The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically reduced our mobility within a very short time, in some cases down to zero. Cultural life in public has ground to a halt. This unprecedented situation is posing great problems for the arts and cultural scene and requires innovative solutions.
What creative strategies and alternative formats can be applied when mobility is so severely curtailed? What role can technology play and what cultural and social networks are relevant in this context? To deal with these and similar questions, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is launching a call for projects under the heading ‘Close Distance’. Pro Helvetia thereby intends to support projects by Swiss cultural organisations and institutions as well as arts practitioners that are seeking creative and innovative ways of coping with the newly imposed distance.
The call for projects encompasses all disciplines that are supported by Pro Helvetia: design, interactive media, literature, music, dance, theatre, visual arts and interdisciplinary approaches. Projects are sought that initiate or intensify new formats under the current conditions of restricted mobility. These can be new formats of reflection, international networks or platforms, or experimental forms of artistic collaboration. Preference is given to projects that could be maintained beyond the corona crisis and envisage a long-term rethinking of mobility. This call for projects is deliberately broad in scope. Digital formats are just as welcome as analogue ones. The experimental element is, however, important. With one-off grants, Pro Helvetia will be supporting new formats of very different reach. Not eligible are projects that are exclusively aimed at providing free streaming of a cultural production. Sought after, by contrast, are those that are conceived as a series, a special point of focus or a network.