Afryka Północna – Europa – Bliski Wschód. Program grantowy BW i Roberto Cimetta Fund

BIENNALE WARSZAWA 2019 travel grants

OPEN CALL Biennale Warszawa i Roberto Cimetta Fund w ramach programu grantowego wspierającego mobilność twórców i twórczyń.

The Roberto Cimetta Fund and Biennale Warszawa are collaborating to offer travel grants in the framework of the Biennale Warszawa in May and June 2019 and to facilitate and increase mobility and creativity of artists between Central Eastern Europe and Arab-Middle East region.

Biennale Warszawa is a public institution focusing on a long-term work plan and operating on 2-year work cycles, which terminate with a festival lasting several weeks. Its aim is to integrate research, activism and artistic work all in one. The main idea behind the Biennale Warszawa concept is to aggregate and structure expertise on present-day culture and art, as well as politics. From this base, new artistic, political, social, economic and ecological ideas are created and deliberated, building alternative models of functioning in the post-crisis world. The curatorial concept for the Biennale Warszawa focuses on the institution’s activities around three dualities: art / culture, research / discourse and activism / politics. Integrating these dualities of expression leads to mutual strengthening of capacities and synergies, and avoids already worked out ideas, artworks or initiatives. This way of working allows the ideas, knowledge and concepts to flow both ways between science and art. It makes it possible to include art in intervention and activist actions in the public space and to conduct art-based research projects. This model supports the process of creating new, alternative and positive projects for human life, politics, communities, economy and culture. It is essential that, when providing many different viewpoints and experiences, one does not create divisions, then impossible to overcome, but designs a new world with a vision focused on that which is common and universal instead of that which divides and disconnects.

This call is launched on 1st December 2018 and will be open to applications for one month.

Applications can be made in Arabic, English or French. The applicant must directly address the context presented by Biennale Warszawa (for more details, please see card INFO) and focus on future possibilities for transnational commons, translocal politics beyond nation states, Central Eastern European and Arab-Middle East relations.



From the end of WWII till the transition period in 1989, Poland developed strong relations with North African and Middle-East countries. Polish Communist government represented the Eastern Block and led diplomatic and economic relations with Arab countries. These relations have been strong especially in 60s, 70s and 80s when trade, economical and technological exchange was happening. As a result of this cooperation, Polish specialists in industry, economy, science, infrastructure and medicine went to work in Arab region. From 70s,  Polish foreign trade company POLSERVICE sent several thousands of Polish specialists to African and Middle-East countries. At the same time, many special scholarship programs at Polish Universities were created for foreign students from these countries. From the 60s, the Department of Undeveloped Countries at Warsaw School of Planning and Statistics (SGPiS) created by Michał Kalecki and Ignacy Sachs accepted many students from African and Middle-East who later took on many important positions in their own homelands.

Rediscovering those historical relations that were suddenly cut in 1989, due to the change of the Polish foreign policy, could be a starting point for a new set of artistic and political projects that will create imaginary future-oriented scenarios of trans-regional and trans-local bonds between Central-Eastern Europe and Arab-Middle East region.

We would like to invite curators, artists, researchers and cultural operators to take up this challenge and design different alternatives for today’s social, political and economic order; new institutions, organizations, imaginary scenarios, provocative and experimental worlds related to the given context. Our programme expects that artistic tools (performance, visual arts, music, etc.) work together with political, social, economical, ecological and activist actions. We aim to reclaim the past context and imagine new transnational and translocal relations.


The following criteria apply to the fund:

  1. The aim of the travel and motivation of the traveler must show potential for a constructive and long-term impact on the arts’ sector in a concrete, localised context in the Euro-Arab-Middle East geographical region. This means that travel must contribute to the applicant’s personal development, which in turn can be shared with artists and operators on return to their country in order to maintain, renew and develop contemporary art practices;
  2. Applicants must be either:
  • Residing or working in Warsaw, and developing projects specific to the Central-Eastern Europe and Arab-Middle East Region;
  • Residing or working in the Arab-Middle East Region and wishing to travel to Warsaw for collaborative work specific to the context described in specific criteria of Biennale Warszawa. Travel to another destination inside the Central-Eastern European and Arab-Middle East region is also possible if the aim of travel has a tangible link with the Biennale Warszawa.
  1. Travel must take place during the Biennale Warszawa from March till June 2019;

d) No nationality or age criteria apply to the fund; however the applicant must be resident or work in the Euro-Arab-Middle East geographical region (including Turkey);

e) The applicant’s profession must be one of the following; curator, artist, researcher, cultural operator;

f) The call aims to give financial support to applicants who have not found the financial resources by themselves;

g) Applications must be made by individuals and not by organisations. Only three members of a group can apply for a grant concerning the same project;

h) Applicants can only receive three RCF grants in total and only one application per person is possible at each call.

i) Applicants must choose the cheapest form of transport and can only apply for one international return travel ticket and visa costs per application;

j) Local transport, per diems and accommodation costs are not covered by the fund or by the Biennale Warszawa.

k) Upon selection, the beneficiary must inform the Biennale Warszawa of their arrival date, one month in advance via email detailing the contact information as well as a concise project description addressed to Biennale Warszawa can facilitate accommodation in Warsaw if necessary.

l) Roberto Cimetta Fund and the Biennale Warszawa will require a one page report and 5 to 10 photos (high resolution) from the beneficiary, to be sent within the first 3 months following their return to the country of origin. These photos may be used by RCF and Biennale Warszawa for promotional purposes and must therefore be copyright-free.


The call is open from 1st to 31st December 2018. Results will be announced on 1st March 2019.


The Roberto Cimetta Fund will administer the call. Evaluation will be carried out jointly by the Fund and the Biennale Warszawa.

Funds will be released to successful applicants after travel and upon submission of proof of travel, proof of expenditure and a written report.


More details on the call can be found on and

For more information please contact: