STARTS4AFRICA Residencies – Call for Artists

Open CallDeadline extended: February 25, 2024

STARTS4AFRICA Residencies Programme – Call for Artists

Note: To access the application form, we recommend that you use Chrome as browser, and that you create an account on JotForm prior to the completion of your application.

Residencies Programme
What do we offer?
Expected outputs from artists
Admissibility Criteria
Preparation & Submission
Important Dates
Info Session: recording available

STARTS4AFRICA is pleased to announce the Call for Artists for the first STARTS Residency Programme fully dedicated to promoting Sub-Saharan Africa innovation at the nexus of Science + Technology + Arts.

Through 6-month residencies, STARTS4AFRICA will enhance art-driven innovation in four African countries: Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

This pioneering initiative will allow artists to address regional challenges around Food and Water, Digital Mapping and Speculative Landscapes, Culture and Coding, Wearable Technology and Smart Textile, Immersive Storytelling, Rethinking Sustainable Construction, and Speculative Urbanism.

+ Residencies Programme

STARTS4AFRICA will support selected applicants through a programme that includes a 6-month residency starting in March 2024, as well as multiple exhibitions and events during the residency period and thereafter until November 2024.

The duration of each residency is 8 months in total (6-month residency + 2-month outreach) and includes 5 phases:

+ What do we offer?

Up to € 35.000 budget for artists residencies

  • Up to EUR 35.000 budget for artists residencies to cover the artist fee, the organisation and participation at artistic exhibitions/events and other relevant costs to ensure the successful implementation of the project (including but not limited to artwork/prototype production);
  • Access to resources/facilities provided by the Residency Host Institution;
  • Assistance from the Local Expert Group 
  • Participation in an individualised Mentoring Programme (including business-specific and tech/sci-related sessions);
  • Access to the Europe-wide S+T+ARTS network;
  • Participation at the S+T+ARTS4AFRICA Community events (online and on-site);
  • Considered participation in exhibitions showcasing the outcomes of the residencies at Ars Electronica Festival in September 2024 in Linz and/or other festivals and venues upon selection; and
  • Visibility through high-impact communication activities to promote the artistic output and its innovation spillovers.

+ Expected outputs from artists

  • Producing a tangible, presentable and art-driven innovation output addressing a local challenge, in the form of an artwork or a functional or speculative artistic prototype;
  • Providing (at the beginning of the residency) a descriptive abstract of the art-driven innovation output and a development plan describing the objectives, actions, timetable and setup necessary for implementing it;
  • Participating and organising online or on-site local/ national events, masterclasses, and seminars to (i) share experience in participating in STARTS4AFRICA Residency program; (ii) ensure the promotion of residency results. Participation in at least 6 online or on-site local/ national events is expected, as well as in international events (these events will be discussed, agreed and co-organized with the Residency Host Institutions);
  • Actively participate in the dissemination and communication efforts of the Residency, sharing posts on social media, producing articles to be shared on websites (such as, participating in written/audio/video interviews; and,
  • Contributing to the Impact Assessment Analysis undertaken by STARTS4AFRICA Consortium and the Residency Host Institutions.
Credit: Ars Electronica / Richard Mosse

+ Admissibility Criteria

STARTS4AFRICA calls for proposals from an individual artist or a collective of artists, with previous experience: 

  • nationals or permanent residents in any country in Sub-Saharan Africa; OR,  
  • artistic teams mixing artists from Europe and from Sub-Saharan African countries

Please read the full list of admissibility criteria in the Call – Guide for Applicants.

+ Preparation & Submission

Proposals for the STARTS4AFRICA Residencies Programme must be submitted online, through the Online Form, available here (Jotform).

The Application Form is composed of:

  • Online form (available here): administrative information, declarations, etc.;
  • Artistic Proposal (Template document to be downloaded here and uploaded into the Online Form);
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (to be uploaded into the Online Form);
  • Your Portfolio (to be uploaded into the Online Form).

All elements of the Application Form shall be submitted.

Please read carefully the Guide for Applicants, your selected Challenge(s) description and the instructions included in the Online Form and Artistic Proposal Template to make sure you address successfully the call requirements.

The deadline for proposals’ submission is February 25, 2024, 17h00 Central European Time.

NOTE: Multiple submissions: Applicants can submit up to two proposals, to different challenges (one proposal per challenge).

How to apply (Step-by-step):

+ Challenges

Challenge #1: Digital Cartographies: Mapping Dakar’s Intangible Heritage 

Challenge #2: “NETALI WAA KAM” *Tell Ouakam 

Challenge #3: Alliance with trees 

This residency will explore how communities grapple with the challenge of preserving and transmitting their cultural heritage in urban settings, emphasising the intersection of mapping, urban communities, youth engagement, and the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.  
Country: Senegal

The challenge aims to unite tradition and innovation, integrating ancestral technologies with modern storytelling tools, involving the arts of the Word, wearable technologies and intelligent textiles to raise awareness on environmental challenges and safeguard the cultural heritage of the Lébous of Ouakam. 
Country: Senegal

How, by combining scientific knowledge, artistic creation, imagination and technology, can we create alliances with trees to regenerate healthy living areas on the urbanisation front in Dakar? By creating a shared sense of purpose and facilitating collective learning, the residency will contribute to the emergence of new territorial negotiation methods for monitoring health, the environment and the regeneration of biodiversity in Sebikotane.  
Country: Senegal

Challenge #4: Exploring Tanzanian culture through immersive storytelling 

Challenge #5: Beyond Blueprints: Bridging and harmonising Communities through Art, Tech, and Sustainability 

Challenge #6: Building Resilient Systems: Sustainable Solutions for Food and Water Access

We challenge artists to explore aspects of Tanzania’s political, socio-economic culture, history and group identity and contribute to the ‘Tanzanian-ness’ movement through innovative, critical and creative lens. Driven by a pursuit of immersive storytelling, this residency project aims to push the boundaries of narrative innovation through a fusion of cutting-edge technologies and Tanzanian culture. 
Country: Tanzania

We beckon visionary artists to reshape the narrative of sustainable semi-permanent construction in Dar es Salaam, converging the realms of art, technology, and social equity. At its core, this challenge pivots on the imperative to transform construction into a force for positive community change.  
Country: Tanzania

This residency prompts artists to reflect on the following questions: How can we leverage digital innovation and technologies like IoT, AI or Data Analytics to analyse patterns in climatic changes, effects of conflict on food supply chain and food loss reduction? How might we create sustainable solutions for effective water resource management or improve access to food for citizens?  
Country: Nigeria

Challenge #7: Coding Ghanaian Culture: Reimagining Nsadwase Nkɔmɔ for Contemporary Relevance

Challenge #8: Immersive Speculative Futures: Reimaging our traditional towns through tangible dreams

We seek an artist keen on cultural preservation, digital storytelling, and a collaborative spirit. Prior experience in blending traditional arts with digital technologies is highly valued. The expected result is a compelling digital experience that enriches and renews interest in the Anansesem storytelling and palm wine music traditions that leave a lasting influence on the community.
Country: Ghana

We invite creatives to respond to the open call with their innovative and ambitious project that envisages possible new worlds for our current conditions. During the residency, applicants will be supported by local experts from the Construction Technology unit and Fine Art unit in the Department of Vocational and Technical Education to offer a platform for the cross-pollination of ideas and concepts to be realized in artworks or prototypes.
Country: Ghana

+ Important Dates

January 17, 2024Call for Artists is launched
January 25, 2024Info Session on STARTS4AFRICA Residencies Programme and Open Call (11h00-12h30 CET)
February 25, 2024Deadline for proposals submission (25 Feb 2024, 17h00 Central European Time)
March 4-6, 2024Jury Day – possible dates
March 8, 2024Announcement of selected artists
March 2024STARTS4AFRICA Residencies Programme initiates

+ Info Session: recording available

STARTS4AFRICA organised a Virtual Info Session on January 25th, 2024, at 11h00-12h30 Central European Time.

During this session, we presented the open call, the challenges, the expectations from artists, the foreseen outcomes and the application process, requirements, budget questions and submission.

+ Contact

Questions on the STARTS4AFRICA Residencies Programme – Open Call
Aurélie Delater:

Other questions / STARTS4AFRICA Coordinator
Patrícia Carvalho:

Discover more about STARTS4AFRICA

STARTS4AFRICA is co-funded by the European Union under the STARTS – Science, Technology and Arts initiative of DG CNECT (GA no. LC-01960720). Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.