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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)

Subscribe to the AR Newsletter

Social Media

Facebook Page:  Artists at Risk
Diaspora*: artistsatrisk@diasp.org
Instagram: ArtistsatRisk
Mastodon: @artistsatrisk@mastodon.social
General hashtag: #perpetuum #AR
Email: ArtistsatRisk (at) gmail.com

International Advisory Board

Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot)
Helge Lunde (Executive Director, ICORN)
Hrag Vartanian (Editor-in-Chief, Hyperallergic.com)

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
Eli Francis, Coordinator / Grants
Raf Lemmens, Communications
Riikka Kiljunen, Project and Production Assistant / AR-Safe Haven Helsinki 
João Bernardino
, IT and Internet presence
Ha Nguyen, Intern

First web template design: Ciaran Gaffey with IS
Logo design: IS with Tzortzis Rallis

Back Office
Not public

Perpetuum Mobile ry is a non-profit association registered in Finland.

Members of the Board of Perpetuum Mobile ry:
Laura Horelli, Visual artist (Vice Chairperson)
Ray Langenbach, Artist, writer and educator (Chairperson)
Saari Paronen, Marketing and communications Specialist, Evli Bank (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: artistsatrisk@gmail.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 Helsinki was launched in 2013 and secured core long-term funding from the City of Helsinki in 2016. In Helsinki we work with a wealth of local partners, including Lapinlahden Lähti and Hietsun Paviljionki, while the AR-Safe Haven Helsinki Advisory Committee is made up of the Artists’ Association of Finland, PEN-Finland, the Anna Lindh Foundation, Helsinki Pride, Kianoush Ramezani (individual), the FIME Foundation, Culture for All, and the Finnish Human Rights League. Observers: City of Helsinki (Department for Culture and Leisure), Saastamoinen Foundation, the Saari Residence (Kone Foundation). AR-Safe Haven Helsinki grew out of the three-year “On the Move” and “Nordic Fresh Air” programmes which hosted such artists as the renowned street artist Ganzeer from Egypt, the prize-winning Issa Touma from Syria, and El Haqed, a leading political hip-hop artist from Morocco. AR-Helsinki is part of  “Artists at Risk – A European Network of Safe Havens” (AR-ENSH) and “Immigré Artists and Artists at Risk”.

AR-Safe Haven Berlin welcomed its first AR-Resident in early 2018, funded by EC Creative Europe 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 federal institutions in 2019-2020. In Berlin, Perpetual Mobile (PM) has worked with organisations such as the Institute for Art in Context (UdK, Berlin) of the Berlin University of the Arts,  UFAFabrik, SAVVY Contemporary, n.b.k. (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein), Apartment Project and other independent spaces.

AR-Saari Residence/Saastamoinen Foundation Residency Saari Residence is an artist-in-residency centre run by Kone Foundation at a country estate on the western coast of Finland. This AR-Residency includes two months at Saari Residence, followed by a one-month stay in Helsinki in cooperation with Saastamoinen Foundation. This residency is ongoing, for one resident a year since 2018.

AR-ZKM Karlsruhe AR hosted its first resident at ZKM-Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in 2019 in cooperation with AR-Berlin, funded from within Germany. ZKM will continue within the AR-Network as part of AR-ENSH.

AR-Safe Haven Barcelona-Catalonia Artists at Risk (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 (Nordic Culture Point). AR-Catalonia has engaged political institutions and the media to promote freedom of expression, and 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-Safe Haven – Provence Located at the Villa Chêne Vert on the Mediterranean littoral in the countryside between Toulon and Marseille, this residency is dedicated to the “indomitable” Lisa Fittko (The New York Times) celebrated for saving the life of Walter Benjamin before his untimely death – alongside 100 other poltical refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. It honours and carries on this legacy of the fight against fascism in all its forms.

AR-Unicorn, Artists in Solidarity, Malmö To be launched in 2020 as part of the “Immigré Artists (IA) and Artists at Risk (AR)” Nordic network.

AR-Gnesta, near Stockholm, Sweden Launched in 2019 as part of the “Immigré Artists (IA) and Artists at Risk (AR)” Nordic network,  AR-Gnesta is run in cooperation with Art Lab Gnesta, an independent art hub located in Gnesta, Sweden, which joined the Artists at Risk (AR) network of AR-Safe Haven Residencies in April 2019.

AR-Safe Haven Residency – Bergen To be launched in 2020 as part of the “Immigré Artists (IA) and Artists at Risk (AR)” Nordic network.

AR-Safe Haven Rome AR is in the process of building an AR-Residency in Rome in cooperation with a diversity of actors, including the City of Rome, Nationless Pavilion, Stalker, No Working and MACRO Museum. These organisations are part of AR-ENSH.

AR-Abidjan, Ivory Coast AR has been organising temporary relocation for at-risk practitioners in west Africa with local organisations 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-Radar Sofia Run 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.

AR-Safe Haven Tunis AR is building an AR-Residency hub in Tunis, in coordination with local organisations, including a theatre, art spaces and a residency centre. Art Veda in Tunis  is part of AR-ENSH, and has already hosted AR-related residents.

AR-Safe Haven Athens welcomed its first AR-Resident in 2017 funded by the EC Creative Europe project “Re-Build Refuge Europe”. The residency was initiated and developed with several local partners.  PM/AR participated in Synapse 1 and Synapse 2 of the Athens Biennale 2015-2016, and launched the AR Pavilion in coordination with the Athens Biennale and in parallel to documenta14 (the largest contemporary art event worldwide). Currently, there is no funding to continue this partnership.

AR-Safe Haven Belgrade Due to its non-Schengen location, AR is interested in developing  an AR-Residency in Belgrade, dependent on funding. AR has hosted short-term residencies at AR-Belgrade in 2019.

AR-Safe Haven Tangiers AR hosted Benjamin Abras as the first resident at AR-Tangiers in 2019 in cooperation with the Tangier Gnawa School of Music and Atelier Kisseria.

AR-Wysing Art Centre, near Cambridge GB The Wysing Art Centre was an AR partner in 2018, and works closely with local art institutions such as the Kettle Yard, as well as Cambridge University and also has strong ties to the London art world. During the stay of AR-Resident Tito Valery in 2018, he participated in events at Tate Modern and held an exhibition in the space of Yinka Shonibare. AR-Wysing Art Centre is currently on hold, due to a change of directorship.

Current Sub-Networks:

AR-ENSH “Artists at Risk – A European Network of Safe Havens” (EC Creative Europe funding)

Immigré Artists and Artists at Risk  (Nordic Council of Ministers – Nordic Culture Point)


Artists at Risk (AR) is a Perpetuum Mobilεzation



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