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Open Call for the tri-continental project «Quilombo»
Deadline: April 30 | Selection: May 7 | Residency: August–October | Exhibition: 29 October 2021

SALTS (CH) and Waza art center Lubumbashi (DR Congo), with Lago Mio Lugano artist residency (CH), are delighted to announce the coalition-based project «Quilombo», comprising an exhibition, a three-month residency in two Swiss cities, and a catalog. «Quilombo» is presented in collaboration with Culturescapes 2021 Amazonia.

We welcome single or two-person applications from Congolese, Brazilian and Swiss artists (see «We offer») and seek all disciplines that imbue a research-based practice or one that feels inspired by the outlined thematics below. Please send your motivation video (via wetransfer.com, 1 min.) or letter (1’000 characters) plus cv/portfolio (PDF) to call[@]salts.ch (En/De/Fr, deadline 30.04.2021).


This project is developed out of a personal invitation between the Swiss-based institution SALTS and the Congo-based Waza art center, in order to collaborate, exchange, and learn from each other during a full year of co-programming and co-curation. The foundation for an intensive collaboration with the artists is laid in the partnership with the artist residency Lago Mio Lugano on the Swiss border with Italy.

Once synonymous with escape and resistance, ‹quilombo› today stands for a Brazilian settlement of African descent. Anthropologists and historians meanwhile have arrived at a new understanding of these rural communities, calling for a broader definition: Regardless of their specific history, quilombos share collective identities and notions, linking them to their African roots and making them fight common battles as people in DRC, Switzerland or anywhere else: against capitalism and racism, and for the equitable distribution of resources.

The project «Quilombo» attempts to build on the idea of a «Black Atlantic», coined by British-Guyanese historian and writer Paul Gilroy in 1993 as a «Counterculture of Modernity» in the relations between Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Can we activate aesthetics sensitive to common concerns, taking advantage of the digital age’s challenges, particularly in the unexpected connectivity of our pandemic era? Social injustice has its roots in the history of exploitation of natural resources and human labor and continues to this day. How can this be undermined by an alternative reading of human relations between the three continents, imagining an ecology that empowers humanism and diversity?


  1. Three-month residency + exhibition (August/September at Lago Mio in Lugano/Switzerland, October at Atelier Mondial in Basel/Switzerland) for an artist from the DR Congo.
  2. Three-month residency + exhibition for an artist from Brazil/Amazonia region.
  3. Residency* + exhibition for a Swiss artist (*always welcome but generally living at home)
  4. Non-physical residency + exhibition for artists who are unable to travel (personal reasons, legal, health etc.)

Lago Mio, Via Cattedrale 15, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland, www.lagomioresidency.ch
Atelier Mondial, Freilager-Platz 10, 4053 Münchenstein, Switzerland, www.ateliermondial.com

For details and more information on how to apply: bit.ly/applyforquilombo


The project is presented in collaboration with multidisciplinary biennial festival Culturescapes that, in 2021, is focused on Amazonia.


Lago Mio traditionally accompanies at least one guest who is unable to travel for legal, health, or other reasons. Applications for this residency in physical absence, including participation in the exhibition and in the publication, are to be marked with the email subject «Non-physical residency».


The exhibition will first open on 29 October 2021 at City SALTS in Birsfelden, followed by iterations at Lago Mio Lugano, Waza art center Lubumbashi, and São Paulo (tbd).


The exhibition includes a printed publication.


The resiency includes a one-week workshop with students from the Centre for African Studies of the University of Basel, a public event/talk in Lugano a.o.


City SALTS, Hauptstrasse 12, Birsfelden, Switzerland, www.salts.ch
Centre d'Art WAZA, Avenue Adoula, Lubumbashi, DR Congo, www.centredartwaza.org
Lago Mio artist residency, Via Cattedrale 15, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland, www.lagomioresidency.ch


The project is presented in collaboration with the multidisciplinary biennial festival CULTURESCAPES that, in 2021, is focused on Amazonia, its art practices, cultural production, and activist resistance.


Artists of all disciplines are invited to submit proposals to participate. Applications will be reviewed by our international Jury: Samuel Leuenberger, Véronique Poverello Kasongo, Patrick Mudekereza, and Benedikt Wyss.


  • The artist is invited to a 2-month residency at the Lago Mio artist residency and a 1-month residency at Atelier Mondial as a place to live and work.
  • The artist is committed to producing work in exchange with the curators to present it in a final presentation/exhibition.
  • Hosts and curators are committed to providing the artist with support and conversation to the best of their ability.
  • A publication will unite the artists' works. It comes with the AR video app «Primo Print in motion».
  • Lago Mio offers an open studio dinner to present the artists’ work and meet local practitioners and committee members.
  • Lago Mio offers a selected small supporting program, tailored to the artists’ wishes.
  • Artists will participate in a «Visual History Lab», a one-week workshop with students of the Centre for African Studies of the University of Basel. https://zasb.unibas.ch/de/forschung/aesthetics-from-the-margins/visual-history-lab-2019
  • Basic tools in the residencies' workshops, other tools available upon request. Artists are given a bicycle for their stay.
  • Lago Mio Lugano offers over 200 m2 of space and various rooms, while in Basel at Atelier Mondial the two residents will share a (spacious) loft-apartment incl. studio (2 rooms).


  • a) support of the artist from DRC incl. housing costs, living expenses budget at free disposal (1'500 CHF/month), production support to be defined
  • b) support of the artist from Brazil/Amazon region incl. housing costs, living expenses budget at free disposal (1'500 CHF/month), production support to be defined
  • c) support of the Swiss artist includes 750 CHF/month, production support to be defined
  • d) support of the non-physical artist(s) to be defined

Production budget: receipted costs directly related to the production of the exhibition/artwork incl. material/technical purchases, rents, and payments to third parties involved in the production.


Ask us: call@salts.ch

Thank you for forwarding this call to potentially interested artists and institutions.

www.salts.ch | www.centredartwaza.ch | www.lagomioresidency.ch | www.culturescapes.ch

07. April 2021

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Hauptstrasse 12
Birsfelden, Switzerland

Centre d'Art WAZA
Avenue Adoula
Lubumbashi, DR Congo

Lago Mio artist residency
Via Cattedrale 15
6900 Lugano, Switzerland


Photo credits:
© Lago Mio Lugano 2020