All disciplines

West, Central, East and Southern Africa residency

Applications can be submitted from: 1 January

Target group
Practitioner with connection to Switzerland
Submission deadline
1 March


Three-month residencies at a partner institution in West, Central, East or Southern Africa (see below for a full list of partners).

For Whom

Cultural practitioners from Switzerland who are active in any of the disciplines supported by Pro Helvetia. Applications from both individuals and artist duos are accepted.

Selection Criteria

  • Motivation behind the desired context
  • Sufficient knowledge of English or the language(s) of the destination
  • A concrete research topic with a lasting impact

In addition to these specific criteria, the apply.

Financial Contribution

  • Accommodation
  • Travel costs
  • Daily allowances
  • Professional support
  • Workstation (on request)
  • Contribution towards production/material costs (on request)
  • In addition, parents can apply for financial support of up to CHF 1,000 per month to put towards childcare or to use for the travel expenses of their children and, if applicable, a caregiver. Applicants must submit an approximate budget of all expenses in advance.

Content Of Application

  • Detailed explanation of motivation behind the chosen context and artistic research
  • Desired length of stay and chosen destination
  • CV and portfolio
  • The application must be submitted in English

Format-specific Exclusion Criteria

Simultaneous applications by cultural practitioners in Switzerland for a residency in the regions of the liaison offices and New York will be considered if they have a compelling connection to the respective region in terms of content. A separate application must be submitted for each destination. In the case of a call for applications, a maximum of one application per person will be approved.

Application Deadlines and Decision Timelines

Applications can be submitted from1 January
Submission deadline1 March
Notification of decisionWithin four months
Earliest start date for the projectThe following year

Additional Information

Pro Helvetia assumes no responsibility for the approval of visa applications from artists, accompanying children, partners, family members or caregivers.

Our residency partners

Below is a selection of residency partners in the region. This network is varied and in flux, responding to the dynamic contexts of the region. Located in urban centres and rural settings, our partners work across a variety of disciplines and formats in fixed spaces or as open platforms. Artists applying for a residency may specify which partner best fits their proposal. It is not necessary to contact the potential partner institution beforehand. Please note that in case of selection, the partner institution may change depending on availability.

List of residency partners as a table

August HouseJohannesburg, South AfricaAugust House is situated in Doornfontein, an un-gentrified area of the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The building provides private studios and open-plan spaces to a diverse community of contemporary visual artists as well as hosts regular Open Studio events where artists engage directly with the public. The space offers two residency studios and one partially furnished apartment in the building for visiting artists.Visual art
Association of Visual ArtsCape Town, South AfricaLocated in the heart of Cape Town, the Association of Visual Arts (AVA) is a non-profit membership-based art gallery dedicated to promoting the discursive and experimental nature of contemporary art and contributing to the ‘open texture’ of the South African art community. The AVA hosts visiting artists from the continent and abroad within a nine to sixteen-week residency format with accommodation at Greatmore House in Observatory. A studio space in the AVA gallery is provided and visiting artists are supported in hosting workshops, performances or unconventional presentations. Local mentoring from university professors, curators and arts professionals can be arranged. Residencies conclude with an exhibition.Visual art, Performance
Bag Factory Artists’ StudiosJohannesburg, South AfricaThe Bag Factory houses seventeen artist studios, a lithography print studio and exhibition space in the un-gentrified area of Fordsburg in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Bag Factory is one of the original partners in the global Triangle Network, with residencies forming an important area of the organisation’s programme. Two studios are reserved for visiting artists, who are encouraged to engage and network with resident artists, host an open studio exhibition at the end of their residency and lead an outreach workshop during their stay.Visual art
Centre d’art WazaLubumbashi, Democratic Republic of CongoCentre d’art Waza is an arts initiative in Lubumbashi, DR Congo. The organisation has developed as an artistic resource and project initiator that speaks strongly to the specific history and contemporary reality of Lubumbashi. Waza works with artists, researchers, cultural and social actors of Lubumbashi and the region in the development of experimental artistic practices. Waza coordinates several residency and professional exchange programmes for artists of all disciplines from across the region.Multidiscipline
CulturArteMaputo, MozambiqueEstablished in 1998 by choreographer Panaibra Canda, CulturArte functions as a centre for the development of contemporary performing arts and particularly dance in Maputo. Working with a regional, continental and global network, CultureArte has supported the development of a new generation of choreographers, dancers and independent dance companies in Mozambique.Dance
The Forgotten Angle Theatre CollaborativeMpumalanga, South AfricaThe Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) is a leading dance organisation in South Africa. Based at the Ebhudlweni Arts Centre on a farm in rural Mpumalanga, FATC is strongly committed to mobilising the arts as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. FATC hosts visiting artists who work in all art disciplines in a range of residency formats. Accommodation is provided in simple self-catering cottages powered by solar energy and gas, and residency artists have access to the centre’s facilities and dance studios.Performance, Multidiscipline
Kin ArtStudioKinshasa, Democratic Republic of CongoEstablished in 2011, Kin ArtStudio has recently moved into a new space on a main arterial route in the centre of Kinshasa in DRC. Previously a fabric factory, the new space accommodates more than 15 artist studios together with a large project and exhibition space, library and technical studios. Kin ArtStudio focuses on visual arts disciplines as well as other forms of contemporary expression, and hosts regular regional and international artists and curators on residencies. In 2019 Kin ArtStudios organised the inaugural Congo Biennale.Visual art, Multidiscipline
La TeinturerieAntananarivo, East Africa, MadagascarLa Teinturerie is a vibrant multidisciplinary artist hub in Antananarivo, Madagascar, dedicated to promoting contemporary art, exchange and collaboration between artists and the surrounding public. Is’Art Galerie is the only contemporary art gallery in Madagascar, and besides providing an exhibition space, hosts regular workshops, training and residency programmes. La Teinturerie welcomes visiting artists working in all disciplines and encourages networking, collaboration and skills sharing with local Malagasy artists.Multidiscipline
The Livingstone Office for Contemporary Arts (LoCA)Livingstone, ZambiaFounded in 2014, LoCA is an artist initiated non-profit library and research centre based in Livingstone, Zambia. LoCA functions as a collective/collaborative platform for reflections and an experimental think-tank, exploring histories (colonial histories, social and political histories and their legacies) and how they relate to language and contemporary art on both a local and an international context. LoCA strives to raise awareness, facilitate and promote Zambian contemporary art, African art history, and research. The residency programme is open to local and international artists and curators with research interests related to Livingstone’s history and Zambian histories and current affairs.Visual art, Multidiscipline
Modzi ArtsLusaka, ZambiaFounded in 2016, Modzi Arts in Lusaka, Zambia is committed to strengthening the local art scene and has evolved into a place for interdisciplinary experimentation, cultural knowledge sharing and the presentation of work. Modzi coordinates several regional residencies and professional exchanges with partner organisations. Modzi welcomes artists and researchers working in all disciplines and encourages the sharing of ideas and collaborative approaches. Visiting artists are accommodated in a shared living home, and have access to galleries, studios, an art archive and library of books and tools.Multidiscipline
Nafasi Art SpaceDar es Salaam, TanzaniaSince it was founded in 2008, Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has built from the ground-up a thriving artistic ecosystem of studios, exhibition and performance spaces. Nafasi provides opportunities for learning and collaboration between emerging and professional artists in Tanzania and gives audiences a place to experience and appreciate arts and culture. The Nafasi artist collective, which drives the activities of the space, is home to 60+ member artists working in 37 studios. Nafasi regularly hosts visiting residency artists from the region.Multidiscipline
Njelele Art StationHarare, ZimbabweNjelele is an independent project space located in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe, established in 2013 by artist Dana Whabira. Named after a sacred shrine and located on the oldest street of the city, Njelele acts as an urban laboratory that focuses on contemporary, experimental and public art practice. Njelele has a regional residency programme and professional exchanges for artists, curators and writers, concerned particularly with questions around publication/s, libraries and archives.Multidiscipline
Nirox FoundationJohannesburg, South AfricaThe residency is located on the grounds of the 30-hectare Nirox Sculpture Park in the “Cradle of Humankind”, the world-renowned paleoanthropological site outside of Johannesburg. The residency is fully serviced with meals provided. Visiting artists have access to the grounds (which are open to the public on weekends) as well as the adjoining private nature reserve. In addition to a quiet living space, the residency provides visiting artists with studio space and sculpture workshop, as well as various other facilities.Visual art, Performance, Music
Nzango Artist ResidencyMaputo, MozambiqueThe brainchild of Matchume Zango, Nzango Artist Residency was built between 2008 and 2014. The residency includes accommodation for 16+ people, a rehearsing space, instrument construction and a professional recording studio in a semi-rural location on the outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique. Nzango Artist Residency offers a creative place and different cultural environment to professional musicians, students of music and lovers of music from around the world, where people can work, learn and develop their ideas in music; being, sleeping and establishing the contact with the local artistic movement. The residency also serves as a rehearsing space for dance and theatre artists.Music, Performance
32° East Ugandan Arts TrustKampala, UgandaLocated in Kabalagala, Kampala, 32° East produces the city’s public art festival, KLA ART and is committed to raising the awareness and understanding of contemporary art in Uganda. Each year approximately 10 Ugandan artists are selected to take part in the residency programme with the objective of providing meaningful interactions with the artistic community through collaboration, discussion and innovative programming. Visiting artists are encouraged to engage with the community of member artists and broader Ugandan arts scene. Resources include studios, accommodation for artists in residence, an African art library, exhibition space, equipment and support for documenting work and outdoor workshop space. The programme offers artists drop-in sessions for critique and professional development, workshops for practical skills and the opportunity to take part in the regular discussion series, Artachat. Residencies normally conclude with an open studio and/or artist talk.Visual art, multidiscipline
AfropoceneKampala, UgandaAfropocene is a ‘Co-Arts’ space for artists, researchers, thinkers, experimenters, developers and doers located in Kampala, Uganda. Afrofuturists interested in exploring the cultural aesthetics, philosophies of science and history that are borne of the developing intersection of African/Africana diaspora culture with technology, they provide space and community for any and all explorers of African futures. Spread over two floors in an industrial building, the studio lab space flexibly accommodates various configurations based on the needs of the project.Multidiscipline
Contemporary NightsAddis Ababa, EthiopiaContemporary Nights is a curatorial forum directing, showcasing, and documenting post-disciplinary artistic productions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. CN is committed towards nurturing a sustainable arts ecosystem and sense of community. CN facilitates spaces for experimentation and aims to forge meaningful connections among art practitioners in Addis Ababa and beyond. GOJO residency is a new addition to the organisation’s programming, which focuses on collective and collaborative thinking and creating. CN facilitate a curated experience for resident artists that immerses them in Addis Ababa’s multidisciplinary artistic landscape. The organisation mediates collaborations and hosts artist-led workshops, open studios, and studio visits. The residency culminates in a public programme which includes an exhibition/showcase, artists talk, and published catalogue. Residents of all disciplines are encouraged to apply.Multidiscipline
Nyege NyegeKampala, East Africa, UgandaNyege Nyege formed as a club night in Kampala in 2014 with the aim to create a space where homegrown, East African DJs, musicians and artists could take risks playing a wide range of sounds in a safe and supportive environment; a place where like-minded people could hang out and enjoy music, share ideas and become friends. These objectives continue to inform Nyege Nyege projects, which now include an internationally renowned music festival, a professional community recording studio and residency space and two record labels. The residency house is a Boutiq Foundation initiative and is located in a green suburb of Kampala called Kawuku that is 5-minutes from Lake Victoria. The house can accommodate up to 10 artists simultaneously with a large communal kitchen and 2 recording studios. The residency aims to support artists from East Africa in their artistic development and to facilitate collaborations with artists from outside the region.Music, Performance
The Assembly HubLagos, NigeriaThe Assembly Hub is situated in the heart of Southwest Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria in the Whitespace/So.NNE building. Each resident is accommodated in a 25sqm living space with an 80sqm exhibition space. The building also provides a large communal project space for artists to use for installations or simply to photograph their pieces. The residency supports experimental designers and artists working within visual arts and fashion and their journey through collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. The residency provides an opportunity for visiting artists to create new connections with local designers, curators, researchers and design experts. The Assembly Hub aims to set up local talent for global success through resources, network, connections and infrastructure.Visual art, Fashion
Donwahi FoundationAbidjan, West Africa, Ivory CoastSince 2009, the Donwahi Foundation residency programme has been supporting local and international artists in their research, creations and conceptual implementation of projects at all stages of development. The multi-functional space has hosted practitioners from various disciplines including performance, visual arts, mixed media, script development and script writing. The Donwahi Foundation provides a setting conducive to experimentation and base from which visiting artists can explore the various art microcosms of Abidjan and the rest of Ivory Coast. Depending on the agreement, residencies can culminate in an exhibition or benefit from a dissemination campaign through the foundation’s established Pan-African and global art networks. Donwahi hosts visiting artists at its main site in Abidjan, or at 3 other sites in collaboration with private and institutional structures: KYC Cultural Centre, Abidjan, Abobo commune; Charles Donwahi Research Centre in Mayo, a forest town in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire, Nawa region; or Assinie space.Multidiscipline
G.A.S. FoundationLagos/ljebu, NigeriaGuest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Foundation is a Nigerian non-profit founded in 2019 by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA and an esteemed board of Directors. It delivers residency and public programmes across two sites located in Lagos and Ijebu. The multi-use live/work spaces host multidisciplinary artists, researchers and curators from all over the world in awarded residencies for up to three months. In Lagos, the Foundation is hosted in an award-winning building designed by Elsie Owusu in collaboration with Nihinlola Shonibare. The secondary location designed by Papa Omotayo sits on a 54-acre working farm that produces crops ranging from yams and cassava to peppers and cashew. The Foundation’s mission is underpinned by an ethos that strives to create a platform for creative and career development and knowledge exchange. Through the support of international partnerships, G.A.S. hopes to break down traditional barriers of privilege, wealth and lack of infrastructure and provide opportunities for both participants and the local community. G.A.S. delivers its programmes with oversight and support from UK registered charity Yinka Shonibare Foundation (Charity No. 1183321).Visual art, Multidiscipline
Kobomoje Artist Residency ProgramIbadan, NigeriaKòbọmọjẹ́ Artist Residency Program offers ten creatives per year a balance of career development, self-care and the opportunity to build their audience through experiential connection to the local communities in the city of Ibadan, in South-Western Nigeria, and its environs. With residency opportunities ranging from four to twenty-four weeks through open and closed calls, residents are able to immerse themselves in various aspects of Yoruba culture and network with fellow residents, local artisans/creatives, curators and/or researchers.Multidiscipline
Library Of Africa and The African DiasporaAccra, GhanaThe Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) is a private library, archive, writing residency, and research institute in Accra, Ghana, founded in 2017. LOATAD’s focus is on books by writers of African descent including African, African American, Caribbean, Black European, Afro-Latin, and Indigenous writers. The library has over 4000 volumes of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction dating from the early 20th century to the present day. Since 2021, LOATAD has hosted 30 residents from around the world in their two-storey building in a suburb of Accra.Literature
crazinisT artisT studiO / perfocraZe International Artist ResidencyKumasi, GhanacrazinisT artisT studiO is located in the hub of Kumasi, the second largest city of Ghana and the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. The residency programme, perfocraZe International Artist Residency [pIAR] is an interdisciplinary artists’ programme, performance ‘hatchery’, incubator, laboratory and interactive platform aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators and thinkers. pIAR was launched in 2018 by Va-Bene Elikem Fiasti, a transwoman, mentor, advocate and multidisciplinary artivist. pIAR is the only openly queer inclusive artistic organisation of its kind in Ghana. As one of the most visible and radical transwomen and LGBTQIA+ activist, Va-Bene considers pIAR as an expansion of her radical intervention to provide space for queer creatives and to build a strong resistance against transphobia using art as a radical activism. Prior to this Va-Bene has worked as artist and activist for more than a decade running an avantgarde studio called crazinisT artisT studiO. pIAR has become a safe haven in building sustainable activism, trans movements and economic empowerment for the young queer and non queer community to bridge the gap between trans/queer people, the Ghanaian family and society at large.Performance
Open Arts SpaceKaduna, NigeriaOpen Arts Space is a hub for arts and culture in Northern Nigeria with a programme of visual arts exhibitions, performances and oral cultural heritage events. It aims to bring artists and thinkers together to explore the benefits of using the power of arts to promote tolerance and constructive debate. Open Arts Space is located in Kaduna North, a quiet residential area with a rich cultural history. The residency space is equipped to host 2 – 4 visiting artists, providing the peace and tranquillity needed for creative work whilst offering easy access to the city and surrounding arts and culture sites of interest, such as the Arewa House archive, National Museum and National Gallery of Art, Maraba Pottery, and ancient Zazzau Emirate. In addition, the city has a vibrant annual cultural calendar that includes the Kaduna Fashion and Arts Exhibition, Hausa International Book and Arts Festival, and the Kaduna Book and Arts Festival.Multidiscipline
1949 ResidencyAbidjan, Côte d’Ivoire1949 is the library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world located in a quiet residential neighbourhood in the densely populated Yopougon area of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The library has six air-conditioned rooms with en-suite bathrooms and a little desk for writing. Residents can also use the bigger room with its terrace to write. The library has writings, mainly fiction, written by African and black women writers in French and English.1949 was set up in 2020 by the writer and literary translator Edwige Renée Dro. The space welcomes in residence writers at any stage in their career.Literature
Untethered MagicNairobi, KenyaSituated behind the Nairobi National Park, Untethered Magic is a sanctuary for conceptual and process-driven contemporary art practice. Untethered Magic is firstly a home, a living space designed on a sustainable model with the goal of gaining autonomy from traditional support systems and moving toward self-sufficiency. Six cabins built on the property are central to these efforts, serving to house resident practitioners while also generating revenue from local tourists to support curated residencies, public programmes, publications, and events. At Untethered Magic, residents are encouraged to prioritize process and critical dialogue over tangible physical outcomes. By hosting get-together events, workshops, and community-building sessions Untethered Magic facilitates networking and dialogue.Multidiscipline
Brush Tu Art StudioNairobi, KenyaFounded in 2013 by three young artists, Brush Tu Artist Collective (BTAC) today comprises 12 members who work largely in the mediums of drawings, paintings, woodcut prints, sculpture, digital art, and found object assemblages. Located in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate, the Collective’s goal is to promote public education and interest in visual art; create a programme of exhibitions for both local and international visual artists; provide affordable artist-led studio workspace for members; and to establish a support network through which members meet and exchange ideas, skills, knowledge and information. Through their Airbrush residency programme, they regularly host artists from all over Eastern Africa including Kenya, Rwanda, Benin, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar. Residencies take place for a period of 3 months from May to December, and normally conclude with an open studio exhibition. Visual art

Applications can be submitted from: 1 January

Image by ROLI Deluxe

General Requirements


Pro Helvetia promotes the professional contemporary Swiss art and cultural production (without film) with a view to diversity as well as national and international reach. It supports the creation of new artistic works and productions, the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions, the dissemination of Swiss art and culture outside Switzerland and international cultural exchange. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia supplements the promotional activities of Swiss cantons and municipalities and only supports projects that are cross-regionally or internationally recognised.

Pro Helvetia will only consider funding applications if they are complete and have been submitted on time.

To be eligible for support, projects must

  • have a clear connection to Switzerland
  • be of nationwide importance
  • be adequately co-funded by other public or private means
  • respects/guarantee fair working conditions

Connection to Switzerland

A connection to Switzerland is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The production or project in question is developed or implemented by artists and cultural practitioners, who verifiably hold Swiss citizenship or are permanent residents of Switzerland and who are regularly artistically involved in relevant events in Switzerland.
  • The project is created, developed, or implemented by an independent group or cultural institution whose place of production is in Switzerland and who is regularly and publicly active in Switzerland.

Nationwide relevance

Nationwide relevance is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The art and cultural practitioners participating in the project are regularly involved in programmes of nationally recognised art and cultural institutions in Swiss regions other than their own or abroad, and the project in question has a transregional appeal.
  • The artistic potential of an emerging art practitioner involved is exceptional in terms of a national or international career.
  • The project makes a significant contribution to the development of Swiss artistic and cultural production and its dissemination.
  • The project is of significant importance for the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions.

Assessment of content and quality

Within the framework of the available funds, Pro Helvetia prioritises projects that most comprehensively meet the funding criteria. The Foundation assesses whether

  • the project demonstrates high degree of independence and professional competence as well as social and thematic relevance
  • the project is implemented according to professional standards
  • the costs are commensurate with the expected impact
  • a lasting impact can be expected

Furthermore, the Foundation attaches great importance to the following aspects:

  • The project has an appropriate commitment to diversity.
  • Resources are used in an ecologically responsible manner and work and production are planned sustainably.


Pro Helvetia is unable to consider funding requests if

  • the same part of the submitted project is already received funding from other federal bodies (e.g. Federal Office of Culture, Presence Switzerland, Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)
  • the project is part of a school or university curriculum/basic training or continuing education programme (including dissertations, diploma projects, university scholarships, etc.)
  • funding is intended to cover infrastructure and equipment costs, as well as the costs of operating cultural facilities, archives and collections
  • the project does not depend on funding from Pro Helvetia

Status: January 2024