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Create, collaborate, and innovate in West Africa: Apply for the first Digital Humanism on site / Humanisme numérique en immersion residency through the Institut Cerco, for 6 weeks in Benin.

Send submissions and inquiries to
Submissions due: June 30, 2017 July 31, 2017
Award announced: August 31, 2017

Program Description
Digital Humanism on site / Humanisme numérique en immersion is a residency for digital artists and creative scholars to create innovative new works on site / en immersion in West Africa, exploring the framework of digital humanism.
Digital Humanism on site / Humanisme numérique en immersion is a residency in West Africa to collaboratively realize a new vision for creative/critical practices in digital forms. Digital art, Digital literature, and creative/critical practices are at the forefront of exploring the specificity of culture, language, and medium. The residency seeks proposals answering the question of what artists, authors, and critics can do to explore and actualize the promise of digital humanism to enhance access, agency, and global literacies in the twenty first century. This question is especially prominent in, and pressing to, the developing world, where access to digital networks and resources are uneven and the possibilities for artists to circulate their work are often constrained at a basic level of infrastructure. The residency especially welcomes artists with innovative approaches to the region and its culture.

Application Process
The artist/creative scholar (or two-person team) in residence will work with the Institut Cerco, a leading technological training and production center with locations in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast. The residency includes funding for lodging and living expenses 1 for 6 weeks. Additionally, the Institut Cerco will provide facilities and resources for the duration of residency. The residency begins on February 1, 2018. The final production will be exhibited in different African countries and will be featured at Digital Humanities On Site, an international conference and accompanying artistic exhibition hosted in Cotonou and Ouidah, Benin during March 2018. The artist-in residence will also participate as a judge for the artistic works at this exhibition. The two best works at the residency will receive computer hardware as an award, given by the Institut CERCO.

Application Process
Finalists for the artist in residence will be selected by an international review board comprised of scholars of digital arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology3, members of the Digital Humanism Project (UNESCO ITEN Chair), scholars in Digital Literature from the Laboratoire Paragraphe of Paris 8 , members of the IDEFI-CréaTIC Program, and representatives of the Institut Cerco. The final decision and invitation will be made by the Institut CERCO.

Submissions must include the following
Criteria for selection will include quality of previous works and relevance of the proposal to the residency.

  • Description of the proposed project, including technical requirements and sustainability/archiving plan (300 words maximum).
  • Biography of the artist(s), including links/sample of previous works (300 words maximum).

Send submissions and inquiries to
Submissions due: June 30, 2017 July 31, 2017
Award announced: August 31, 2017

Requirements of the Residency
The artist(s)/creative scholars in residence must create a new work by the end of the time period. The artist’s project and resulting works must engage with issues crucial to the mission of Institut Cerco, including but not limited to topics such as the following:

  • Literacy and literature
  • Agency
  • Access
  • Digital divide
  • Oral/print/digital cultures
  • Sustainable practices
  • Mobility
  • Globalization

Possible platforms for works include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance
  • Computer devices
  • Web sites
  • Mobile phones
  • Tablet devices
  • GPS/locative
  • Social media
  • Augmented reality
  • Video games

Any resulting work must be available for free show to the audience served by the Institut Cerco and through the Digital Humanism project of the UNESCO ITEN Chair. The 2 Artists/creative scholars must include a sustainability and archiving plan appropriate for the work created. The Artists/creative scholars in residence must reside in West Africa during the residency, but may split time between the Institut Cerco locations in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast. The artist in residence, or at least one member of a two-person artistic team, must have competence in French speaking, reading, and writing. The artistic work is not limited to the use of French, but it must be suitable for the audience served by the Institut Cerco.