What can we do from this place? What future can we build together? UNIDEE and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto invite applications for p this year’s Unidee Residency. Curated by Andy Abbott the theme is "Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future". Application deadline: August 24, 2020.


The global Coronavirus pandemic is an event that has created new conditions for arts and culture. Those who wish to effect social change through their practice are left with questions: "What can we do from here?" and "What future can we help to build?”. The residency aims to collectively and collaboratively address key questions, challenges and themes in the area of embedded and socially engaged art practice. Through the lens of a "post pandemic" future, participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge that they can then apply in both the postindustrial context of Biella and their own locale.

Over ten weeks from September to November 2020, the residency will provide time and space for practitioners and thinkers from a range of backgrounds to collectively and collaboratively address key questions and challenges in the unfolding context of a post-virus world.


How will it work?

In order to accommodate global social distancing measures and travel restrictions the bulk of the residency will be accessed remotely, with a one-week intensive project in Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (Northern Italy).

Participants will be invited to undertake an action research project in their local communities to develop and share with the rest of the cohort. The one-week intensive in Biella will provide an opportunity for three participants at a time to test and apply their project in the context of Biella, a postindustrial town with a history of adapting to transformations in the way they work, live, create and be with one another.

Participants will benefit from perspectives, workshops, and mentoring opportunities from guest practitioners, curators, arts organizers and academics that will enrich and help frame their own practice and projects. Invited guests include architect and researcher Sandi Hilal, (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Stockholm, Sweden), Arte Útil curators and researchers Gemma Medina Estupiñán and Alessandra Saviotti (Spain/Italy), curator and organizer-as-artist Eva Rowson (Bergen Kjøtt, University of Bergen, Norway), professor of art Mick Wilson (Hdk-Valand Academy/University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Nadia Moreno Moya and Fernando Escobar Neira (School of Arts, National University of Colombia) researchers working on the interstices between the art and politics in Latin America, independent research and curator Aria Spinelli (Rome, Italy) as well as embedded arts organizations In-Situ (East Lancashire, UK) and South Square Centre (West Yorkshire, UK).

Participants will also access an online symposium and weekly webinar series themed on the past, present and future of embedded and socially engaged practice, and take part in virtual seminars to discuss and share their work. Finally, the residency will be documented and disseminated through a collective installation/exhibition at Cittadellarte, and a publication.

Who is it for?

A cohort of up to thirty participants from a range of backgrounds and with diverse practices in the area of socially engaged art and social practice, curatorial practice, and community-organization. Participants will have an emerging or developing practice—either as an individual or as representative of an organization or institution—that they are ready to share, interrogate and test in new contexts. Under-represented voices and new perspectives to the cohort will be particularly welcome.

Participants will need to be able to engage with the full ten weeks of the program that will take place between September 21 and November 29, 2020, and commit to a one-week intensive project in Biella at some point in this period. Also, the program will be delivered in English and participants should be fluent speakers.

Applicants must submit their application by email to: stating: “UNIDEE 2020 residency application (your name)” as a subject line. Deadline for submission is 5pm August 24 and we will let successful applicants know a decision by August 31. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE OPEN CALL AND HOW TO APPLY 


About Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto

In 1999 Michelangelo Pistoletto founded Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto’s program of artists’ residencies for art and social transformation: UNIDEE residency programs. A program open to artists and professionals from all over the world who reside at Cittadellarte for a certain period of time; the program aims at providing instruments for “artivators”, i.e. subjects working at the boundaries between artistic practices, processes of social change and collaborations with communities external to the art world, weaving together moments of interdisciplinary research, exchange of knowledge and practical activities. The objective of the program is to provide the participants with the inspiration, motivation and instruments to activate, develop or strengthen artistic initiatives based on the involvement of local ecologies.