Call for applications

Digital Fellowships

Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum
Deadline: 02 March 2023

Kiri Dalena, Snare for Birds, 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Kiri Dalena.

Kiri Dalena, Snare for Birds, 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Kiri Dalena.

As part of the project Leaky Archive, the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum (RJM) and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne–Research Group Networks (KHM) start a new round of digital fellowships. The project explores how colonial archives and collections can be critically developed and reflected upon with the help of digitality. (There will be a third round of digital fellowships in September–November 2023.)

Open Call Digital Fellowships

The open call is directed to artists, activists, makers, experts, and collectives from the Global South. You are invited to apply with a project idea.

The four fellows of this round are free to choose what kind of idea they want to pursue. It can include methodological and/or thematic approaches to collections, archives, databases, or individual subjects in the collections. Any questions about the museum’s inventories can be asked by email:

More information about the RJM collections

Over three months (April–June 2023), the four fellows will be able to dedicate themselves individually to their projects, engage in exchange, and share their research. The participants will work in a process and exemplary way, without necessarily having to bring forward finished results. They will not be physically together but will use various online tools to stay in touch and document the process. The digital fellowships are seen as a contemporary format of support and networking in a globalized scene shaped by digitalization.

Possible Topics

  • the visual and material cultures of colonialism
  • legacies of diverse colonial empires and coloniality in archives
  • material and digital restitution and repair
  • accessibility, conservation, and participation
  • engaging communities in digital spaces
  • digital infrastructure and alternative networks
  • narratives and counter-narratives, and issues of memory and agency
  • human, more-than-human, and institutional relations
  • predatory inclusion and colonial debt
  • discomfort and hope
  • decolonization of the unconscious

Applicants can submit a project proposal on one of the above topics or propose their own focus that can be researched with the help of the collections.

The primary language of communication for the fellowships is English, but the research and its documentation may be conducted in any language.

Who Can Apply?

Artists, activists, makers, professionals, and collectives from the Global South and who live in the Global South can apply. If you do not identify with one of these categories or are unsure, please get in touch via email:

How To Apply?

Applications should be sent via this form by March 2, 2023. The applications can be submitted in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, or German. The selection will be announced by March 20, 2023.

What Is Offered?

  • a grant of 2500€ for three months of part-time research (April–June 2023 / 160 hours in total)
  • project funding for up to 500€
  • full access to the database of the museum
  • long-term participation in the international networks of the RJM and the KHM
  • participation in a model project to democratize the RJM collections
  • organization of online public events during the fellowship period

What Is Required?

  • to work with the database
  • to present a documentation of the research
  • to participate in two online public events


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