Context AiR Plovdiv
The program meis initiated and funded by the Culture Department of the Municipality of the second biggest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv. The residency program aims at the production of new artistic works in public space, following artists’ interactions with the city and inspired by its distinctive character. The city of Plovdiv – with its eclectic mix of ancient and medieval history, socialist heritage, and modern reality, the experience it carries of a European Capital of Culture in 2019, home to a variety of ethnic and religious groups, and an urban-nature-scape that follows a charming river and a few hills – is the central thematic focus of the programme.
- To realize innovative ideas in the scope of the contemporary art and culture trends and in direct interaction with the givens of the local context and with the local communities;
- To help renew the perception of the cultural identity of Plovdiv by creating iconic works;
- To generate events and manifestations that help to develop audiences, attract tourists to the city, as well as for development, education and integration of different communities through the means of culture;
- To provide opportunities for artistic exchange and partnerships with local organizations and institutions.
The programme offers a full scholarship, covering living expenses and production costs, as well as providing living & working space in a shared residential house – the Nishaniyan House. Programme curator since 2022 is Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva – an art historian, critic, and curator with 20 years of experience in private and public cultural institutions in Bulgaria. Programme coordinator for CONTEXT AiR is Vanya Grozdanova – an art manager and curator experienced within the diverse local independent scene.
Artists are committed to creating new works and their own concepts, as a result of the research done on spot in relation to relevant city realities. They would be also responsible to organise (supported by the residency organiser) and taking part in one public event for the presentation of the new artwork produced within their residency. In addition, within the duration of their stay artists would be expected to make at least one additional event related to the promotion of their practice and engagement with the local community. This could be an artist talk, a workshop, etc.
A shared studio (allowing work of at least 2 residents at the same time), with unlimited internet access.
The residential house “Pilibos Nishaniyan” was built in the mid-19th century, now an architectural monument It is a self-contained house with a yard, located in the central area of Plovdiv – providing the opportunity for an easy pedestrian walk to all museums, the city parks, and the Kapana neighborhood famous for the urban leisure activities provided on each of its corners. The maximum number of resident artists in the same period is 4 persons. The living space offers suitable conditions for work and life during the artistic residency. With an equipped kitchen, washing machine for shared use, a bathroom and toilet for shared use, separate bedrooms (with bed linen and towels provided), shared workspace within the living area with internet access, and bikes that could be used as transportation tools around the city.
The house is located in the architectural and historical reserve Old Town Plovdiv placed over three of Plovdiv’s hills: Nebet Tepe, Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe, currently at the very central urban area of the city.