This is a program of residential stays dedicated to designers and multidisciplinary authors, on the basis of two-way, international exchanges. The participants are given the opportunity to live and work for an entire month in a partnering country/organization, with all expences and a stipend covered. The program is based on seprate open calls for Serbian and foreign participants.
The program has already welcomed graphic and industrial designers, digital artists, architects, researchers, conceptual artists and photographers.
Mobility of artists and creative professionals is one od the key instruments of cultural cooperation and diplomacy. Residential programs have for a long time been present within the fields of fine art, contemporary dance or literature, but when it comes to design, the number of such programs is minimal, both on the European and global levels. In collaboration with the Swedish Institute, in 2014 we took part in the development of the Create In Residence platform, whose integral element was a program of bilateral exchange between Serbia and Sweden for designers and multidisciplinary artists – DESIGNER IN RESIDENCE. From year to year, the program is joined by new partners, so besides Sweden we have already collaborated with Slovakia, Germany and France. More than 15 Serbian authors have also realized their residential stays in these countries.
The program is not open exclusively to designers, but also other multidisciplinary authors form the domains of architecture, research, art or critical theory, but their practice needs to be complementary with the profile and concept of the program. Nova Iskra is hosting three to six guest authors within its workspace each year.
Authors are selected based on an open call published in each country respectively. Based on the „open-end“ residency model (there are no expectations of developing and realizing a new project), each participant has covered travel and accommodation costs, as well as a monthly stipend and the support of the host organization, which opens the channels of communication and collaboration with the local creative scene. These organizations also provide support in case a resident decides to undertake a project during the residency, while the participanta also take active part in the (education) programs of those organizations. Residential stays are one to two months long, in accordance with the capacities of the partners.
As a result, more than 50 public programs were held in multiple countries that have been related to this program, while around 30 authors took part in the actual exchanges.
What is the next step?
The program is in its fifth cycle in 2018, and it will continue to develop and extend its network of partners, based on an open, decentralized platform that can easily collaborate with similar other initiatives on the European level, and beyond.