ADATA AiR - artist-in-residence programme

Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Part of the programme of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019

ADATA AiR is a project of the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut in Bulgaria and the Polish Institute in Sofia. Activities are a realization of the key project "Adata Island and the Maritsa River", connected with the revival of the region and its return to the urban life.
Plovdiv 2019 Foundation launches an artist-in-residence programme – ADATA AiR – in the city of Plovdiv. The residency aims to give a space for a creative exchange that fosters intercultural dialogue and interaction. The platform is open for artists, architects, designers, etc., from Europe to join the special pre-capital-of-culture stage of the development of the Bulgarian city Plovdiv, which is going to be a European Capital of Culture in 2019. During their stay, the residents will have the opportunity to develop new projects and interact with local communities and the complex cultural realities of the city.

The focus of the residency call is the urban landscape of the city. It is basically divided into the following two sections:

  • Nature-culture relations within the city: the river passing through the city and a wild island in it and also the city’s seven hills are some of its landmarks.
  • Architectural layering: a mixture of styles and epochs, having some remarkable examples of Modernist, Soviet, Bauhaus architecture as well as an intriguing heritage of industrial and religious buildings, and even some illegal community-created structures.

The ADATA AiR programme offers to its residents the opportunity to further develop their projects, after finishing their residency stay. Up to 15 of all residents’ projects will be realized during the following year - in 2019, as part of the official programme of Plovdiv – ECOC 2019.


Adata is the name of a river island in Plovdiv (etymology from Turkish – “island”). Used as a picnic area at the beginning of the 20th century and also for growing fruits and vegetables, the island is currently a deserted area, a burden for its owners, serving only for free wood cutting and for different illegal activities. It had long been forgotten by the citizens until the European Capital of Culture turned it into a symbolic area within this programme. The island represents not only the geographical spot but rather the state of isolation and alienation that has characterized our society for a long period of time. It was the reason to choose it as an emblem of this AiR program, with the goal of developing artistic interventions, installations, objects, sculptures and site-specific artworks in the public space, thus changing the perception of the island.


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First Session:
Launch: December 20, 2018
Deadline for submitting applications is January 31, 2018
Residencies: from April 15 to July 15, 2018

Second Session:
Launch: April 15, 2018
Deadline for submitting applications is May 31, 2018
Residencies: from July 15 to November 30, 2018


Visual arts, Digital media, Architecture, Performance art, Land art, Sculpture, Sound, Other


▪ Living space for the residents - private rooms in shared apartments
▪ Shared Studio (allowing at least 2 different artists to work at the same time)
▪ Event space - for screenings, exhibitions, conference/meeting/presentation room
▪ Couches and social areas
▪ Free Internet access
▪ Basic materials and tools - if available
▪ Practical advice for research and production details

All the above-mentioned facilities are free to the residents and are provided by the organizer.


The organizers will cover:
▪ Travel expenses - for the trip to Plovdiv and back
▪ Living expenses: 560 BGN (approximately 280 EURO) per 2-weeks period per person

All other expenses during the residency stay are the personal responsibility of the residents.


English, Bulgarian


After their residency stay all artists-in-residence should propose a fully developed concept for one or more artworks to be produced and presented within the program of Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019.


Artists talks and presentations
Open Studios
Studio visits with local artists and curators


Open Call for the First Session - CLOSED
Open Call for the Second Session - ACTIVE


The residents will be selected by a committee according to:
· Artist’s statement and previous work
· Quality of the project proposal in relation to the goals of the Plovdiv ECOC 2019 programme
· Potentiality of realizing the project in 2019

Maximum number of residents at one time: 5


Selected artists will be notified approximately 30 days after each deadline. 

Selection Committee

• Svetlana Kuyumdzieva, artistic director of Plovdiv 2019 Foundation
• Vanya Grozdanova, programmes and projects expert in Plovdiv 2019 Foundation
• Enzio Wetzel, director of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria
• Jaroslaw Godun, director of the Polish Institute in Sofia
• Vera Mlechevska, independent curator and art historian
• Yovo Panchev, independent art critic and curator 
• Valeri Gyurov, architect and street artist

The artist-in-residence programme ADATA AiR is an official member of the Res Artis, Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies

Artists Selected for the First Session of ADATA AiR


General partners

EU Japan Fest

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