UNIDEE Modules 2020: Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future | open call & selected residents

Sandi Hilal, Mick Wilson, Eva Rowson, STEALTH.unlimited, Gemma Medina Estupiñán, Nadia Moreno Moya and many more
21 Sep / 30 Nov, 2020
Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto

UNIDEE and Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto are pleased to invite applications for participation in this year’s UNIDEE Residency.
Curated by Andy Abbott, the theme is "Embedded Arts Practice in a Post-pandemic Future".


Francesca Fiordelmondo (Italy), Federico Pozuelo (Spain/Italy), Alice Pedroletti (Italy), Dafne Salis (Italy), Tatjana Schaefer and Catalin Pislaru (Germany / Uzbekistan and Moldavia/Romania), Camila Aguais (USA/UK), Elena Blesa Cábez (Spain), Sophie Skellern (UK), Rachel Grant (UK), Francesca Carion (Italy), Katja Verheul (The Netherlands), Laia Ventayol (Spain), Irene Angenica (Italy), Miriam Rejas del Pino (and TBD Ultramagazine) (Spain/Italy), Livia Daza Paris (Venezuela/Canada), Reyhaneh Mirjahani (Iran/Sweden), Daniela Delgado Viteri (Ecuador/Spain), Stefano Volpato (Italy), Christine Mackey (Ireland), Tiara Jackson (USA), Orecchie D’Asino (Ornella De Carlo and Federica Porro) (Italy), Eddie James (New zeland/Australia), Kirila Cvetkovska (Macedonia), Jade Blood (UK), Lauren Hollowday (UK), Tizo All (Brazil/Germany), Antonio di Biase (Italy), Weronika Zalewska (Poland), Annabelle Craven-Jones (UK), Ginevra Ludovici (Italy), Giulia Menegale (Italy), Zina Zarour (Palestine), Aadita Chaudhury (India/Canada), William Rees (UK), Francesco Pavignano (Italy), Sarah Dixon (UK), Andra Nedelcu (Romania), Erica Ferrari (Brazil), Aïda Diop (France), Ayesha Mukadam (South Africa), Yuliya Say (Ukraine/Italy), Marco Ranieri (Italy), Henry Palacio (Colombia), Catalina Gómez Rueda (Colombia), Marilou Van Lierop (Belgium).

The global Coronavirus pandemic is an event that had created new conditions for arts and culture. Those who wish to effect social change through their practice are left with questions: "What can we do from here?" and "What future can we help to build?”. The residency aims to collectively and collaboratively address key questions, challenges and themes in the area of embedded and socially engaged art practice. Through the lens of a "post pandemic" future, participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge that they can then apply in both the postindustrial context of Biella and their own locale.

Over ten weeks from September to November 2020, the residency will provide time and space for practitioners and thinkers from a range of backgrounds to collectively and collaboratively address key questions and challenges for embedded and socially engaged art practice in the unfolding context of a post-virus world.

Read the UNIDEE 2020 program Curatorial Statement here


In order to accommodate global social distancing measures and travel restrictions the bulk of the residency will be accessed remotely, with a one-week intensive project in Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (Northern Italy).

Participants will be invited to undertake an action research project in their locale – initiated in response to simple brief – to develop and share with the rest of the cohort. The one-week intensive in Biella will provide an opportunity for three participants at a time to test and apply their project in the context of Biella, a postindustrial town with a history of adapting to transformations in the way we work, live, create and be with one another.

Participants will benefit from perspectives, workshops, and mentoring opportunities from guest practitioners, curators, arts organisers and academics that will enrich and help frame their own practice and projects. Invited guests include architect and researcher Sandi Hilal, (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Stockholm, Sweden), Arte Útil curators and researchers Gemma Medina Estupiñán and Alessandra Saviotti (Spain/Italy), curator and organizer-as-artist Eva Rowson (Bergen Kjøtt, University of Bergen, Norway), professor of art Mick Wilson (Hdk-Valand Academy/University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Nadia Moreno Moya and Fernando Escobar Neira (School of Arts, National University of Colombia) researchers working on the interstices between the art and politics in Latin America, independent researcher and curator Aria Spinelli (Rome, Italy), as well as embedded arts organisations In-Situ (East Lancashire, UK) and South Square Centre (West Yorkshire, UK). With the contribution of Visible project, Jasmeen Patheja (Blank Noise) and STEALTH.unlimited.

Participants will also access an online symposium and weekly webinar series themed on the past, present and future of embedded and socially engaged practice, and take part in virtual seminars to discuss and share their work.

The residency will be documented and disseminated through a collective installation / exhibition at Cittadellarte, and a publication.


We envisage a cohort of up to thirty participants from a range of backgrounds and with diverse practices in the area of socially engaged art and social practice, curatorial practice, and community-organization. Participants will have an emerging or developing practice – either as an individual or as representative of an organisation or institution - that they are ready to share, interrogate and test in new contexts. Experience need not necessarily relate to an institution or formal education. We particularly welcome applications from those who will bring under-represented voices and perspectives to the cohort.

Participants will need to be able to engage with the full ten weeks of the program that will take place between September, 21st and November, 29th 2020, and commit to a one-week intensive project in Biella at some point in this period. The week in Biella is from Monday to Monday and the participants must arrive in Biella the Sunday and leave on Tuesday. This because Monday is one of the most important days for the program as it is the time for two groups of participants to overlap and interesting conversations and exchanges will arise.

The ten slots for the one-week intensive in Biella are:

• September, 21st – 28th
• September, 28th – October, 5th
• October, 5th – 12th
• October, 12th – 19th
• October, 19th – 26th
• October, 26th – November, 2nd
• November, 2nd – 9th
• November, 9th – 16th
• November, 16th – 23th
• November, 23th – 30th

In your application you will be asked to let us know if there are any weeks you can definitely not be present in Biella, as well as any week for which you have a preference.

The program will be delivered in English and participants should be fluent speakers.

Bursaries and scholarships are available to cover the full €1500 fee for the program and accommodation whilst in Biella. Participants will be required to cover their own travel to/from Biella and food/living costs whilst in Cittadellarte.


Application is by Expression of Interest by filling out the application form with the following requirement:
• Indicate the weeks of preference of the one-week intensive project in Cittadellarte (from Monday to Monday).
• Up to 150 words about yourself and your practice and/or experience, and your suitability for the residency.*
• Up to 200 words about the local context (place, communities, audiences) in which you would undertake your action research project and what long-term change you could hope to facilitate.
• Up to 150 words about the challenges, concerns or worries you have for your practice in a post-pandemic future.
• and a CV / Portfolio in PDF format (max 8mb).

*Please state if you would like to be considered for a bursary to subsidise the residency fee.

Applicants must submit their application by email to: unidee@cittadellarte.it stating: “UNIDEE 2020 residency application (your name)” as a subject line.

Deadline for submissions is 5pm August, 24th and we will let successful applicants know a decision by August, 31st.


Sandi Hilal


Sandi Hilal is a Palestinian architect and researcher. She is the Co-director of DAAR, a non-governmental architectural studio and art residency in Beit Sahour, Palestine. (www.decolonizing.ps). She is a Co-founders of Campus in Camps, an experimental educational program hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem-Palestine. Alongside her artistic practice, she headed the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program in the West Bank at UNRWA from 2008 to 2014.

Gemma & Alessandra


Gemma Medina Estupiñán (PhD at Universidad de La Laguna – b.1975, Spain) and Alessandra Saviotti (PhD candidate at Liverpool John Moores University – b. 1982, Italy) are both working as independent curators, educators and researchers internationally. Since 2012 they have been working in close collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (NL), the Asociación de Arte Útil and the artist Tania Bruguera, to build the Arte Útil Archive that was the core of the exhibition “The Museum of Arte Útil” (2013-2014) where they curated the public program together.
They are co-curators of “Broadcasting the archive” (2016-2018), a project to emancipate the usership around the Arte Útil archive.
They currently teach at the international Master Artist Educator at ArtEZ (Arnhem, NL).


Eva Rowson


Eva Rowson (UK, b. 1985) is an artist, producer, and curator. From March 2020 she has been Managing Director of Bergen Kjøtt, a multi-purpose cultural venue and studios in Bergen, Norway. Her artistic and curatorial work is organised around hosting, collaboration and organisational practices—with a focus on how the different types of work involved are valued, and with what consequences. This research is at the core of collaborative projects including 38b, a project space co-run with Luke Drozd from their living room in London between 2010–2018; ‘Como imaginar una musea?’, a Catalan-Spanish-English project to conjure up a cultural institution from a feminist perspective; and MÆKUR with Maia Urstad and Anton Kats to research developments in communications technologies, and the uses and communities which form around them. In 2018–2019 Eva was Curator of Live Programme at Bergen Kunsthall (Norway) and Curator in Residence at Lighthouse (Brighton, UK) leading a curatorial programme on the politics of institutional re-imagining to ask: ‘Who’s doing the washing up?’ Eva leads the MA Fine Art programme on collaboration at Faculty of Fine Art (KMD), University of Bergen (UiB), and co-runs golden jar with Sofia Hamnes, an experimental music platform for female and non-binary practitioners working on and off stage.

Bergen Kjøtt is a production house, creative workplace and cultural centre in Bergen, Norway. Around 100 creative practitioners have their studio or workplace at Bergen Kjøtt, with many more collaborators in the city and beyond involved in producing a diverse public programme of exhibitions, concerts, clubnights and more. Bergen Kjøtt is located in a former meat (kjøtt) production factory, which gives the organisation its name. It was established and developed as an interdisciplinary and artist-led venue in 2010 by Bergen Contemporary Art Project (BCAP). Bergen Kjøtt is now run by the non-profit foundation Stiftelsen Bergen Kjøtt.

Mick Wilson


Mick Wilson is an artist, educator and researcher based in Gothenburg and Dublin, currently Professor of Art and Director of Studies for Doctoral Education at Hdk-Valand, University of Gothenburg. He was previously a Fellow at BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands (2018/2019); Director of Valand Academy (2012-2018); Editor-in-chief PARSE Journal for Artistic Research (2015-2017); and founder Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, GradCAM (2008–2012). He recently convened the curatorial workshop “handfuls thrown into air and scattered over earth” as part of BB9: Farewell to Research June 2020. (https://exhibition.school/)

Recent essays: "Contentious Subjects: Constructionism and the Project of Higher Arts Education" in B. Tangney et al. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2020 Constructionism Conference, TCD; "White Mythologies and Epistemic Refusals: Teaching Artistic Research Through Institutional Conflict", in R. Mateus-Berr & R. Jochum (eds.) Teaching Artistic Research, De Gruyter, 2020; "Living the Coming Death", in M. Hlavajova and W. Maas (eds.) Propositions for Non-Fascist Living, Tentative and Urgent, MIT Press, 2019; "What Is to Be Done? Negations in the Political Imaginary of the Interregnum", S. H. Madoff (ed.) What about Activism? Sternberg Press, 2019.

Co-edited volumes: Curating After the Global (MIT Press, 2019); Public Enquiries: PARK LEK and the Scandinavian Social Turn (BDP, 2018); How Institutions Think (MIT Press, 2017); The Curatorial Conundrum (MIT Press, 2016) Curating Research, Open Editions/De Appel (2014); SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education, ELIA (2013); and Curating and the Educational Turn, Open Editions/De Appel (2010).

Current projects: the protocols of exhibition in art and non-art contexts (forthcoming volume of the PARSE Journal in 2021); questions of political subjectivity and community with respect to the dead (rethinking necropolitics); foodways and the political imaginary; the rhetorical dynamics of knowledge conflict and identity claims;  and EACEA funded projects: Our Many Europes: L’Internatonale Online (2018-2022) and OPEN UP (2019-2023).

Nadia and Fernando


Fernando Escobar Neira and Nadia Moreno Moya are professors and researchers at the School of Arts of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin headquarters. Fernando has centered his work on city-related topics such as the social production of public spaces, cultural cartographies and collaborative art projects. Nadia has studied artistic practices in Colombia and Latin America from a historical-critical perspective. As a team, they are working on the interstices between the fields of art, culture, and politics in Latin America, mainly as researchers, writers and curators. They recently carried out a work around the art practices and the making of “the common”.

Arianna Spinelli


Aria Spinelli is an independent curator and researcher, currently a Lecturer at NABA - New Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. She is a PhD student at Loughborough University with a project on relations of curatorial practice to social imagination and performativity. Her main area of research is the investigation of the relationship between art, activism and political theory. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in art history, visual arts and curatorial studies. Founding member of the artistic and curatorial collective Radical Intention, from 2018 to 2020 she was associate researcher and member of the curatorial team of the project The Independent at the MAXXI - Museum of the XXI century for art (Rome). Between 2014 and 2018 she collaborated as external curator at the Pistoletto Foundation (Biella) and BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts (Brussels). She is the editor of the publication 'Shaping Desired Futures' (NERO, 2018). Between 2009 and 2012 she was curator at the Isola Art Center (Milan).


In-Situ is an embedded arts organisation based in the former mill town of Brierfield, Lancashire. Established in 2012, In-Situ works alongside the local community to create visible, self-sustaining art and culture, through a range of collaborative artworks, events, local and international artist residencies and partnerships with other organisations. In-Situ’s vision is for art to be part of everyday life; for our art to be an art of action; for our art to contribute to society as a whole; for our art to challenge current thinking about environment, people, place, and culture. Past and ongoing projects include ‘Yes And’ young people’s group, Suzanne Lacy’s ‘Shapes Of Water, Sounds Of Hope’, an ongoing art and environment programme as part of Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, working with the Liverpool Biennial that have brought the work of Madiha Aijaz and Krzysztof Wodiczko to Pendle, and ‘Talking Society’ a collaboration with community cohesion charity Building Bridges.


Paul Hartley


Paul Hartley is a founder director of In-Situ based in Pendle, East Lancashire. He has worked in a variety of settings in both formal and informal youth engagement and within local authority arts development. Paul is an experienced collaborator and has been instrumental in creative community engagement in Pennine Lancashire for 20 years. As a specialist in community & youth engagement Paul’s past strategic work - including Creative Partnerships Lancashire, Elevate housing market renewal and BLAZE, Lancashire Cultural Olympiad programme - has enabled a solid local foundation to develop embedded creative interventions. In 2008 Paul won the Arts Council England outstanding achievement award for his work on the Channel 4 BIG ART project in Burnley.

Rauf Bashir


Rauf Bashir is director of Building Bridges Pendle, an interfaith charity, which wants to bring a realisation that diversity, is a positive aspect in the make-up of our society. Activities include regular interfaith meetings across Pendle, various community cohesion events throughout the year, and delivery of community integration education programmes in primary and secondary schools and the publication of a newsletter.

South Square Centre

South Square Centre is an arts heritage and community centre in Bradford comprising contemporary art galleries, community and workshop spaces and  small businesses including a café, framers and bar. South Square also provides a home for Thornton Antiquarian Societies local history archive and 14 artist studio spaces.

In late 1970s the workers cottages that make up South Square were in a poor state of repair, and were saved from demolition and renovated by 30 unemployed people with funding from the Manpower Services Scheme. Since then many volunteers, local people and staff have sustained a vibrant programme of arts, crafts and community activities.

In 2020, the building was handed to the community for the next 99 years through a community asset. This has enabled a total of £925k to be secured for the project with funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Garfield Weston, Swire Charitable Trust and Bradford Council to refurbish the building and run a 3-year heritage and arts programme.


Yvonne  Carmichael


Yvonne Carmichael, (born 1985, Lancashire, UK) is an artist, creative producer and Director of South Square Centre, a grassroots community and arts organisation in Bradford, where she has led on a community asset transfer to secure the use of the centre by the community for the next 99 years. Since 2013 Yvonne has also worked as associate producer for Beam - a public art agency – through which she has project managed award-winning permanent public art commissions including artwork in Bolsover, Chesterfield, Barnsley and Hull. Between 2014 – 2016 Yvonne was Creative Producer of Vespertine, a free cultural events programme in Unesco City of Media Arts York, which explored the creative use of new technologies in heritage spaces. The project was awarded ‘Best Cultural Partnership’ at the inaugural York Culture Awards in 2016.  In 2012 she was a project activator at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany. Yvonne is also an alumni of the Unidee residency at Cittadellarte Fondazione-Pistoletto, which she completed in 2006.

Alice Withers


Alice Withers, (born 1991, Manchester, UK) is an artist, creative producer and programme manager for South Square where she is responsible for the exhibitions and public programme. She graduated from Graphic Arts and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2013. As a member of art collective Reet So Alice has undertaken commissions for Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture International, developing site specific responses to people and place. She has also worked as a freelance producer for Up Projects (London) managing The Floating Cinema - a specially built cinema vessel, and it's touring programme to Hull City of Culture 2017.

Photo credits:
1) South Square, Titanic Party (1984)
2) Arte Util, IMAA residency
3) Eva Rowson, la musea #1, espai nyamnyam, Barcelona, 2017
4) In-Situ, Talkaoke
5) Sandi Hilal, Photo by Elias Arvidsson

Portraits' photo credits:
Gemma and Alessandra: Annalisa Zegna
Eva Rowson: Sonia Fernández Pan
Fernando and Nadia: Yurilena Velásquez