Call for proposals

Research Project : Development of local/regional shelters for artists at risk

Martin Roth-Initiative, Berlin, Germany
Deadline: 10 May 2020

Research Project : Development of local/regional shelters for artists at risk

The Martin Roth-Initiative was started as a joint project by the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and the Goethe-Institut in reaction to the global decline in pre-political spaces.

In many countries, state and non-state actors are increasingly restricting the work by and with critical artists as well as civil-society actors. Socio-political commitment in these countries results in personal danger for those involved. The Martin Roth-Initiative enables temporary protective relocation and work stays in Germany as well as in safe third countries for artists and civil-society actors at risk.

To contribute to the structural and content related enhancement of existing programmes one field of activity of the Martin Roth-Initiative is dedicated to accompanying research, the results of which are published on a regular basis.

Together with the Goethe-Institut and the Martin Roth-Initiative, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) invites for proposals for a research project under the following topic:

Development of local/regional shelters for artists at risk

Shelter and relocation programmes are a response to repressive contexts and shrinking civil society spaces worldwide. They focus on supporting civil society actors who are at risk because their work touches on issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of the arts, democracy or human rights. Artists and cultural practitioners form part of this group that has increasingly been facing threats and persecution in recent years. Temporary protective relocations aim to protect and strengthen these civil society actors at risk. Ideally, they also give them the opportunity to continue their work.

While there are various initiatives that provide local or regional temporary relocations to artists at risk, the demand is rising and there is a need for more of these safe spaces for this target group, particularly in the global south. Building up effective local and regional shelter programmes poses certain challenges for local as well as for international actors. The Martin Roth-Initiative would like to look into issues around developing new relocation initiatives and expanding existing ones with a specific focus on Latin American and African countries.

With the aid of this research project, the Martin Roth-Initiative would like to gain insights into the subjects listed below and thus provide suggestions and impulses for the development of local and regional shelters for artists at risk.

Mainly based on selected exploratory interviews the following questions and topics should be examined with a focus on Africa and Latin America. You may focus on only one of these (sub)- continents if the regional scope seem too much for the scope of this study:

  • What are the main factors of success of existing local/regional relocation shelters?
  • What are the main obstacles and challenges when building up new shelters for artists at risk in their regions of origin?
  • What kind of support and protection measures do existing shelters offer for artists at risk?
  • What are the conditions under which shelter programmes aimed at human right defenders in general are willing to extend support specifically to artists at risk?
  • Are there specific needs of artists at risk during local/regional relocation that should be taken into account when building up new initiatives?
  • Which geographic locations and which institutions are well placed for the local/regional relocation of artists at risk? What is needed to up-scale existing smaller initiatives and/or to create new ones? A mapping could be part of the research.
  • What are key considerations when supporting the development of local/regional shelters for artists at risk? These considerations should also take into account legal aspects.

The first publication in a series of publications of the Martin Roth-Initiative “Temporary Shelter and Relocation Initiatives: Perspectives of Participants and Managers gives many insights and illuminates different facets of shelter and relocation programmes.

The Short Study tendered should deepen and supplement the previous study with the above-mentioned questions. Furthermore, the Short Study should be presented at a planned event in September 2020. Preparation and participation are mandatory.

Format: Study will be published, participation in the above mentioned event
Duration: 4 months Begin: May 2020
Workplace: flexible Remuneration: 6,000 € (gross)
Application deadline: 10 May 2020

Please send your complete application (as a file attachment with no more than 3 MB) by e-mail no later than 10 May 2020 to: Selection interviews are expected to take place in CW 21

Call For Proposals as PDF

Further information on the Martin Roth-Initiative:
Futher information on ifa can be found at:
Further information on the Goethe-Institute can be found at: