PRESS: Menschenrechte und Kunst – Ivor Stodolsky von „Artists at Risk“ im Gespräch by Deutschlandfunk

Source: Deutschlandfunk / Corso Podcast
Ulrich Biermann

Interview in full (9:26 minutes, in German): Deutschlandfunk / Corso Podcast

Here is a short summary of the interview:

On the anniversary of the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine on 24 February, Ulrich Biermann from Deutschlandfunk spoke to Artists at Risk’s (AR) Co-Founding Director Ivor Stodolsky.

The project Artists at Risk (AR), which was established 10 years ago together with Marita Muukkonen and first set up in Helsinki, Finland now has over 580 residences across Europe and the world. A residency is a place where artists can be together with other artists and continue their work. Artists at Risk (AR) works with special emergency shelters, such as AR-Safe Havens, that are structured so that the artists build new networks in the new country and can continue to pursue their careers as artists.

On this day a year ago, AR immediately got messages from all over the world that we have to take care of the situation; it was clear that there would be a wave of people applying. Amazingly, the first wave came from host organisations and people who wanted to help. This was a wave of solidarity that we have never seen before, which we would like to apply to other regions, such as Afghanistan.

In the past year, Artists at Risk (AR) has set up several match-making teams that bring institutions and artists together. They determine which medium artists work with and which residency might be a better fit. In the case of Ukrainian artists, it is easy because they do not need a visa. In the case of other countries, it can take a long time for the artist to get a visa. If AR has fewer open slots, we try to cover the most affected regions first, such as Mariupol and Donbass region. Being from Ukraine themselves, the matchmakers are always well aware of the situation.

At the moment it is difficult to bring Ukrainian and Russian artists together in exhibition projects. These are dissidents who are very active in speaking out against Putin’s regime.

The people who come from war zones are severely traumatised. We deal with it by trying to have a community in every city and country we work in; we create networks that support each other. Above all, this helps artists not to feel alone. In rare cases, AR also work with clinics, but in the first place it is most important to have a company of friends and institutions and other artists.