Art in the Diaspora

Open Call: Fluid Boundaries Artist Residency

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The interplay of Water, Art, Science, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems brings together participants from South Africa, Brazil, and Switzerland in a transdisciplinary collaboration. With a strong focus on decolonial practice, there is a common space for the exploration of water and the flow of knowledges, wisdoms and practices around water. The project proposes a research and practice driven approach that brings together arts and science to interrogate how we feel, think and act about our relationships to water, in a bid to create sustainable, equitable access. The project brings together artists and scientists through 3-months art-science residencies in research labs in South Africa, Brazil, and Switzerland.

This process will be informed, mentored, questioned and supported by indigenous knowledge convenors and art curators. At a later point, the participants will come together in an intense 2-week workshop in Lugano, Switzerland. Knowledge will be shared, research questions discussed and ideas for artistic projects developed.

Artists from South Africa, Brazil, and Switzerland can apply for one of the 3-month art-science residencies. The residencies will start in March 2025 at the scientific partner institutions in the artists’ home countries.

Artist will be in contact with both a physical laboratory and an intellectual space to provide a creative environment for substantial transdisciplinary work. The reciprocal sharing of one’s own practice and perspective on an eye-to-eye level is an important prerequisite for the success of the collaboration in every aspect and phase of the project.

To apply, plese visit, applications close on the 14th of July 2024. This is in partnership with the Water and Health Research Centre, the University of the Western Cape, IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research, the Swiss Arts Council, as well as the TANKWA Arts Cape Residency to name a few.


Lelethu Sobekwa was born in Gqeberha, South Africa. She holds a BA Honours in English and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Rhodes University. Lelethu currently writes for Art Network Africa.

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