Caravan Residency Program: Thinking with Alexandria | open call & selected residents

Sarah Rifky, Edwin Nasr
10 Oct / 30 Sep, 2022
Cittadellarte, Biella


Islam Shabana (Egypt)
Neja Tomsic (Slovenia)
Zeynep Kaserci (UK, Turkey)
Chiara Cartuccia (UK, Italy)
Onur Çimen (Turkey)
Sara Fakhry Ismail (Egypt)
Post Disaster (Italy)
virgil b/g taylor (US, Germany)
Lodovica Guarnieri (UK, Italy)
George Moraitis (Greece)
Mark Lotfy (Egypt)
Mahmoud El Safadi (Lebanon)
Stella Ioannidou (Greece)
Omnia Sabry (Egypt)
Latent Community (Greece)
Nina Kurtela (Croatia)



The Caravan Residency Program is part of Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union (2020-2023). The project aims to survey the European cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille, and Nicosia, through the lens of Alexandria an its contested urban imaginaries.

The chimeric port city serves as heuristic device for the Caravan Residency Program. Alexandria has been shaped by the historic tensions and contested narratives of imperial and emancipatory forces. In the 13th century, it emerged as an atypical site of commercial activity and pre-capitalist trade infrastructures set up by European merchants. The New Imperialism of the 19th century then incorporated the Eastern Mediterranean into the circuitry of global economy; at that point, Alexandria was administered by the Ottomans, then bombed and occupied by the British. The city became a playground for the articulation of utopian imaginaries, hosting anarchists, intellectuals, and renegades from the Arabic-speaking region and the world over to experiment with radical modes of assembly and critique and establish popular theatres and universities, independent presses, and fugitive communes.

The opportunity to think with and through Alexandria allows us to exercise worldmaking against erasure and towards futurities. Worldmaking starts from worlds already at hand: the making is a remaking (Nelson Goodman); The Caravan Residency Program is thus an invitation to compose, toy with, and re-figure existing parts and elements structuring our everyday through a peripatetic format in Alexandria and other cities across Europe and the Mediterranean.

The year-long multi-city residency invites artists, cultural practitioners, and activists to articulate and configure new modes of relating to and understanding urban, infrastructural, and social processes and formations. The residency program engages local organizations in partner cities and works toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Sixteen participants will be selected to partake in a field, discursive and practice-based program in conversation with the residency curators, social entrepreneurs and a range of tutors and presenters working across diverse disciplines and contexts, to be tailored to the group. The residency is outcome based, and participants are expected to develop a final project as part of the program’s conclusion which will be then showcased as part of the Forums: Contemporary Alexandria in Athens, Biella, Marseille, Alexandria and Aarhus.

The Caravan Residency is conceived and realized by UNIDEE residency programs at Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto in Italy and is curated together with Edwin Nasr and in conversation with Sarah Rifky


16 participants will be selected
3 residency paths will be offered for all participants
2 residency stays will be planned in Biella, Italy for all participants
1 residency stay will be planned in Alexandria, Egypt for all participants
1 residency in one of the following cities – Marseille, Athens, Brussels, Nicosia – will be planned for each of the participants, depending on their individual choice
1 final stay will be planned in Biella for the production and presentation of final projects.



Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto

Biella, Italy Oct. 2021 10 days


Institut Francais,
local partners in Alexandria and
Cluster (Cairo, Egypt)

Alexandria, Egypt Nov. 2021 7 days


MUCEM - National Museum of

European & Mediterranean Civilizations

Marseille, France Feb. 2022 7 days


Onassis Stegi

Athens, Greece Mar. 2022 7 days


Point Centre for Contemporary Art

Nicosia, Cyprus May 2022 7 days
Bozar Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Belgium May 2022


7 days


Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto

Biella, Italy July 2022 10 days

This schedule is provisional and contingent on the global development of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Travel and other residency activities are subject to being postponed between January and July 2022.



Applicants can be emerging to mid-career artists working in diverse media - digital, moving image, painting and printmaking, performance, photography, sculpture, sound, and text - as well as cultural practitioners and activists informed by and concerned with archival research, knowledge production, placemaking, and/or community-based engagement;
Applicants demonstrating commitment towards generating new insights around urban histories and dynamics, coloniality and power formations, infrastructures and networks, and maritime cultures and poetics will be prioritized;
Applicants must be fluent in English;
Applicants must currently reside within:
• an EU member state, or, the United Kingdom,
• an EU pre-accession country: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey,
• an EFTA member state: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland,
• one of the following countries of the EU Southern Neighborhood: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.

This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244(1999) and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Please note that gender and geographical balance will be taken into account as selection criteria.


Fill out the application here
Application deadline: May 30, 2021
Selected participants will be informed by end of June
The final list of participants will be announced on the organizers’ and project partners’ websites and social media platforms.
Please note that only accepted applicants will be contacted directly.

What is covered by the grant?
The program covers travel, accommodation and meals. Participants will receive €3,000 fee, payable in accordance to international and local laws. Additionally, each artist will have a budget of up to € 500 to cover the production costs of their final projects.

Selection Committee
The submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of representatives of the participating partner organizations in collaboration with the curators of the Caravan Residency Program, Sarah Rifky and Edwin Nasr.

If you have inquiries, please contact us at 


Sarah Rifky

Sarah Rifky believes in the radical need to grow and protect spaces of imagination and critical contemplation. She is the founding co-director of Beirut (2012-2015) an art space in Cairo and is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on Cultural Infrastructure in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s. She was involved in setting up MASS Alexandria, a studio and study space for young artists founded, together with the artist Wael Shawky. She is a writer of fiction and non-fiction work on art, and author of Qalqalah, an artist in a future without art. She is co-editor of Thresholds 47: Repeat, a peer-review journal of architecture and art history, and co-editor of Positionen: Zeitgenössische Künstler aus der Arabischen Welt (2013). Rifky is a doctoral candidate of the History, Theory and Criticism program and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the School of Architecture + Planning at MIT. She is an MIT Legatum and Jacobs Foundation Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship 2020-2021. 

Edwin Nasr

Edwin Nasr is a curator and writer based between Amsterdam and Beirut. He is the Assistant to the Director at Ashkal Alwan, a non-profit organization dedicated to artistic production, research, and study where – since 2017 – he has been taking part in the curatorial development of discursive programs, publications, and exhibitions. He is a participant of the Curatorial Programme 2020-2021 at de Appel, where he is researching infrastructural imaginaries and methods of decarceration within artistic, speculative design, and urban practices. Recent essays appear in Afterall Journal, Bidoun, The Funambulist, n+1, Jadaliyya, and ArteEast Quarterly, among others, and were commissioned for exhibition catalogs by the Sharjah Art Foundation Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement in Geneva, and MMAG Foundation in Amman. Nasr has worked on several editorial projects, including Beirut Art Center’s The Derivative and the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial’s Rights of Future Generations. Additionally, he sits on the editorial board of Journal Safar, Beirut’s biannual independent visual and design culture magazine, and regularly translates texts written in French and grounded in decolonial thinking. Alongside Sarah Rifky, and in the framework of Saison Africa 2020, he organized the Towards an Institute of Black Studies symposium at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. This Ritual I Wish You Could See, an ongoing archival project with artist Bassem Saad, examines the geopolitics of digital image-making, and was presented at Harvard University VES in Cambridge, the AA School of Architecture in London, STRUKTURA in Oslo, and Asia Contemporary Art Week: Field Meeting at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai.