OPEN CALL – Caravan Residency Program: Thinking with Alexandria

UNIDEE residency programs & Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy)

MENTOR: Sarah Rifky, Edwin Nasr
WHEN: 10 October / 30 Sep, 2022
WHERE:Cittadellarte, Biella

The Caravan Residency Program is part of Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union (2020-2023). The project aims to survey the European cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille, and Nicosia, through the lens of Alexandria an its contested urban imaginaries.

The chimeric port city serves as heuristic device for the Caravan Residency Program. Alexandria has been shaped by the historic tensions and contested narratives of imperial and emancipatory forces. In the 13th century, it emerged as an atypical site of commercial activity and pre-capitalist trade infrastructures set up by European merchants. The New Imperialism of the 19th century then incorporated the Eastern Mediterranean into the circuitry of global economy; at that point, Alexandria was administered by the Ottomans, then bombed and occupied by the British. The city became a playground for the articulation of utopian imaginaries, hosting anarchists, intellectuals, and renegades from the Arabic-speaking region and the world over to experiment with radical modes of assembly and critique and establish popular theatres and universities, independent presses, and fugitive communes.

The opportunity to think with and through Alexandria allows us to exercise worldmaking against erasure and towards futurities. Worldmaking starts from worlds already at hand: the making is a remaking (Nelson Goodman); The Caravan Residency Program is thus an invitation to compose, toy with, and re-figure existing parts and elements structuring our everyday through a peripatetic format in Alexandria and other cities across Europe and the Mediterranean.

The year-long multi-city residency invites artists, cultural practitioners, and activists to articulate and configure new modes of relating to and understanding urban, infrastructural, and social processes and formations. The residency program engages local organizations in partner cities and works toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Sixteen participants will be selected to partake in a field, discursive and practice-based program in conversation with the residency curators, social entrepreneurs and a range of tutors and presenters working across diverse disciplines and contexts, to be tailored to the group. The residency is outcome based, and participants are expected to develop a final project as part of the program’s conclusion which will be then showcased as part of the Forums: Contemporary Alexandria in Athens, Biella, Marseille, Alexandria and Aarhus.

The Caravan Residency is conceived and realized by UNIDEE residency programs at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Italy and is curated together with Edwin Nasr and in conversation with Sarah Rifky.

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