Embassy of Foreign Artists     
Open call

Applications for 2020 are now closed. The open call is launched once a year in April. 

The Embassy of Foreign Artists is launching calls for themed projects, open to all types of practice. These reflect our areas of interest and our aim to offer research time and visibility to original projects that examine their subject critically.



– 3 months from 1st January to 31th March 2021

– 3 months from 1st April to 30th June 2021

– 3 months from 1st July to 30th September 2021

– 3 months from 1st October to 31th December 2021

– 6 months from 1st January to 30th June 2021

– 6 months from 1st July to 31th December 2021




The open call is addressed to all professional artists coming from following artistic fields: performing arts, visual arts and applied arts (fine arts, dance, theatre, music, literature, comics, cinema, etc.). Cultural practitioners, active in the research of contemporary cultural practices, such as curators, play writers, set designer or from other fields and applied disciplines (architecture, design) are also invited to apply.



Some contemporary artistic practices take a critical look at events, decisions or actions that deeply transform our way of life. As a citizen/observer, the artist uses his or her tools to formulate ideas, doubts, needs and desires, and translate them into works of art. Through projects based on real facts (political, cultural, social, economic or environmental), we wish to highlight approaches that present another narrative of reality, and that, by taking some critical distance, open up room for reflection on people’s relations with each other and with their environment.

Scientific research has always borne humanity’s greatest hopes and greatest perils. Every major discovery opens the doors to a world of new possibilities, and it is essential to evaluate them collectively. Yet a significant lack of knowledge about scientific issues prevails. Debates about eugenics, patenting living things, and risk-evaluation protocols relating to applications in the agro-food, medical and military industries are mainly confined to the scientific press. The consequences of this absence are a deep distrust of scientific institutions and a more or less rational fear. Through artistic creation, is it possible to widen the discussion and bring these issues into the collective consciousness?

The archives of international organisations are part of the collective memory. These archives constitute a formal record made up of reports, official letters and documentary images that contain no less than millions of human histories. Through the eyes of artists, the idea is to transform this material and give it a new dimension.

Applications should propose projects in which the archives of international organisations are the main resources used. Examples of accessible archives are those of the UNHCR, UN, ILO, ICRC, IFRC, WHO and WIPO. Applicants can also propose other international organisations or NGOs based in Geneva.

Over the past few decades, the city has seen the appearance of a large number of more or less spontaneous initiatives that operate outside the traditional broad restrictions of urban planning (transport, economy, housing, etc.). The temporary use of buildings, occupation of uncultivated land or wasteland, urban planting initiatives – these ways of collectively appropriating space for social or cultural purposes give residents the possibility of being contributors to part of the development of their environment. By proposing new uses, they question our way of building our territory together, and intend to influence the city of tomorrow.

This call aims at an artistic intervention or process to be implemented in a participatory public project in Geneva.

It is intended for francophone people or groups. Applications from groups are encouraged, but they cannot involve more than 3 people. For the application, candidates are requested to include a covering letter outlining their approach as it relates to the participatory process of urban appropriation. This letter can make reference to projects that are completed, in progress, or upcoming.

FOCUS 2020

Ever since Genevan illustrator Rodolphe Töpffer’s success in the 19th century, Geneva has been deeply attached to comics, and UNESCO has recognised this practice as part of its intangible cultural heritage. The city is home to many specialised publishers and bookshops, as well as the Töpffer Prize and the Comics Network Switzerland.

Yet the Embassy of Foreign Artists has never had a comics artist in residency, and hardly ever receives applications from the 9th art. The aim of this focus is to remedy this state of affairs and open the residency to this practice.

To be able to participate, candidates must present a comics project or graphic experiment linked to one of the four themes of the residency.



Download – Download the terms and rules 2020