Open Call: Istanbul – Berlin Residency Program 2020-2021

The stipend is one feature of the active sister city relations between Berlin and Istanbul. The office of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery will support these efforts on a long term basis. Partner institution for this stipend are Anadolu Kültür / Depo in Istanbul and in Berlin nGbK and ZK/U. Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe promotes cultural exchange and supports the artistic development of professional artists through its international cultural exchange programs.

Subject to the availability of funds, Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe will award artists-in-residence stipends in fine art for study programs:

▪ 1 stipend for six months – July 2020 to the end of December 2020
▪ 1 stipend for six months – January 2021 to the end of June 2021

Application deadline: 31 January 2020, 6pm

Target group
The stipends are intended to support the artistic development of visual artists whose main place of residence and work is Istanbul and who have a proven record of success in their careers. Students are excluded from receiving any funding under this scheme.

Purpose of funding
The stipends are intended to support the artistic development of professional artists. The aim of the residency is to give them the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of and insight into the culture of the host country, study trends in the local art scene, make contacts, exchange ideas, gain inspiration and carry out an artistic project in the host country. To this end, the partner institution ZK/U provides a studio flat in their residency programme for Istanbul artists.

The cultural exchange stipend consists of:

• a stipend of € 2,000 per month (for travel to the place of residency and back, materials, living costs)
• the (rent-free) use of a studio flat at the place of residency.*
icon-warning Bathroom, kitchen and terrace are shared with other residents (for further information please visit the ZK/U website and address your questions regarding the living arrangements at ZK/U to

During the residency, the partner institution nGbK will assist the guests from Istanbul and establish contacts with the local art scene on request. The nGbK will also help in all visa questions. The events organized by the partner institutions (open studios, exhibitions, artist talks) provide the Istanbul artists with an opportunity to present their work to an international audience. ZK/U’s residency programme provides a platform for cross-disciplinary exchange between artists, scholars, and practitioners interested in the phenomenon of the city. Given that the partner institutions accept no responsibility for the Istanbul artists’ luggage, personal belongings and works, the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe recommends taking out insurance for travelling abroad (including health insurance).

Funding is available for visual artists who have exhibited and won recognition for their work and seeking further opportunity to develop his/her practice and the concepts of his/her artistic work. The candidates should be able to explain how the experience of an international residency may benefit his/her career development. They should have some knowledge of the host country’s language or English when beginning their residency abroad. They are obliged to be present at the designated place during their residency.

Allocation of funding, selection of the artists
An independent jury of different experts nominated year by year by Depo will select a shortlist of ten to fifteen Istanbul-based candidates, while the final selection of 2 artists will be made by the partner institutions abroad.
The members of the Jury in Istanbul are: Asena Günal, Aslı Çetinkaya, Çağla İlk, Kevser Güler and Nilüfer Şaşmazer. The members of the Jury in Berlin will be announced later.
You will be notified in the second half of February 2020 whether you have been shortlisted and in March 2020 whether you have been selected in the final round. The names of the artists and groups who will receive funding will be made public.

Application procedure
The application can be submitted in Turkish or English. If you are selected to the short list, you will be expected to submit an English version for the final selection by the Berlin jury. The application will be done online from the link below:

Application Form

For further questions:

Note: Employees of Anadolu Kültür / Depo and their family members are not allowed to apply. We will only consider applications that are complete and have been submitted by the deadline. All information will be treated confidentially and used only for selection and funding purposes. All applications will receive written notification at the end of the selection process.

Information about foreign partner institutions:

Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (nGbK)
The neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK), founded with a grass-roots struc-ture in 1969, is today one of Germany’s most significant and largest art societies. The unique structure of the nGbK enables its members to directly influence its thematic orientation: exhibitions, interventions, research projects, event series and publications are developed in interdisciplinary project groups and supervised from the initial idea to the final implementation. The nGbK has established itself as an innovative venue for contemporary art and exhibition production which has left its mark on generations of curators, artists and creatives, and whose experimental exhibition concepts count as path-breaking. They have provided important impetus and continue to engage with relevant socio-political topics. Themes such as racism, National Socialism and urban politics are negotiated time and again, with a further focus placed on (post)migrant, (post)colonial and gender issues. Topical discourses and debates are openly discussed and reflected upon in a timely manner. Art is understood as a form of action that has an impact on social processes.
The active members are working on the themes with great personal commitment, thus shaping a programme that advances the original idea of the nGbK’s founding members: The search for a new society.

ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics
Since 2012, the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) is located on the site of the Stadtgarten Moabit in a former railway depot. The ZK/U has been founded by the artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK to create a connection between artistic practice, urban research and the urban society. In the building live and work alternately about 13 artists from all over the world. ZK/U is running a residency program for artists and urban researchers and has hosted more than 300 individuals in 2-8 months residencies since its opening in 2012. The ZK/U offers a space for ‘living & work’: furnished accommodation studio, wifi, communal facilities, shared and private production areas, a platform open for public events, lectures, discussions, screenings, performances and presentations. ZK/U welcomes artists, scholars, practitioners, as well as all type of professionals, artists in their field working on the edge of their practice, interested in cross-disciplinary theory and practice dealing with the city. ZK/U is interested in contemporary artistic positions, ranging from contextual and interventionist to conceptual and public art that address selected themes. Work at ZK/U is informed by theoretical and practice-based critiques developed in the disciplines of geography, anthropology, urban planning, architecture and the humanities.