Three Months In Sofia!

Open Call 2020

June 15, 2020


announce an

Open Call 2020


  • A three-month long residency for a visual,  or performance artist, writer, dramaturge, art researcher, or curator
  • Residency period: 1st September – 30th November 2020
  • Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

What we offer:

The selected candidate will be accommodated for a month in the premises of each of the three partnering organizations in Sofia: Radar, Aеther and Swimming Pool. The stay is envisaged to start in early September and last till end-November 2020.

The scholarship per month is 700 EUR. A production budget of 1500 EUR is available for a final presentation/performance/exhibition/public event, to be synchronized and arranged between the artist and the inviting spaces. Travel expenses (economy-class trip) to and from Sofia of up to 400EUR will be covered. If possible, we recommend a slow travel journey by train. 

RAD.OST, is a newly established residency as part of the Eastern European Network 

Three independent art spaces in Sofia, Bulgaria – Aether, Radar Sofia, and Swimming Pool – invite you to live and work for three months in the saddest place in the world, according to The Economist, as part of a collaboration with Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, and with the kind support of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.

The idea of creating new residency connections in today’s Europe (as a post neo-liberal establishment) asks for radical response and rethinking of the distances that bind and separate us and also calls for reflection on our common resistance mechanisms to the mainstream and to the dehumanizing nature of a production-oriented competitive world of the market society we live in.

This partnership mix is aimed at a long-term exchange between the organizations and their residents. Each year an applicant and previous resident of Akademie Schloss Solitude will be accepted to a residency in Sofia, while a Bulgarian artist will have the opportunity to spend creative time in Stuttgart. However, the whole enterprise is unusual and could be viewed as a structural questioning of the balance of soft cultural power between the East and the West.

RAD.OST addresses the way we associate and how we position ourselves in the present. Hopefully, it will live to be a new instrument for dialogue and communication, as well as a base for reflection on a broader scale, but also a safe haven for the artists to recuperate, gather strengths and pluck up the courage to go back to action and creation. 

We also very much appreciate the wisdom behind the need of a period spent in non-doing, non-producing, non-exposing or presenting, so our hearts are open to all kinds of project proposals from our future guests, including ongoing or already launched projects. 

The residency period gives the opportunity to the selected candidate to profoundly immerse in life in Sofia, learn much about the political, social and art context of the country, work uninterruptedly, form potential future collaborations, and also present his/her work(s) or creative approach in a new environment. Each year, a different organization or a team of organizations curates the open call and the final presentation/performance/project of the selected applicant. In 2020 these are Aether and Radar Sofia.


find joy in going east, experience our RAD.OST, get radical, radiant with ideas, but also learn and connect to the context of our place, so that you can find the word play behind our choice of a name.



The residency is open to candidates who:

  • are current residents of AKADEMIE SCHLOSS SOLITUDE or have been residents in the past 10 years (since the beginning of 2011)
  • are active in the fields of visual arts, performance, theatre, or literature
  • have working knowledge of English

NB. In case of healthcare regulations not permitting part of the residency period to be physically spent in Sofia, the prospective portion of residency can also take place remotely. In such a case, the production budget and the public event in Sofia will be re-defined additionally in coordination with the organizers. 

Application materials:

Please send us until July 5, 2020, midnight, the following application materials:

  • a short bio (of up to 300 words) and a detailed CV (max 3 pages);
  • a portfolio covering 3 to maximum 5 works/projects with captions. The links to audio or video works should be with exact time code of proposed place for watching if works are long. (In case of writers/dramaturges: send us text sample(s) of previous work(s) that should not exceed 20 pages in total);
  • website of candidate
  • one-page motivation letter; 
  • project proposal of what you will be working on while in Sofia, containing a first draft budget breakdown (how would you prefer to spend the project budget of 1500 EUR?)

Please, send us your materials in PDF format. Please, do not send us PDF files larger than 10 MB.

Applicants understand that the provision of their data is voluntary and by submitting their application they agree that the organizers can process their personal data for the purposes of evaluation of this application only. The organizers undertake not to resubmit, share or disclose any part of these data with any third parties.

The announcement of the results: July 15, 2020

Earliest possible start of the residency: Sept 1, 2020

Please send all required materials to:, with copies to:, and 

  • In 2020 the selection will be made jointly by members of Radar Sofia and Aether:

Alexander Manuiloff, art manager of Radar Sofia

Voin de Voin, artist, curator and manager of Aether, Sofia

  • In 2021 the selection will be carried out by Swimming pool and

Viktoria Draganova, curator and director of Swimming Pool, Sofia

Radar Sofia

Radar Sofia is an artist-run residency programme and Bulgaria’s first residency space for playwrights and theatre makers. The organisation has so far welcomed residents from three continents and has created and hosted numerous performances, stage readings, workshops, lectures, presentations and discussions. It has commissioned new texts to its writers and has started exchange programmes. The organisation focuses on playwrights and dramaturges, artists at risk facing persecution and exile, and it seeks to support political, socially engaged and experimental contemporary art practices. Radar Sofia coordinates Drama Pact, an informal union of playwrights and dramaturges in Sofia and abroad, and an initiative to support and promote contemporary dramaturgy. The physical location is in the heart of Sofia’s city centre.  


Æther Art Space is a self-organised, artists-run platform for exhibitions, discussions, community gathering, experimentation, workshops and publishing. It is situated in the centre of Sofia. Æther partners with LGBT+, anti-fascist and human rights organisations internationally, to oppose dominant paradigms in  society. Æther focuses on cross cultural, social, judicial, and artistic initiatives and practices that are active and directed towards visible changes and community improvement. Æther initiates and presents visual and discursive programmes that raise social awareness. 

In bringing together Bulgarian and international artists, activists and agencies, we want to create a common language that connects art with political imagination. By elevating underrepresented voices and collective thinking Æther Art Space facilitates dialogues where non-patriarchal, inclusive, and intersectional voices can be heard. In the context of Europe’s political landscape, the aim of Æther’s artistic and theoretical programme is to bring in a new perspective and offer a process of understanding the causes and effects of the aftermath of the embodied capitalist model of life, and bring forth prospects of new experiences, ways of life and radical ideas.

Æther operates an alternative platform in the Hague, the Netherlands, called Æther Haga.

Swimming Pool

SWIMMING POOL is a non-profit art project space and organization in Sofia, founded in 2015 by curator and writer Viktoria Draganova. Its focus lies on artist and curatorial research, collaborative approaches, art education and art politics. It is located on a central rooftop with an empty pool built in the 1930’s. It organizes exhibitions, performances, screenings, events and discussions to support Bulgarian art locally and abroad, while opening up the local context to international artists, curators and writers. Since 2018, it also runs an experimental educational program and a curatorial school that gathers art practitioners to discuss the aim and future of small-scale organizations.

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