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Opinion

Artist Safety / Safe Haven Hosting

Artseverywhere

Every month ArtsEverywhere, the latest program of Musagetes, a Canadian philanthropic arts organization, presents a Global Roundtable in which contributors are asked to respond to a specific question as it relates to one or more of ArtsEverywhere’s lines of Inquiry.

Khaled Barakeh, THE SHAKE – Materialising the Distance, 2013  

In 2017, Residency Unlimited (RU) organized a day-long symposium entitled Embedded, Embedding: Artist Residencies, Urban Placemaking and Social Practice. Hosted by the New School/Parsons MFA Fine Arts Program and curated by Livia Alexander, this symposium examined the connecting and diverging points between the needs of communities, artists’ requirements for materials and professional support, and those commissioning and underwriting such initiatives. To further this line of inquiry, RU Dialogues and ArtsEverywhere are collaborating to present five online discussions that take their cue from the topics explored at the symposium. The first roundtable examines the topic of artist residencies and the city. This second roundtable discusses the issue of artist safety, shelter, and the contested notion of the artist residency as a potential site for safe haven hosting. 

The origins of the term “safe haven” as utilized in this roundtable can be traced to the early 1990s when Jacques Derrida, Salman Rushdie, and the International Parliament of Writers initiated a movement of shelter cities, called Cities of Asylum Network (INCA), to stand against the increased assassinations of writers in Algeria. When INCA dissolved, The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) was formed in 2006, which now includes over 60 cities, many of which are located in Europe and more specifically the Nordic countries. In turn, “safe haven” became a common descriptor amongst art councils and ministries for the residency programs set up in these cities for writers and more recently practitioners working across all media, from musicians to visual artists.

Read the full story here.

This roundtable gathered 14 participants around the globe and was curated by Lalita Salander, a New York based independent curator, educator, and artist. Salander is pursuing a cross-disciplinary doctoral degree in the field of contemporary art and cultural studies through the University of Reading and Zurich University of the Arts. Her research specifically focuses on Artist-in-Residence programmes in the 21st century. Salander is the curator for Residency Unlimited’s Dialogues platform and co-founder of Frontview for Art & Architecture.

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