Assisting Artists whose Freedom, and Even Lives, are at Risk
ARTISTS at RISK (AR) is a non-profit network institution at the intersection of human rights and the arts. AR is dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted 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 “AR-Residencies”. The AR-Network comprises a growing number of local nodes. Since 2013, it has created over 20 AR-Residencies for artists across 17 countries – from Finland, Germany and Spain to Tunisia and the Ivory Coast – offering temporary relocation for artists who face persecution or imprisonment for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The programme has assisted artists from Brazil, Syria, Vietnam, Egypt and Kenya, among many other countries.
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. Perpetuum Mobile (PM) also curates events, conferences and the dedicated “AR Pavilion” — recently at the Athens Biennale; as part of the parallel programme of the Instabul Biennale; at Matadero-Madrid; at Aufbau Haus Berlin and the Berlin Nordic Embassies; and in Helsinki — which showcases the artistic practices of 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.
Artists at Risk (AR) was featured on the first SUBSTANCE 100 list in 2020.
Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (in alternating order) of Perpetuum Mobile (PM)
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Facebook Page: Artists at Risk
General hashtag: #perpetuum #AR
Email: ArtistsatRisk (at) gmail.com
International Advisory Council
Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot)
Helge Lunde (Executive Director, ICORN)
Ehsan Fardjadniya (Artist and Activist)
The AR Team
(Please note that not all staff can be named for security reasons)
Co-Founders and Directors
Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen (in alternating order)
The AR Secretariat
Annu Kempainen, Producer at AR-Safe Haven Helsinki
Eli Francis, Coordinator / Grants
Ha Nguyen, Residency and Communications Assistant
João Bernardino, IT and Internet presence
First web template design: Ciaran Gaffey with IS
Logo design: IS with Tzortzis Rallis
Perpetuum Mobile ry is a non-profit association registered in Finland.
Members of the Board of Perpetuum Mobile ry:
Sari Paronen, Marketing and communications Specialist, Evli Bank (Chairperson)
Ray Langenbach, Artist, writer and educator (Vice Chairperson)
Laura Horelli, Visual artist (Treasurer)
Nicole Willis, Singer, songwriter and visual artist (Substitute)
Thanks to Greenhost for pro-bona secure web-hosting (and Kaustubh Srikanth for recommending us).
Secure chat: Wire (@ar, @iv, @maamu) or Whatsapp; we also have Signal and Telegram
Email: email@example.com (PGP-encryption available)
Perpetuum Mobile (PM) has organized residencies for many years, and has been hosting artists at risk under various titles since at least 2013. PM initiated and curated the On the Move programme which, like its follow-on network Nordic Fresh Air, included a range of Nordic and Baltic art partners. 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.
AR is designed as an institution of global scope, and is undergoing rapid growth. Expanding from its established residency programme in Helsinki, it has developed AR-Safe Haven Residencies in 20 locations in 17 countries. Although AR was the first residency institution of its kind dedicated to the visual arts, from its inception it has accepted candidates from other fields including film, theatre and dance. As an international network of residencies that includes close curatorial support, AR remains unique. In coordination with partners and other networks, it is building a horizontal network of AR-Safe Havens around the world, as a global advocate for art practitioners at risk.
AR-Safe Haven Residencies and local partnerships
Recently active AR-Residencies (expanding capacity)
AR-Abidjan, Ivory Coast AR has been organising temporary relocation for at-risk practitioners in west Africa with local organizations and others acting in solidarity with persecuted artists. Abuja (Nigeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and other undisclosed locations serve as AR-Safe Haven Residency sites.
AR-Belgrade, Serbia AR has often hosted AR Residents in Belgrade while in transit. Longer-term AR-Residencies in Belgrade are a future possibility.
AR-Safe Haven Catalonia AR is working with several partners in the Barcelona region. The first resident arrived in 2019, hosted by Konvent.zero in the mountains behind the city. This was co-organized and co-funded by No Callarem and PM/AR (funded by Nordic Culture Point). AR-Catalonia has engaged political institutions and the media to promote freedom of expression. It organised a full schedule of fantastic events with our first AR-Resident, Grace Munene (Grammo Suspect). In 2020, CCCB, the City of Barcelona’s cultural centre is a partner of our EU Creative Europe network (AR-ENSH*) in coordination with the above partners.
AR-Bergen at Kunsthall 3.14, Norway is launching in 2021 as part of IA & AR**. Kunsthall 3.14 is a non-profit art institution centrally located in the heart of Bergen, Norway, almost exclusively working with international exhibitions and partnerships, with an emphasis on contemporary art beyond the western discourse. The residency is co-funded by IA & AR**.
AR-Safe Haven Berlin, Germany welcomed its first AR-Resident in early 2018, funded by the EU Creative Europe programme for the “Re-Build Refuge Europe” network. A longer-term residency was initiated with the support of the Cosmopolitan Berlin programme in 2018-2019. Further support has been received from the Martin Roth Initiative in 2019-2020. In Berlin, Perpetual Mobile (PM) has worked together with organisations such as the leading Institute for Art in Context (UdK, Berlin) of the Berlin University of the Arts, SAVVY Contemporary, n.b.k. (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein), Apartment Project, coculture and other independent spaces.
AR-Ghana This new hub had its first resident in 2021, and is currently being developed in cooperation with an AR-Alumni from Zimbabwe.
AR-Gnesta, near Stockholm, Sweden AR-Gnesta is run in cooperation with Art Lab Gnesta, an independent art hub, which joined the Artists at Risk (AR) network of AR-Safe Haven Residencies in April 2019 as part of IA & AR**.
AR-Goa, India is being coordinated by Thus. Critique in Goa and the prominent filmmaker Q and colleagues. AR-Goa is set to receive its first resident in 2021. Due to the deteriorating situation in India, hosting Indian ARs in existing infrastructure in Sri Lanka is another suggestion.
AR-Safe Haven Helsinki, Finland first began its activities in 2013. Currently, local partners on the AR-Finland Advisory Council include the Artists’ Association of Finland, PEN-Finland, the Anna Lindh Foundation, Helsinki Pride, the FIME Foundation, Culture for All, the Finnish Human Rights League, the City of Helsinki (Department for Culture and Leisure), Saastamoinen Foundation, Pro-Lapinlahti, and more. AR-Helsinki is part of AR-ENSH* and IA & AR**.
AR-Safe Haven ZKM | Karlsruhe, Germany hosted its first resident in 2019 in cooperation with AR-Berlin, funded by the Martin Roth Initiative. ZKM will continue within the AR-Network as part of AR-ENSH.
AR-Kraków at Nośna Foundation, Poland became part of the AR-network in 2020. Nośna Foundation is a non-profit gallery and independent art space. The residency is co-financed by the City of Kraków.
AR-Unicorn, Artists in Solidarity, Malmö, Sweden has been developed by a member of the board of Artlab Gnesta, and launched in 2021 as part of IA & AR,** welcoming its first resident in July 2021.
AR-Marseilles at Friche la Belle de Mai was established in October 2021 and is scheduled to host its first resident in Fall 2021 in cooperation with its partner-organizations Triangle – Astérides, Fraeme and Les Bancs Public.
AR- Safe Haven Porvoo, Finland This historical town of wood-house architecture, situated about an hour from Helsinki, will host the third AR-Residency in Finland. The Art Factory, situated on the western bank of the Porvoo River, hosts approximately 20 active artists and creatives. The residency, established in the autumn of 2018, is maintained by the cultural services of the City of Porvoo and is supported by the Art Factory Foundation. The first AR-Resident will be hosted in the spring 2021.
AR-Safe Haven Rome, Italy AR is building an AR-Residency in Rome with Laboratorio Stalker in cooperation with a range of actors, including the City of Rome, Nationless Pavilion, No Working, MACRO Museum and other local organisations. AR-Rome is a key member of AR-ENSH*.
AR-Radar Sofia, Bulgaria is managed in cooperation with Radar Sofia, an independent art hub located in Bulgaria’s capital, which joined the Artists at Risk (AR) network of AR-Safe Haven Residencies in May 2019. The programme has been co-funded by Nordic Culture Point.
AR-Safe Haven Tangiers, Morocco AR hosted the first resident at AR-Tangiers in 2019 in cooperation with the Tangier Gnawa School of Music and Atelier Kisseria.
AR-Untitled Gallery Tbilisi, Georgia was established in Summer 2021, in partnership with Giorgi Rodionov, founding director of Untitled Gallery and himself a former AR-Resident. AR-Tbilisi welcomed its first four residents in August 2021.
AR-Safe Haven Tunis, Tunisia AR has created an AR-Residency hub in cooperation with Art Veda in Tunis. Art Veda works in coordination with local organisations, including a theatre, art spaces and a residency centre. Art Veda began by hosting two AR-residents independently, and is now supported by the AR-Secretariat as part of the new AR-ENSH* project.
Safe Houses (without residency hosts)
Artists at Risk (AR) is a Perpetuum Mobilεzation