ARJ Lab Salvador

‘An International Look at Artist Safety Hosting in Different Regions of the World’

The 1stArts Rights Justice Laboratory (Salvador-Bahia, Brazil)

Thursday April 26, 2018 & Friday April 27, 2018


Goethe-Institut Salvador, Library
Av. Sete de Setembro, 1809
40080-002 Salvador-Bahia, BRAZIL

As an add-on to the conference ‘Echoes of the South Atlantic’ by Goethe Institut, the ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE Laboratory in Salvador-Bahia offers an applied context for present and future research at the intersection of artist residency and free expression. Over a two-day workshop, April 26 – 27, 2018, the ARJ Lab aims to develop innovative approaches and common strategies in collaboration with around 30 artists and cultural operators as well as actors who promote artistic production and arts freedom, strengthening both local and international networks.

ARJ LAB Salvador


Over the past three decades a number of spaces, which offer safety hosting for threatened scholars, journalists, human rights activists and artists in distress have evolved along with schemes of financial and legal support. ‘Safe haven’ is a commonly used term to encompass the various formats of hosting, all of which are interdependent with financial, legal and thematic advocacy initiatives. Part of this is a growing number of residencies for persecuted and threatened artists.

The artist residency field is a continually evolving one. While the purpose of residencies is to nurture artistic practice, existing models have shifted over time from art colonies in remote locations to urban-based programs, socially-engaged residencies, and a variety of new initiatives that respond to present social, political and economic conditions. Within this framework, residencies may serve as sites of shelter or safe haven for artists in distress, who have fled or been evacuated from another location. Given a notable growth at the intersection between artist residencies and shelter, what responsibilities are there for cultural producers, human rights activists, journalists, artists, lawyers, and other actors working in and articulating this “in-between” space?  Where do responsibilities and expectations meet and where do they clash? Finally, what practices can be implemented to facilitate a genuine sense of rest and respite for artists that are in flight?

Although many of these artist residencies are created in Europe and North America, the number of residency programs and shelter locations outside of Europe is growing. Brazil is one of the highest growth countries for the ICORN network, for example.

Participating artists and practitioners in related fields are interested in knowing and developing specific skillsets for implementing and managing these residencies as well as considering many other approaches to support artists and artistic production. The question of ‘What artists in distress need from temporary residencies?’ will stay front and center during the Salvador Lab.


  • ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE Program of the UNESCO Chair in ‘Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development’ at the University of Hildesheim, Germany
  • Co-founded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany
  • Goethe-Institut Sao Paolo & Salvador-Bahia, Brazil
  • ICORN – International Cities of Refuge Network
  • and Todd Lanier Lester, Ideator