The Caravan Residency Programme is part of Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union (2020-2023). The project aims to survey the European cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille, and Nicosia, through the lens of Alexandria an its contested urban imaginaries.
The chimeric port city serves as heuristic device for the Caravan Residency Programme. Alexandria has been shaped by the historic tensions and contested narratives of imperial and emancipatory forces. In the 13th century, it emerged as an atypical site of commercial activity and pre-capitalist trade infrastructures set up by European merchants. The New Imperialism of the 19th century then incorporated the Eastern Mediterranean into the circuitry of global economy; at that point, Alexandria was administered by the Ottomans, then bombed and occupied by the British. The city became a playground for the articulation of utopian imaginaries, hosting anarchists, intellectuals, and renegades from the Arabic-speaking region and the world over to experiment with radical modes of assembly and critique and establish popular theatres and universities, independent presses, and fugitive communes.
The Caravan Residency Programme is a year-long multi-city residency that invites artists, cultural practitioners, and activists to articulate and configure new modes of relating to and understanding urban, infrastructural, and social processes and formations.
Sixteen participants will be selected to partake in a field, discursive and practice-based programme in conversation with the residency curators, social entrepreneurs and a range of tutors and presenters working across diverse disciplines and contexts, to be tailored to the group. The residency is outcome based, and participants are expected to develop a final project as part of the programme’s conclusion which will be then showcased as part of the Forums: Contemporary Alexandria in Athens, Biella, Marseille, Alexandria and Aarhus. Residency activities take place from October 2021 – July 2022.
Applications are open to emerging to mid-career artists in any discipline who reside in one of the following: an EU member state, or, the United Kingdom; an EU pre-accession country: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey; an EFTA member state: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland; one of the following countries of the EU Southern Neighborhood: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
The programme covers travel, accommodation and meals. Participants will receive a €3000 fee, alongside a budget of up to €500 to cover the production costs of their final projects.