Nomadic Mediterranean Residency Programme: Politics of Heritage - School for sonic memory | open call & selected residents

Theatrum Mundi
01 Nov / 30 Jul, 2022
Onassis Stegi


Onyeka Igwe (UK, Nigeria)
Asmaa Jama (UK, Denmark)
Maria Sideri (Greece)
Youmna Saba (France, Lebanon)
Hatem Hegab (Germany, Egypt)
Monai de Paula Antunes (Germany, Brazil)



As part of the Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries, Creative Europe project coordinated by MUCEM, Theatrum Mundi and Onassis Stegi are producing a pluri-disciplinary nomadic residency program exploring sound, memory and trans-Mediterranean resonances. The curatorial lead for this program will be Theatrum Mundi.

The call is aimed at anyone engaged in the study, protection or production of collective urban memory - in the form of built heritage, soundscape, music, stories, social and political practice, with sound as a primary medium of research. Together, and in collaboration with local artists, urbanists and researchers, the participants will form a ‘school’ for sonic memory, investigating the ways that three cities across the mediterranean resonate with one another, how elements of a connected and conflictual past are made audible within them.

The school will develop a shared conversation over the course of the residencies - learning from local urbanists, activists and cultural producers as well as one another - leading to a collection of new, interrelated works in the form of texts, sound and/or film. The residencies will value the perspective of the visitor - rather than aiming for a historical account of each city, we are interested in the particular shared space that is created through exchange between three cities across the Mediterranean, the ways sonic memories are carried between, and resonate within them. Heritage, of course, can be a shared resource for remembering and an infrastructure for belonging, but it can also be misappropriated, distorting urban development for exclusion and private profit. By developing new ideas and artefacts through sonic methods, we are proposing to think of heritage as something made through active processes of creative remembering, as we move between places that echo within us.


How are the rhythms of one city transposed to another? Are they in sync, counter-rhythm, or poly-rhythm?
How have the acoustics of public spaces shaped or been shaped by public gathering? How are these resonances appropriated now?
Can we identify trans-mediterranean sonic practices?
Can the past of one city be heard in another’s sonic culture?
 Is it possible to find sonic traces of what has marked the city, or become absent?
What role does each city’s sounds play in the dreams, nostalgias, or hopes of another?
 How do cities speak to one another about their experiences?
 How does classification as a heritage site affect the overall dynamics of the surrounding urban environment and what are the politics of preservation?


 One completely new text, score, or recorded audio-visual work produced individually or in collaboration with a contributor from one of the cities visited
(i.e. guest writer, performer, editor contributing partially to the work - €500 fee)
 Live presentation of this work in at least one public event (i.e. as a talk, solo performance, or screening)
 Recorded / exhibited presentation of the work in two other public events. Works produced must be easily transportable from one exhibition location to another and should not take the form of voluminous / heavy constructions or depend on sophisticated technology for their installation.


We are calling for expressions of interest to join a 6-month production process, based around 3 one-week creative research residencies:

Athens, November 2021
Alexandria, January 2022
Marseille, March 2022

The selected artists will have to travel to all 3 cities and collaborate with a group of local artists. A final week-long event will be organised in Biella, Italy in July 2022 to share insights and the results of the residency.

This schedule is provisional and contingent on the Covid-19 developments globally. Travel and activities are subject to being postponed between January and July 2022.



Applicants should be engaged in the study, protection or production of collective urban memory - in the form of built heritage, soundscape, music, stories, social and political practice, with sound as a primary medium of research.
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.

Selection Committee
The submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury consisting of representatives of the participating partner organizations in collaboration with the curator of the Politics of Heritage residency program Theatrum Mundi.

If you have inquiries, please contact us at 


Onassis Stegi, the cultural hub of Onassis Foundation, is the place where contemporary culture meets aesthetics and science. The place where courageous, restless, daring Greek artists find the means to showcase their work; the place where international collaborations are nurtured; the stage on which the boundaries between science, art, society, education, learning and politics are renegotiated. Above all, Onassis Stegi is the space where questions are asked which feed the mind and spirit, which query givens, with this ideal ultimate goal: generating actions, interventions and ideas which shape and shake society. The Onassis Stegi building hosts theatrical and musical productions, film screenings, art and digital shows, but its activities and central concept extend beyond the four walls of the center on Syngrou Avenue. Since 2012, the Onassis Foundation has acquired the Cavafy Archive with a view on providing free and open access to its materials, on promoting the Egyptiot Greek poet C. P. Cavafy’s work and the international character of his poetry and on bolstering education and culture through archival resources.



Theatrum Mundi is a European centre for research and experimentation in the culture of cities. We help to expand the crafts of city-making through collaboration with the arts, developing imaginative responses to shared questions about the staging of urban public life. Based in London and Paris, we work through performance, design, publishing, research and teaching with partners across Europe and the Mediterranean. 


About the project

The project "Alexandria: (re)activating common urban imaginaries" (ALEX) aims to take a fresh look at the many challenges faced by the arts and heritage sectors, through the symbolic and historical prism of the city of Alexandria and its influences on urban development in the Mediterranean and beyond. The project is supported by the European Union's Creative Europe program.