English, Bulgarian, Dutch
15 days (13th - 27th May 2018)
Paid by host 

Accommodation, indoor & outdoor studio space.

Paid by artist 

Accepted artists are required to pay a contribution fee of 150,- euro for the 15 days (to be paid before 1 May). This will go towards food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), local transport between Tsarino and Chorbadzhijsko, as well as general maintenance, development and restoration works in the village. In case of cancellation, the full amount will be refunded. Travel to and from Chorbadzhijsko at the start and end of the residency will need to be arranged and paid for by the selected participants themselves.

Application guidelines 

To apply, please provide a single PDF including a CV, portfolio and short motivational text (max. 400 words). Additional media, such as sound and video, can be provided as web links or attached as separate files. They only accept applications sent by email.


Tsarino Art Residency

Tsarino Art Residency


'The Tsarino Foundation organises artist-run AiR programmes in the formerly abandoned village of Tsarino. It was set up in 2009 by an international collective of eight artists based in Amsterdam. The AiR programmes are part of a wider research project placing contemporary art in the rural and remote environment of Tsarino, inviting artists to explore its unique context, living and work conditions. Currently, the foundation uses seven habitable houses, refurbished to provide artists with basic accommodation and studio space. In recent years, the foundation has improved the general facilities by building an outdoor kitchen and renovating water lines. However, because of its remote location and lack of electricity, the conditions remain very basic. In all its activities, the foundation recognises its position and responsibility towards its environment. Through organising AiR programmes, the foundation aims to offer a platform for cultural exchange between the local community and (international) guest artists, as well as preserve Tsarino as a village.

This spring (2018), the Tsarino Foundation presents Spring Riot: a two week exploration of the abandoned village of Tsarino through acoustics, improvisation and collaboration. Artists of all disciplines are invited to develop their own site-specific projects, in a stimulating environment with plenty of space for collaborative and individual riots. Spring Riot is a play on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It is meant to provoke a playful and energetic working spirit embodying the spring season.

In Tsarino, spring makes noise. Forests are bustling with sounds of birds, insects and the rustling of leaves. Its impact is a rhythmic, bodily experience. When it arrives, rays of sunlight strike the forest floor, their warmth rousing plants from their winter sleep. The green breaks out... The organziers would like to tap into this primordial energy reviving the empty houses and engage with the sonic rawness of the fields and forests. They want you to spring riot, and shake up Tsarino into your living stage and audience.


The organizers have planned a series of presentations to serve as a thread running through both weeks. These presentations are to be partly organised by the participating artists and can be divided into the following three categories:

  • Each participant will be asked to organise a short event (lasting ten minutes to one hour) in which the whole group can take part. These events should form an opportunity for the participants to interact with each other and can be playful. To name some examples, think of: a workshop involving everyone’s practices, a site-specific intervention or just a visit to a certain location.
  • Each participant will be asked once to signal dinner is ready. In other years, the dinner bell was a small horn audible throughout the valley; a practical solution when people are scattered around. This spring, the sounding of a dinner bell each evening is left entirely to the artists. Each dinner bell could be developed from an ongoing project or be a one-time experiment, collaborations are also encouraged.
  • The organizers have planned two group presentations open to the public, one on day 8 and one on day 14. The first presentation will take place in the neighbouring town of Chorbadzhjisko and the second in Tsarino. These presentations are an opportunity to meet and interact with the local community. The form of the presentations will be developed during the residency and seeks to accommodate everyone’s ideas and wishes.
Accommodation Information 
Each artist will be offered a private room with a mattress, pillow and sheets. There is one solar charging station on site, providing electricity to charge batteries, phones, laptops and other electronic devices up to 500W (please note: the amount of energy produced by the solar charger is dependent on the weather and therefore cannot be guaranteed). There are three outdoor composting toilets and two cold showers (which do warm up in the sun). There are two bicycles that can be used in agreement with the staff.
Studio Information 

Each participant will be offered a private room. More space to work can be found elsewhere in the village, think of empty houses and the surrounding fields and forests. There is a basic set of hand tools that can be used in agreement with the staff.


Tsarino is a small village in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains, near to the Greek border. It was abandoned over thirty years ago due to a number of factors, one of which is its isolated setting amongst hills and forests. Over time, most original inhabitants moved to Chorbadzhjisko. This is a nearby town revolving around agriculture, growing predominately peppers and tobacco. Tsarino (its previous name in Turkish was Hasyurt) belongs to a Pomak community of Muslim Bulgarians. Pomaks are a minority group living side by side with the ethnic Turkish community, making up over half of the population in this region.

Though abandoned (apart from one original inhabitant) and lacking basic utilities such as running water and electricity, Tsarino is still of significance to the communities of the area. Its mosque and graveyard are still maintained and used. Some families visit their houses, pick fruits or ‘park’ their cows in the village. The animals can take care of themselves and use the empty houses as their homes. In recent years, the local community has showed a growing interest in Tsarino. Previous inhabitants of Tsarino have taken initiatives to restore their houses or a stretch of road.

The village of Tsarino
Tsarino Foundation,
Sloterkade 129-1
1058 HM Amsterdam

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