Open Call for School of Kindness Program in Sofia, Bulgaria

Mar. 26, 2021

Æther Art Space and Migrating Voices invites you to apply to the School of kindness, a cross-disciplinary school/workshop/seminar, open to participants from different artistic backgrounds as well as non-artistic backgrounds. The program will take place from June 23–July 7, 2021 in the city of Sofia in Bulgaria and its surrounding mountains. Over the course of two weeks, participants will engage in a program of workshops, excursions, exercises, lectures and seminars provided by artists, theorists, performers and activists. It will be presented in tandem with a public program of films as well as a symposium. School of Kindness starts from the urgency to create a new situation to bring together ‘differences,’ to learn and work together, to share practices and knowledge between the so-called West and East.

An open call for School of Kindness 2021

School of Kindness Open Call, 2021 // Courtesy of School of Kindness

Æther Art Space is a platform for exhibitions, discussions, community gathering, experimentation, workshops and publishing in Sofia, Bulgaria. Migrating Voices is a cross-disciplinary research project founded in 2019 as a continuation of the MA program Master of Voice in Amsterdam with the aim to further explore the voice, as resource and as agency, in and outside of artistic practices.

School of kindness is the first edition of a series of experimental, educational and discursive programs realised at different places in, and on the border with, Europe. The fugitive school aims to connect practitioners and thinkers from East and West, to share ideas and knowledge, to work together, in order to arrive to a new cognitive state of political imagination. They hope to explore cultural, economic and political migration through real, virtual, mythological, juridical and political bodies.

The program will focus on corporeal and social effects of displacement and loss and engage with the potentially precarious physical states of migrants and labourers. It will take place in the context of a set of interrelated issues that overwhelmingly permeate daily life in Bulgaria, including political transformation and living in the post-socialist state, labor migration, debt and poverty, the rise of nationalism and racism, the environmental crisis and depopulation. At its core, the program looks at historical and contemporary forms of conviviality — to take inspiration from what typifies the Balkan, as the crossing point between West and East, across Christian and Islamic influences.

The program offers a two-week program of practical and theoretical experiments for approximately 25 participants who are willing to work collectively and to share their own concerns and practices in regard to different forms of migration. It is a tuition-free program, but participants are expected to be present for the full two-weeks and to deliver a presentation at the end of the program. They also need to finance their own travel to Bulgaria and stay in Sofia for two weeks. Two excursions to Vitosha mountain and the village of Brestnitsa/Prohodna cave are included in the program, as well as a daily plant-based meal.

Workshops, seminars and other contributions will be hosted by Ismail Fayed, Raia Apostolova, Tania Reytan, Farah Barqawi, Sorour Darabi, Mladen Alexiev, Angelo Custódio, Akim, and Tomek Pawlowski Jarmolajew, among others.

Artists, writers, poets, researchers, scholars, community members and activists are invited to participate in the program. Applications should be sent to The application should include a letter of motivation, a biography, and a selection of works.

Application Info
Deadline: Apr. 15, 2021

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