NO pampering please

NO pampering please

Providers of residential art centres tend to be hyper-concerned about what they offer their guests. During the symposium many questions expressed concerns in this way: Do we inform the artists well enough? Can we generate enough money for our guests? Do we offer enough contacts to them? How can we make the artists' stay as fruitful as possible? What could be the ideal length of stay for our guests? Are we clear enough in our guidelines and applications? Don't we ask too much of our guests? And so forth.

At the end of the symposium protests were raised against this caring attitude. Moukhtar Kocache, from Ford Foundation in Cairo expressed it with humour: "Artists are very well capable of informing themselves, they don't need to be pampered!" Others also said not to feel comfortable with the idea that artists would be vulnerable creative spirits in need of care and attention. Please stay realistic, was their call. Artists are responsible to make the most out of a residency period themselves. Residencies may ask their guests to take up that responsibility!

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