Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme

Kilian-Davy Baujard

The Artists-in-Berlin Program, Berliner Künstlerprogramm, is one of the most renowned international programs offering grants to artists in the fields of visual arts, literature, music and film.

Each year, some 20 grants are awarded to international artists for an approximately one year stay in Berlin. The names of over 1000 former guests impressively underscore the quality of the program. In its more than 40 years of existence, it has made a significant contribution to the international representation of contemporary arts in Berlin.

From the very beginning, the Berliner Künstlerprogramm has defined itself as a forum of artistic dialogue which extends beyond cultural, geographical and, certainly, beyond political borders. This forum is effective and vigorous not only through the work and presence of the artists living in the city, but also through the approximately 100 events a year which the Berliner Künstlerprogramm hosts in conjunction with its guests in Berlin and other locations, and not least, by the international juries of experts in the four sections who decide upon the invitations to be issued.

The expressed intention of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm is to create waves extending far beyond the capital city. Close cooperation with various cultural institutions, museums, literary, music and film festivals has led to a sustained, nationwide influence: many guests remain in Germany after their grants and so enhance the cultural scene, for example as temporary lecturers at colleges of art and universities in the Federal Republic. In this way, standpoints of the international artistic avant-garde are mediated, not only in Berlin, stimulating both aesthetic and political discourse.

One aim of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm is to offer freedom of creativity. While cultural traditions are threatened by a uniform levelling out in the process of globalization, the Berlin Künstlerprogramm promotes the diversity of artistic and literary positions. The notion of dialogue is central: other nations’ perspectives on conditions here – in film, art, literature or music – are to be seen as a decisive incentive to self-reflection in our society.

The Berliner Künstlerprogramm sees itself as a platform for an exchange of art and culture extending beyond the boundaries of Europe. The year 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall are viewed by the Berliner Künstlerprogramm as a commission to reinforce the freedom of art and the word. At the same time, the program therefore opposes the economic takeover of cultural values by liberating artistic creativity from the dictates of the market.

The Berliner Künstlerprogramm is primarly funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, with a further contribution from the Berlin Senate.

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