Cultural Journalism Residencies to Cover Modern Circuses

Deadline: 1 November 2012
Open to: cultural journalists, critics and chief editors from any form of media
Residency: organisers will assume all costs related to participation: flight / train, transfers, hotel nights, meals, tickets for shows.


Unpack the Arts is a European project that provides residencies for cultural journalists in the context of twelve major contemporary circus festivals. The goal of the project is to facilitate the circulation of knowledge and experience, to develop the critical discourses of its participants, and to further the role of the media within the (circus) arts and contemporary society. Cultural journalists, critics and chief editors from any form of media can apply for the project.

There will be 12 residencies in 8 countries (10 festivals), spread over 2 years (August 2012 – February 2014). Journalists can only participate in one residency. Each residency is set within the framework of a festival and follows the same format: over the course of 4 days, the participants contribute to a series of moderated thematic discussions, attend lectures by key circus experts, see 3-5 shows, and meet with and interview programmed artists along with a representative of the host festival. Some sessions, in particular the interviews with artists and the lectures, might be open to the general public.

At the end of the residencies, participants will each deliver 1 article (2,000 words) in their native language. These texts will be collected, edited and turned into an online, multilingual publication, with each article appearing both in its original language and as an English translation.

There is no registration fee to participate in the residencies. Furthermore, the organisers will assume all costs related to participation: flight / train, transfers, hotel nights, meals, tickets for shows.

Participating festivals: Call #2: September 2012

Goals of Residencies

  • To raise cultural journalists’ awareness of the contemporary circus scene by exposing them to artistic works and provoking discussions with key experts and artists – both on creation processes and on ways to engage with circus’ audience
  • To create a community within the press who are aware of circus’ vocabulary, history and influences, and who are able to produce literature and reviews of shows that encompass critical discourses on new trends and recognise the specific nature of circus dramaturgy
  • To offer media professionals ‘time and space’ to advance and explore their practice through intellectual encounters, artistic innovation within their work, and creative engagement across borders
  • To reach out to European citizens, in particular the ones who have a low level of cultural consumption and are usually under-represented at festivals and venues.


  • Cultural journalists, including arts writers, critics and theorists, working for (online) magazines, newspapers, radio, television, new media platforms, or any other form of media
  • Media professionals focusing on the performing arts – no knowledge of contemporary circus is required
  • Cultural journalists who are still active in their field and have at least 3 years experience (students or newly graduated cultural journalists with no experience cannot apply)
  • Journalists who have a good level of spoken and written English, and who live in one of the 35 countries participating in the Culture programme of the European Commission [check this list]


Apply by 1 November 2012 to be part of one of the three residencies offered for this second call (Stockholm, Brussels/Tournai, Helsinki):

Fill in the application form AVAILABLE HERE and send before 1 November 2012 to

Please add your CV (preferably using the Europass CV template) and a cover letter in English. Include information on spoken languages and a list of recent publications/works.
Download the second call for applications HERE (pdf) for more information.

All applicants will receive an answer on 23 November 2012.

The partners will select 10 beneficiaries per residency, taking into account the geographical scope of the project and balancing genders, backgrounds and practices. Each candidate has to:

  • Match the criteria above
  • Be available on the dates proposed by the organisers
  • Be motivated to participate and happy to meet with European colleagues in an international festival

See the original website for more information.

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