and participation of the group. We are keen to have proposals that have potential for a collaborative practice to emerge. We hope that EQUILIBRIUM adds to the ongoing conversations between artists and different communities in this town. We feel that this would in a significant way encourage the connectedness of art practice to everyday life.

Partapur is a town located in the district of Banswara in Rajasthan. It falls in the largely tribal region of Vagad, and the Bhil tribe forms the largest section of the population. About 4 hours drive from Udaipur – the world-renowned ‘tourist city’ of India, Partapur has very little stake in the tourism industry of Rajasthan. It has very recently been recognized as a Nagar Parishad or City Council, though agriculture still forms the mainstay of the economy. A large number of people, travel for work to neighbouring villages and towns. Local schools, NGOs, marble quarries, a cement factory and a textile mill are key employers. People are also involved in other craft-based occupations like pottery and jewelry making, stone carving, and tailoring. Migration is on the rise, especially among the young. They find employment as construction and factory labour, and cooks and cleaners in restaurants in larger cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Surat. The affluent families move away for higher education and salaried jobs in private companies.

In this socio-economic context, Beneshwer Lok Vikas Sansthan (BLVS), one among several NGOs in Partapur, helps organize self-help-groups (SHGs) for women from families that fall under the below-poverty-line (BPL) index. The idea behind a SHG was to create a mutual support system for women and assist them in developing income-generating activities suited to their skills and resources. A self-help-group may be an informal collective consisting of 10-20 women or it can be registered as an organization. A group can be formed according to caste, community, occupation or camaraderie. It is self regulated and women are involved in activities like stitching, quilt making, embroidery, recycling material for bags, spices and papad making, working with bamboo, dairy farming, and running beauty salons for other women.

Partapur has a fairly rich tradition in folk arts, and there exists a context of conversation and cultural exchange between the local art community, and artists from other places via Sandarbh. Partapur has been hosting Sandarbh’s Artist in Residence programme since 2003. The main aim for artists in Sandarbh, a few of whom belong to Partapur, was to initiate dialogue between local artists/ artisans, with artists from other cities and geographies. Partapur is like any other town in India that is living through a massive socio-cultural-economic transformation. Its relationship with ‘urbanity’ is not new and its negotiation with ‘modernity’ is reflected in the cultural landscape of the place. We hope artists from other places find resonance for their ideas and experiences, with life and arts in Partapur.

1] Artist residencies in 2 phases. 5 artists will be short-listed for each phase
Phase I: September 01, 2014 to October 06, 2014
Phase 2: October 15, 2014 to November 19, 2014
2] A creative skill-enhancing workshop in a local school/ SHG by each participating artist
3] An Open day at the end of each 5-week residency. This will be a public event where participating artists and members of the SHGs share their work with the community

– This call is open to artists from Asia and Europe
– Preference will be given to individual artists. We can support only one member of an artist collective
– The applicant should be over the age of 25 years on 01.01.2014
– A working knowledge of Hindi or English is mandatory
– Preference would be given to artists who base their practice on dialogue and participation through a social engagement with a host community.

Email the following information to with the subject header EQUILIBRIUM2014 < your name >

1] profile photograph

2] profile information: first name/last name/age/date of birth/gender/passport number

3] contact information: address/email/phone /website

4] CV (not running into more than 2 pages)

5] bio note (between 300 – 500 words)

6] 10 high-resolution images of your latest work as a single PDF file. Please include a brief description of the works.

7] motivation letter (specific to this residency, between 500 – 700 words)

Last date for applying: May 15, 2014

Selected artists will be informed by June 02, 2014

Participation for the entire duration of 5 weeks is compulsory.


1] Accommodation: One single and two double occupancy rooms, available on first come, first serve basis. Living area is close to the studio space.
2] Three simple vegetarian Indian meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) will be provided. There is a functional kitchen area for the use of the artists. Non-vegetarian food maybe cooked there. Artists will have to procure their own grocery for this.
3] The studio space is equipped with basic tools for stitching, welding, grinding, and we provide simple carpentry tools like hammer, saw, drill etc
4] Each participating artist will be given INR 10,000 (USD 165 approx ) as material cost for making work during the course of the residency

No other expenses will be covered. We encourage the applicants to apply for other grants in order to cover travel expenses.

Kindly note, that the Residency is located in Partapur, a small town in Western India. Power cuts are frequent; Internet can be irregular at times.

This call is open to artists who are nationals of one of the following ASEM member countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Viet Nam

For any queries, write to

Equilibrium is a project of Beneshwer Lok Vikas Sansthan (Partapur), Sandarbh (Partapur/ New Delhi) and Walpodenakademie (Mainz)

Read more about us here –

Equilibrium is supported by Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) in collaboration with Trans Europe Halles (TEH).


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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.
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