Connect South Africa/CERN Residency Programme 2021

South Africa/CERN Residency Programme

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Connect South Africa:

Connect South Africa is part of the Connect collaboration. It serves as a global platform for interactions and dialogue between artistic and scientific communities across Switzerland, Chile, South Africa and India, which will be realized during the course of 2021-2024.

Connect South Africa supports artistic residencies in Switzerland and in South Africa that germinate new projects, which in turn feed into and animate an ongoing programme of professional exchange between artists and scientists across this international network. Each country is host to some of the most singular scientific facilities and minds in the world, dedicated to advancing our understanding of the origins and the evolution of the universe. Each context provides different and unique opportunities for artists to be confronted with the scale and reach and implications of cutting-edge experimentation in the scientific field.

Connect South Africa, the first edition announced in 2021, juxtaposes infrastructures and research which precisely complement one another: while CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, addresses itself to the very smallest particles, the recently launched Square Kilometer Array project and the array of optical and radio astronomy installations spread across South Africa attend to the very largest expanses and masses.

Connect South Africa is part of the Connect collaboration framework agreed between CERN and Pro Helvetia (2021-2024) and it is realized in collaboration with the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), anchoring the scientific partnerships in South Africa.

Focus Area:

Since 2014 CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva; and Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council have worked together to foster experimentation through the arts in connection with fundamental science. In 2021, CERN and Pro Helvetia are launching Connect, a new collaboration framework that marks the extension of their joint efforts on supporting and promoting dialogue between artists and scientists.

Arts at CERN, the Laboratory’s arts programme, fosters significant exchanges between art and physics. Artists across all creative disciplines are welcome at CERN to experience the way the big questions about our universe are pursued through fundamental research.

In the context of its Arts, Science and Technology programme, Pro Helvetia specifically supports activities and projects exploring technological and scientific developments from an artistic perspective, in dialogue with researchers. The focus is on exploring and utilizing the potential for mutual inspiration and collaboration.

Degree Level:

Research PhD

Research Areas:

Scientific research and technology.

Grant Reward:

Connect South Africa awards one individual artist from Switzerland and one individual artist from Southern, East or West Africa with a funded residency at CERN, Geneva, and at the South African contexts. The grant includes the following support and conditions for each artist:

  • A production stipend of 6,000 CHF I US$ 6,500.
  • Living expenses in Switzerland and in South Africa.
  • International travel costs and local travel. Accommodation at CERN, Geneva, and across various locations in South Africa – principally Cape Town, Johannesburg, the Northern Cape.

Eligible Nationalities:

Applicants from Switzerland, South Africa and African countries.

Eligibility Criteria and Conditions of the Call

The Connect South Africa Call for Applications encourages the participation of artists interested in the ideas described above and who meet any of the following criteria; Artists:

  • Interested in the cultural significance of scientific research and technology.
  • Interested in extending their connection with the field of physics and sciences of the universe, and to enter in dialogue with scientists and engineers, and staff at CERN, and scientists of the observatories of SARAO and SAAO in South Africa.
  • Pushing the traditional forms of dialogue with other fields of research, and keen to ask innovative questions across disciplines.
  • Interested in the scientific community and the interaction with its social fabric and its history and narratives.
  • Whose work and proposal aims to reflect on new models of social enquiry, the potential synergies between art and science, and to offer challenging methods of exchange and enquiry.
  • With a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and flexibly across different social-cultural and institutional worlds.
  • From a discipline supported by Pro Helvetia (visual arts, music, literature, performing arts, design, and interactive media) and meeting the general Pro Helvetia criteria:
    • A convincing body of work and track record.
    • A significant footprint in the arts scene of the respective contexts of Switzerland and South, East and West Africa.

Application Procedure:

Artists intending to apply to Connect South Africa residency should submit a proposal adhering to the criteria of the call; with following elements:

  • Personal details: name, address, contact details.
  • An artist dossier with the most relevant artworks or projects, including a brief statement and the artist’s biography.
  • A project proposal describing in detail, the project that the artist intends to undertake during the residency at CERN, and in South Africa.
  • A video statement (no longer than five minutes), defending the relevance of the intended project.

For artists from Southern, East and West Africa, please download and use the submission form, below. For Swiss artists, please apply via the submission form on the Arts at CERN website.

The selection will be based on evaluation of the above material; and reviewed by a jury of cultural experts and scientists drawn from both contexts of maximum seven members. The name of the jurors will be revealed after the call.

Submissions of entry in this competition automatically constitute the acceptance of these terms and conditions. The jury’s decision will be final. The decision will be published on both Arts at CERN and Pro Helvetia’s websites by the end of July 2021. Only the selected artist(s) will be notified by e-mail.

Application Form

Application Deadline:

26 May 2021

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