ARTISTS at RISK (AR) is a new institution at the intersection of human rights and the arts. AR is dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted visual art practitioners, facilitating their safe passage from their countries of origin, hosting them at “AR-Safe Haven Residencies” and curating related projects.
Artists, writers, curators, critics and scholars are targets of politically motivated threats and persecution in great parts of the world. Perpetuum Mobile (PM) initiated Artists at Risk (AR) to provide a platform and network to support these art practitioners in a time of need. This encompasses facilitating a safe exit from countries of origin; assistance in the procurement of travel documents; providing legal assistance; and matching ARs with so-called AR-Safe Havens and residencies in the AR network. AR liaises with several cities and networks which provide “artists at risk” a safe place to live and work for a period of time. Furthermore, PM’s curatorial interests often overlaps with the artistic practices of artists in residence.
Artists at Risk (AR) is designed as an institution of worldwide scope. Visual artists will be AR’s primary focus, although other creative intellectuals—such as theatre and film practitioners – or others that need assistance beyond what can be provided by organisations such as PEN, SafeMUSE or Freemuse, may find placement at AR. Indeed, the musician Ramy Essam, “the singer of Tahrir Square”, was our first AR-Resident. As part of a collective effort with its many partners and networks, including PEN-America (the Artists at Risk Coalition), ICORN (The International Cities of Refuge Network) and new funding opportunities, AR is taking the first steps towards establishing a type of PEN for visual artists at risk.
Perpetuum Mobile (PM) has organised residencies for many years, and has been hosting “artists at risk” under various titles since around 2013. We initiated and curated the On the Move programme, run in partnership with HIAP (Helsinki International Artist Programme), and later also established a network called Nordic Fresh Air, which includes Nordic and Baltic art actors. Funded by the Nordic Cultural Point and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (2014-2016), this continued our work with art practitioners at risk. A fully–funded “Safe Haven-Helsinki” has been up and running since 2016 with the support of the City of Helsinki Cultural Office.
The European Parliament honoured Perpetuum Mobile with the CIVI EUROPAEO PRAEMIUM (the European Citizen’s Prize) for AR, and Safe Haven Helsinki won the Annual Art Act Award in 2016.
Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot)
Hrag Vartanian (Editor-in-Chief, Hyperallergic.com)
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Savvy Contemporary/Curator-at-large,documenta14)
Helge Lunde (Executive Director, ICORN)
Julie Trebault (Artists at Risk Coalition, PEN America)
AR – SAFE HAVENS:
AR – SAFE HAVEN HELSINKI
This well-established programme has been operating under various titles since 2014. It is co-organised in cooperation with HIAP – Helsinki International Artists Programme. It is supported by funding from the City of Helsinki Cultural Office. The steering committee includes the Finnish Artists’ and Musicians’ unions, Anna Lindh Foundation, the Human Rights League and PEN-Finland.
AR – SAFE HAVEN ATHENS
This initiative is being launched in Spring 2017 with the support of “Re-Build Refuge Europe”, a Creative Europe EU project with European Alternatives. AR-Athens has developed in parallel with several local partnerships, and was part of the programme of the Athens Biennale “Omonia” in 2015-2016.
AR – SAFE HAVEN BERLIN
Safe Haven Berlin will be launched in 2017, based on the above Creative Europe funding, in a developing partnership between Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and SAVVY Contemporary.
AR – SAARI RESIDENCE / SAASTAMOINEN FOUNDATION
This AR-Residency includes two months at the Saari Residence in western Finland, funded by Kone Foundation, followed by one month in Helsinki funded by the Saastamoinen Foundation.
AR – SAFE HAVEN PROVENCE aka the RESISTANCE RESIDENCY
The “Resistance Residency” is located at the Villa Chêne Vert on the Mediterranean littoral in the countryside between Toulon and Marseille. It belongs to the family of the “undominatable Lisa Fittko” (as the New York Times called her) who is celebrated for saving the life of Walter Benjamin before his untimely death. AR – Safe Haven Provence commemorates and continues this legacy of resistance.
AR – SAFE HAVEN at Wysing Arts Centre, near Cambridge, UK
Wysing Arts Centre will host a dedicated three-month AR – Safe Haven Residency at a 17th century farmhouse on eleven acres of countryside outside of Cambridge, and work together with other artists in residence at this diversity-oriented programme.
Further residencies are in the process of joining this growing network.
Artists at Risk (AR) is a Perpetuum Mobilεzation