Call for Artist Residency in Berlin

In 2017, Raf Projects was registered as an official and non-profit association (Verein) in Berlin to utilize broad possibilities in one of the most important cultural cities around the globe and in order to expand joint and exchange artistic projects between Iran and other countries.

Over the past years until now we are anxiously observing extreme right movements touting nationalism and normative cultures and values defined by nation-states. Raf Projects (like many international art institutes) demands an opening up of all boundaries to acknowledge and reflect on subcultural activities. Raf also believes in the potential of dissociating oneself from cultural and socio-political phenomena particular to specific regions as a means of better understanding and operating through rather realistic and comprehensive correlations. Since the 1960s artistic movements constantly claimed a closer involvement of their context, artists have been trying to not only represent phenomena of a specific place and time (contemporaneity), but also to be an agent of change in their socio-political surroundings. Such an aspiration surely requires a broad outlook, which might be a reason for various art residencies emerging around the world to help artists in acquiring visions beyond their immediate regional cultivated views. Moreover, Raf Projects, despite its limited facilities, always tries to provide opportunities for Iranian artists to get familiar with contemporary artistic contexts in western countries.

Accordingly we are going to select three Iranian artists and invite them to Berlin for a month of art residency in spring and summer of 2021. Each artist will receive a 50m2 studio to work and live in. Flight tickets will be covered (up to 500 Euros). These selected artists will have the opportunity to visit the Berlin Art Scene accompanied by members of Raf Projects to enable a profound insight of this internationally focused event. Further, the selected artists will be encouraged to visit various Berlin galleries and institutions. Raf Projects will put great effort in creating as many links between Iranian artists and Berlin-based artists as possible. A city tour for Berlin will also be provided in one of the first days of each artist’s arrival in the city.

All artists who are less than 45 years of age are invited to send the following documents before 5th March 2021 to

1. Up-to-date CV including full name, place of birth and residence, current home or studio address, phone, last academic degree, artistic courses at non-academic institutes, foreign language certificates, foreign language level, any web page that includes most of previous works by the artist.

2. Portfolio of two to seven work series in a PDF file (including an artist statement for each series, if applicable). If your works are in video or sound media, please send us links to Vimeo, YouTube or other online platforms.

3. If possible, a text explaining one to three artworks or art projects that you have not been able to realize due to financial, socio-political or other limitations (1000 words max.).

4. If possible, a reference letter written by an academic lecturer, curator or gallery director with whom you have worked previously.

Please send all the documents as one email with total size of attachments not exceeding 25mb. Documents can be in English or Persian, although all residency projects will be conducted in English in Raf and your Persian documents will be translated orally to non-Iranian members of Raf Projects during the selection phase. Selections will be made based on socio-political engagement defined and presented in your works and “the necessity of works in the context of contemporary Iran”. For younger artists, the text about unrealized idea(s) will be prioritized in the selection. The selection committee (Raf Projects members) will select ten artists (shortlist) and the results of the first selection round will be announced by 15 March 2021. These shortlisted artists will then participate in online interviews. The final three artists will be announced on Raf Projects website on 20 March. Equally qualified artists with a religious, ethnic or gender minority background are of higher priority.

All documents applicants send (including but not limited to texts, work samples and personal information) will remain only available to members of Raf Projects and will never be in any way accessible to public without applicants’ prior permission. Raf Projects reserves the right to use the information applicants send for internal research and might contact even those applicants not selected for possible collaborations in future.

Raf Projects e.V is a non-profit organization funded through individual donations, member donations, and funding grants from the German government and other European governments which are, in turn, funded by European tax payers. All funding received is spent transparently for artistic and cultural projects and no member of Raf Projects is allowed to receive any part of the funding according to our statute (Satzung) as well as regulations governing associations in Germany. Raf Projects is mandated to submit a detailed report of all its financial transactions to German administrative bodies. All costs for the three residencies are covered by member donations and there is no external sponsor for the project as of now. However, Raf Projects reserves the right to attract third party funding during the selection phase. All arts and culture supporters who wish to provide any kind of support, for this and any other projects, are welcome to contact us at