With the support of the French Ministry of culture, ACCR (Association des Centres culturels de rencontre) has been coordinating the NORA artist in residence program for refugees exiled in France. The programme is aimed at artists, researchers and culture professionals from the Near and Middle East and from Africa, who have recently received refugee status in France. Priority will be given to refugees from: Syria, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen. The goal is to develop projects within French Heritage Sites for Culture (Centres culturels de rencontre), with the support of their team, and consequently to gain practical knowledge of French cultural, artistic and intellectual networks and build long-term connections and partnerships.
Initiated in 2016, the NORA programme has been able to host 42 artists from the Middle East in French Cultural centres. Taking part in the NORA programme helped them to connect with various professional structures working with poetry and visual arts and gave them time to concentrate on their artistic projects. Some of them managed to publish their first book, others were able to continue to create, make exhibitions, films, etc.
The NORA programme allows residents whose projects have been selected by a Heritage Site for Culture (Centre Culturel de Rencontre), a member of the French network, to receive 1000€ per month and the refunding of their travel fees (up to a determined level according to the distance to the residency centre). Residents stay free of charge, within the centre that has accepted them. Whenever possible, the centre puts at their disposal material necessary for their residency project. The period of residency can vary from 1 to 6 months.