In the Middle Ages, the Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz formed a centre of Jewish life (collectively covered here by the acronym ShUM formed from the first letters of the cities’ Hebrew names) and was unique for the whole of Ashkenaz – as Middle and Western Europe was known in Rabbinic literature. These towns formed a unique association that deeply inﬂuenced the architecture, culture, religion and jurisdiction of the central and east European Jewish diaspora, an impact still evident today. Monuments, synagogues, women’s shuln, teaching houses, ritual baths and the old Jewish cemeteries in Worms and Mainz together with the religious tradition bear testimony to the immense importance and innovative power of the ShUM communities.
In July 2021, the ShUM cities were recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the first Jewish World Heritage recognition in Germany. They are now offering up to three project fellowships for the realisation of an artistic project that addresses the history of the ShUM communities and their religious, cultural, and architectural legacy.
Proposals should take an artistic approach to the ShUM legacy, taking into consideration Judaism’s ideas, history and current position. During their stay, the artistic ShUM fellows will also be expected to allow interested visitors an insight into their work and concepts in a suitable form, e.g., in workshop discussions. Young people and schools will also be invited, and an exchange of ideas with local artists and cultural institutions is desirable.
The call is open to artists from around the world working in visual and media art, architecture and design, music, or literature.
- The residency will last for 4 to 6 weeks and is scheduled between mid-August and the end of September 2024. Fellows will work and live in one of the three ShUM cities (Worms, Speyer or Mainz).
- Fellows are offered a rent-free, furnished apartment, a studio/work room, travel expenses up to €1000, an allowance of €250 per residency week, and a contribution to other expenses (materials or services) of up to €1000.
- In addition, the curator and artistic director as well as the respective cultural departments of the three towns will offer help and advice in realising the project/s by arranging contact to local artists and cultural institutions as well as with government offices, companies and organisations.