Name of Residency: Despina Residency Programme

DESPINA RESIDENCY PROGRAMME is designed for artists and curators wishing to immerse themselves in their work and/or research. We provide them with the space to explore practices, concepts, new ideas and materials, and to develop a project while receiving feedback and support. The selected artists/curators have the chance to live and work in Rio de Janeiro and to participate in a range of activities such as talks, meetings, studio visits and exhibition tours. Participants are also encouraged to propose talks and workshops, and to learn about the socio-cultural and political scenario in Brazil. The support, network and creative environment offered by Despina Residency Programme encourages professional/artistic development and international contacts.

Residency Programme since: 2013
Description of Organisation:

DESPINA is an independent space committed to develop platforms for research, production and exchange in the fields of art and cultural activism.

Active since January 2013, it has been established as a non-profit association in 2015. The space – a 400 m² historical building located in the city centre of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – comprises several art studios. Despina runs an international art residency programme alongside a dynamic agenda of exhibitions, workshops, courses, performances, talks, film screenings, among other activities.

The projects developed by Despina are based around the following proposals:
– create a lively and supportive environment for the development and exhibition of contemporary art, instigating critical thinking
– facilitate experimentation and innovation in contemporary art practices by stimulating dialogue between artists and across cultures
– support and strengthen connections between art and activism
– widen access to contemporary art, fostering the participation and visibility of historically marginalized agents
– contribute to the urban and cultural revitalization of the area where the space is located

Despina has developed collaborations with several organizations and institutions across the globe, such as Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London, Diagonale Arts and the Arts Council of Montreal, Fruitmarket Gallery and the British Council. Despina is also a member of the Network Partnership of the Prince Claus Fund.

Despina is one of the cities imagined by Italo Calvino in his work “The Invisible Cities”, originally published in 1972. In this book, the Italian author describes a city that looks different to those arriving by land or by sea, suggesting a reflection on the contradiction and duality of the human spirit as well as the diversity of perspectives that a single object can provide.

Organisation founded in: 2013
What type of organisation are you?:
  • Independent Association/Foundation
Working Languages:
  • English
  • Portuguese
Presentation of artists’ work: Exhibition at end of residency
Duration of residency:
  • Months: 1 – 3
Number of studios: 4
Number of artists in residence at one time: 4
Studio type and size: Private studio
Accommodation type:
Private Room
Private Apartment
Which disciplines does your residency cater to?:
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Dance
  • Performing Arts
  • Textile Art
  • Music
  • New Media
  • Film-making
  • Curatorial
  • Education Programmes
  • Photography
What practical facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Private accommodation
  • Shared studio / workplace
  • Kitchen
  • Space for partners, families, pets
  • Internet
  • Other
  • Woodworking tools
  • Small hand and power tools available
  • Library
What artistic facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Exhibition space
  • Dance/Theatre/Performance Space
  • Library/research resources
  • Woodworking tools
  • Technical assistance
  • Networking
  • Promotional services
  • Other
Is your residency wheelchair accessible?: No
Companions Allowed:
  • Partners
  • Does your residency uphold partnerships beneficial to resident artists? : No, but we are happy to support all successful applicants with invitation letters.
    Application process: Open call
    Do you charge an application fee for your residency?: No
    Do you charge a residency fee for your residency?: Yes
    If yes, what is the residency fee? (in your local currency): EUR 2500
    Do you provide the residents with any funds associated with the residency? (e.g. stipend, fellowship, production allowance): No
    Expenses paid by the artist:
    • Travel
    • Accommodation
    • Production costs
    • Food
    • Supplies
    Are artists expected to do one of the following during their residency stay?:
    • Exhibition
    Other activities happening at the space:
    • Workshops
    • Presentation
    • Exhibition
    Selection process: By committee
    Setting: Urban
    Nearest Airport: Santos Dumont Airport
    Nearest Train Station: Central Station
    Street & Number: Rua do Senado, 271
    Postal Code: 20231-005
    City: Rio de Janeiro
    Country long: Brazil
    Rua do Senado, 271
    Rio de Janeiro 20231-005 BRA
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