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27 May 2021

Open Call / "In The Shadow of The Big Trees" Art Residency Program


In The Shadow of The Big Trees 

Art Residency Program


Tbilisi Photo Festival & COBERM


Tbilisi Photo Festival is glad to announce an open call for the residency program In the Shadow of the Big Trees for Georgian and Abkhaz visual artists and creative individuals under the ageof 35 based in Tbilisi and Sukhumi.

In The Shadow of The Big Trees is a metaphor of living in the shade of larger narratives; be it historical, political, social or personal. Burdened with the shadow of the Soviet past, these geographical and political territories are chased by phantoms from different times and different temperaments. From contested political games, shadow economies to speculative and male dominating narratives overlooking the perspective of women, young and minorities, these shadows make up these intricate landscapes and hold them hostage.

In a broader sense, ‘a shadow’ can relate to allusive existence between public and private, between generational gaps and domineering social norms; it can also be about fluidity and relativity of boundaries.


The artists are invited to work within the whole scope of these meanings be it ‘big narratives’ or problematics of their own personal boundaries determined by time and space.


The duration of the residence is 4 months (June-September 2020). The program mainly consists of online meetings and includes:

A 4-month work process with an international visual arts expert who will mentor each selected artist in creating the work; the artists will also work closely with the residency program curators to provide them with professional assistance at all stages of the residency process; in addition, the program includes lectures with renowned international visual artists as well as experts in contemporary history. The residency program will conclude with a group meeting in Turkey in Spring 2022 to work on thepublic presentation of the results of the residency - an exhibition and a publication.


Selected artists will receive 1,700 Gel stipendium.


To apply for the residency, please send the following documents in Georgian and English: 

- Description of the artwork to be developed during the residency (max. 300 words) 

- Portfolio in PDF format (not larger than 5MB) 

- CV

To the address: 

Please mark in email subject: Art Residency Program – Application 

Application Deadline - July 5th, 2021.


The residency project is implemented by Tbilisi Photo Festival in partnership with COBERM, an apolitical, impartial and flexible programme funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


Literature Initiative Georgia and Konrad Adenauer Fund are also project’s partners.  


Cover image: © Zura Jishkariani. The Catastrophe is Subtropical Eden, 2020. Self-published book, limited edition. Realised as part of the Subtropical Cultures residency program.