ARTISTS at RISK (AR) is an 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-Residencies” and curating related projects, including the “AR Pavilion”.

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) as a platform and network to support these art practitioners in times of need. This encompasses enabling their safe exit from countries of origin; the procurement of travel documents; providing legal assistance; and matching ARs with so-called “AR-Residencies”. The AR-Network comprises a growing number of local nodes: currently approximately 10 former/operational and future AR-Residencies. AR develops cooperation-programmes with artist-in-residency centres, art/film/theatre unions, cities and human-rights networks which help provide artists at risk a safe place of temporary relocation. Furthermore, Perpetuum Mobile (PM) curates events, conferences and the dedicated “AR Pavilion” — recently at the Athens Biennale; parallel to the Istanbul Biennial; at Matadero-Madrid; and in Berlin; and soon in Helsinki — which showcases the artistic practices of Artists-at-Risk (AR) Residents.

The European Parliament honoured Perpetuum Mobile with the CIVI EUROPAEO PRAEMIUM (the European Citizen’s Prize) for AR in 2016.

Safe Haven Helsinki won the Annual Art Act Award in 2016.

Artists at Risk (AR) won the Thematic State Prize of Finland in 2017.

Co-Founding Co-Directors

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (in alternating order) of Perpetuum Mobile (PM)

Social Media

Facebook Page:  Artists at Risk
Diaspora*: https://diasp.org/
Instagram: ArtistsatRisk.AR
General hashtag: #perpetuum #AR
Project hashtags: #ER #tsq2, #realigned
Email: ArtistsatRisk (at) gmail.com

Advisory Board

Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot)
Ramy Essam (Musician, known as the “Singer of Tahrir Square, Cairo”)
Helge Lunde (Executive Director, ICORN)
Julie Trebault (Artists at Risk Connecftion, PEN America)
Hrag Vartanian (Editor-in-Chief, Hyperallergic.com)


(not all can be named for security reasons)

Co-Founding Directors:
Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (in alternating order)

AR Team:

Elena Lochore-Ward
Riikka Kiljunen

Web and Technical:
João Bernardino

Back Office:
not public

Thanks to Kaustubh Srikanth
Tzortzis Rallis (logo with IAS), Ciaran Gaffey (web template with IAS)

Secure chat: Wire (@ar, @iv, @muu) or Whatsapp; we also have Signal and Telegram
Email: artistsatrisk@gmail.com (PGP-encryption available)


Perpetuum Mobile (PM) has organised residencies for many years, and has been hosting “artists at risk” under various titles since at least 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.


Artists at Risk (AR) is designed as an institution of worldwide scope. Visual artists have been AR’s primary focus, although AR has hosted many other creative intellectuals such as music, film and theatre practitioners facing persecution or threats. By hosting artists AR goes beyond what can be provided by advocacy and mapping organisations, providing immediate help in times of crisis. As part of a collective effort with its many partners and networks, such as AR’s Helsinki Advisory Council, PEN-America, Freemuse and many others, AR has taken the first steps towards establishing a type of PEN for the visual arts, and a new type of fast-response residency organisation for artists at risk.

AR – SAFE HAVENS (updated only occasionally):

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.

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. The first AR Pavilion was opened in Athens as part of the Athens Biennale 2017 and parallel to documenta.

Safe Haven Berlin was launched in 2017, based on the above Creative Europe funding, in a developing partnership between Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and SAVVY Contemporary. In 2018, AR is working in partnership with several local institutions to support art-practitioners at risk.

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.

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 “indomitable 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.

Several further residencies are in the process of joining AR’s network.

Artists at Risk (AR) is a Perpetuum Mobilεzation



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