Call for Artists: Take part in a rural residency in North-western Bulgaria


Radical imagination in rural realities

We invite artists to participate in an art residency in the village of DELEYNA near Vidin from the 24th of August to the 13th of September 2020.

The unexpected state of emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led to some changes in our initial plan regarding the format of the art residency for Bulgarian and foreign artists to live together with the locals in the village of Deleyna (near Vidin) and create in cooperation with each other.

After talking to the locals and discussing the possible scenarios within the frame of this new situation, our team adapted the format so that it best addresses the current conditions and needs. It is of highest priority to keep the elderly in the villages safe, while simultaneously trying to bring more diversity to their lives after the period of social isolation, and lastly, to search for a shared vision regarding the contemporary model of the dynamic village. 

The Residence has focused on the connection between the generations, as well as between the rural and the urban culture. The recent need for physical distance made it more challenging.

At the same time, this current situation brought more light to the injustice and the unequal distribution of resources, both cultural and economic, and inspired new forms of solidarity and compassion, which bring hope for more empathetic interactions. 


The village of Deleyna in Bulgaria, like most of the villages in South-eastern Europe, are situated in a social, cultural and geographical periphery and are strongly affected by contemporary political and economic processes (happening in the rest of Europe?). The direct consequences of this are poverty, depopulation, lack of access to culture (as well as health care, education and economic progress), and last but not least, the broken connection between the generations.

Some questions based on the topic, we would like to ask you to reflect on during the residency, are: Is it possible and how can we “think about the village in the future tense”? How is the public imagination born – the one that would allow us to “think about the village in the future tense”?

During the search for an answer to the question, how can we, through the means of culture, “rehabilitate” the muscle of public imagination, which nowadays fails at leaving room for imagination regarding the village. What can bring it back to life – empathy or provocation? Which fragments of the past still hold value today, and which are the ones of the present, that can add value nowadays?  

We depend on bold, unexplored until now, but also necessary for the community approaches, which engage the artistic imagination and the means of art as driving forces for positive change.


All 10 participants will be artists from different disciplines, who have strong interest in the topic and previous experience related to socially engaged artistic practices and community work.

The participation will unfold in teams of two or more artists – one Bulgarian and one international artist. The Bulgarian artist will be living in the village and his/ her partner artist will contribute with his/ her own knowledge and ideas online.

The artist living in the village will be responsible for the on-field research and communication with local people while the international partner will have a reflective and conceptualizing role. Both of them will develop an artistic project, which will reflect the specifics of the place and the inspiration drawn from the sincere conversations with the locals. The results may take the form of an audio-visual work, a documentary, installation, comics, interactive intervention, illustrations or some other artistic medium.

The participants will be given a compilation of diverse resources and data bases, gathered during the last 5 years of realizing Baba Residence initiative in different Bulgarian villages. The artists who will be living in the village could use the local cultural hub (chitalishte) in Deleyna village as a creative studio.


Artistic results, depending on each of the participant’s specific discipline of creation, will have the chance to be exposed during a final community event in the village – an exhibition. After the residency, the artistic materials will become part of a travelling exhibition in Bulgarian cities as well.


Residents who will live in the village will be provided free of charge:

accommodation and food during their stay at the homes of local people;

work space at local community centers;

travel costs.

All the 10 artists will recieve a honorarium for their research and work in the village.

They will have a small production budget for materials (up to 200 BGN) as use of local resources is strongly encouraged. Any kind of assistance from the curator and project team will be provided to the artists during the residency period.

Available residency vacancies: 10

Application deadline: 17 JULY 2020

Announcement of selected artists: 20 JULY 2020

Residency Duration: 21 days 

The residency is part of the European Cultural Foundation‘s endorsed cultural and social-entrepreneurial initiatives across Europe in the Democracy Needs Imagination program.

Our trustworthy local partner is Vidin Fund Chitalishte.

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For questions -> write to us at