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April 2023 till September 2025



PROSPER: PROtotype for Sustainable residencies in PERipheries

Peripheries are places of solidarity that partners in PROSPER aim to explore by creating connections between environmentally vulnerable regions, through a series of transnational cultural collaborations.


The main priorities are to engage artists and local communities in two regions with major environmental significance; namely the island of Evia in Greece that suffered destructive wildfires in 2021, and Lake Ohrid in N.Macedonia, which has suffered degradation due to human activity endangering its endemic importance. Both regions are affected by COVID, where culture and tourism workers are searching for a way forward to sustainable and inclusive futures.

The objectives are to contribute to the development of models of transnational collaboration that would enable stronger connections between European artists and organizations, diversified audiences as local communities and sustainable cultural tourism sectors; as well as enhance capacity building for diversity driven project management for grassroots organizations.

PROSPER involves 5 partner organizations (LOOP, Eho Animato, Peripetija, Oyoun, and Ohrid SOS), 6 associate partners and more than 40 participants who will together create residencies, collective and mutual learning experiences between artists & local audiences, transnational co-productions in performing & visual arts, capacity building training for cultural and tourism workers and a prototype of sustainable and inclusive residencies in peripheries.

The aim is to enhance international cultural collaboration, methodologies of integrating environmental issues into artistic practice, stronger collaboration between art and tourism, empowered local audiences, visibility of European artists, and stronger capacities for more impactful projects that enable sustainable and inclusion driven project management. This aim will be presented to the public in the form of  2 residencies,1 prototype, 2 1-day festivals, 2 co-production performances, 1 exhibition, 1 audiowalk, 2 publications, 12 workshops, 5 capacity building trainings, and 10 presentations. 

On the 21st of May 2023, all partners came together in person to prepare the plan for the upcoming 2.5 years. This project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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Project Details

The partnership between the organizations, from Greece (LOOP), Serbia (Eho Animato), North Macedonia (Peripetjia and LDA Struga), and Germany (Oyoun), and the network of six associate partners across Europe, is built on the foundation of transnational collaboration between a diverse group of European artists and cultural workers, as well as going beyond known borders of the sector and including sustainable tourism organizations. This consortium will expand on new models of transnational collaboration through a series of cultural activities that will span across 30 months. Co-creation and development of new models of sustainable and inclusive creative work (environmentally, economically, creatively, and socially) are inherently present in the way the open calls, residencies and co-productions in the PROSPER project are designed; and all co-productions are co-creations by the transnational groups of artists and cultural workers who will exchange their models and strategies of work in their respective fields. Dissemination and presentation of the results of PROSPER will be realized in all partner countries, but also through the network of associate partners that includes festivals and other actors in the local scenes of European countries, creating impact well across Europe, spreading further than just the partner countries. 

All of the artistic activities are rooted in the local contexts of the places where the long-term residencies in Evia and Lake Ohrid will take place. This local context is very much defined by the current environmental strain that the regions are experiencing. In line with the New European Bauhaus and in partnership with PHALA (Panhellenic Association of Landscape Architects - associate partner), PROSPER aims to raise awareness about the urgency of sustainable choices for the two main areas selected to host the residencies, and use them as case studies in order to develop a new prototype model for sustainable long-term artistic residencies in peripheries. 

Both Evia and Lake Ohrid represent common types of natural degradation that we experience globally and more frequently than ever before. The wildfires that took place in 2021 in Evia, a recurring global phenomenon in warm regions due to climate change, caused loss of natural habitats for insects, birds, and larger animals; dangers of erosion causing irreversible problems with topsoil fertility which are vital for the reforestation and return of agricultural practice; and, effects of erosion on adjacent marine habitats with large mass of sediments. The actions and decisions taken in the first years after a wildfire can have a magnified effect on landscape reclamation; and there is an urgent need for sustainable management of the landscape to recover the financial opportunities of the local rural communities that depend on it.

Lake Ohrid, on the other hand is a UNESCO world heritage site with a unique ecosystem not only because of its high biodiversity and significance for migrating species, but also because of its large number of endemic species - species found only there. Lake Ohrid wetland habitats have recorded a constant decrease in recent times, mostly because of agriculture and urban development. The increased human activity in the region with larger towns, intense commercial fishing and increasing touristic development adds problems with pollution and higher risk of eutrophication and endangers the balance of the already shrunk natural habitat. The urgency applies here since decreases in biodiversity are hard to overturn, at the same time endangering the habitat of endemic species can have irreversible effects, even extinction.

The open call for the selection of the participating artists for the two residencies in Evia and Lake Ohrid will enable the creation of an international group of 16 artists that will directly engage with each other, as well as with local communities and sustainable tourism actors in the peripheries. The selection of the artists will be made by the main partners with gender equality, inclusiveness, and diversity aspects in mind; participants must be able to identify as artists on the peripheries and describe how they plan to contribute to peripheries in their applications. Selected participants will be provided research methodology workshops that focus on the environmental aspects of the local context. This will not only enhance the intercultural but also the multidisciplinary aspects of the project, emphasizing on environmental and ecological awareness, while promoting sustainability throughout the course of the residency in practical day to day terms. A key objective within the residencies is to inspire artists to find connections between their artistic practice, the fragile environment they are inhabiting, and the people who live there. This will contribute to the development of a new methodology of environmentally conscious artistic practice integrated in developing sustainable residencies as a prototype.

By engaging local communities in places with an underdeveloped cultural scene, such as Evia and Lake Ohrid, PROSPER also aims to create stronger connections with new audiences and non-audiences, providing new opportunities for interaction and mutual learning. In this way we will explore long-term residencies as generators of interpersonal connections, and as motivators for inclusion through direct contact between artists and local audiences. Moreover, the tourism sector, as well as the cultural sector, are heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis and new strategies are needed in order to achieve sustainability. Partnering with sustainable tourism organizations, PROSPER proposes new models of collaboration between culture and tourism sectors that can create new opportunities, jobs and projects. 

Capacity building is also an essential part of PROSPER. Most of the main partners are grassroots micro-organizations, who have been taking part in larger projects with increasing responsibility over the past years, but lack wider institutional support. Therefore, the intention is to build capacity with larger and more established partners such as Oyoun (partner) and Pogon (associate partner), who will support the smaller organizations with their skills, experience, and expertise. Strategies of solidarity infused project management, strategies of growth for grassroots initiatives, strategies on sustainable artistic practices and tourism (which will be developed with LDA Struga), as well as development of residencies with a strong emphasis on gender and inclusiveness are the main capacity building trainings at the core of the project development. Training sessions will be open to organizations outside of the consortium interested in the topics. These collective learning practices, as well as hands-on experience while working on the project will significantly enhance capacities of all participating organizations.

Capacity Building Workshops

   I-A. Searching for De-Colonial Practices in Project Management Part I     

What are decolonial practices? How can they be considered in managing cultural projects? Participants are invited to collectively rethink common practices of project management through questions from decolonial, queer*feminist and migrant perspectives.  The workshop aims to build capacities and provide knowledge and resources to develop strategies for inclusion and diversity and to implement decolonial practices in (transnational) cultural projects.

The workshop consists of a theoretical component introducing concepts such as decoloniality and queer*feminism in order to raise awareness of the impact of colonial power structures and enable participants to recognize, question and re-think them. Within the second part of the workshop, these concepts will be discussed in a practice-oriented approach with the aim of jointly developing tools that can be actively used in managing cultural projects in the periphery and beyond. Cultural practitioners in the EU, as well as the general public and individuals with various backgrounds, are invited to participate.

   I-B. Searching for De-Colonial Practices in Project Management Part II : Post-Yugoslav Perspectives   

WITH: Ana Sladojević, Belgrade-based independent curator and theorist.

WHEN: Thursday, 9th August, 11am - 1pm CET 

WHERE: The discussion will take place online, registration is required at [registration link].

WHO: Cultural Practitioners and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to join. No prior experience is required but we expect participants to be open to reflect on their own positionalities and perceptions. 

This workshop focuses particularly on cultural work in the Post-Yugoslav region and asks what it means to act de-colonially within this context. We will examine the unique aspects of this region, understanding its continuities with and discontinuities from the Western modern paradigm.

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   II. Residencies and Peripheries - Research and production in collaboration with communities 

WITH: Sonja Soldo and Marijana Rimanić from Pogon - Zagreb Center for Independent Culture

WHEN: Wednesday, 11th of October 2023 from 10 - 12am (CET)

WHERE: The discussion will take place online, registration is required via [registration link].

WHO: Cultural Practitioners and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to join. No prior experience is required but we expect participants to be open to reflect on their own positionalities and perceptions. 

The workshop will be held in English.


In this workshop , Marijana Rimanić and Sonja Soldo, from Pogon - Zagreb Center for Independent Culture, will delve into the essential elements for establishing successful arts residencies in peripheral regions. 


Seeking answers to the question of what the key elements are for a successful art residency in the periphery, they will draw from their project experiences where residencies have been used as a tool for producing new work, and share valuable insights, experiences and questions that have emerged.


  • Which formats are most suitable given the resources available and how to set them up?

  • How to collaborate with artists and facilitate their work with local communities?

  • How can the expectations of all participants be met?

  • What is more important - the process or the outcome?

  • Are we allowed to fail and what does failure even mean in the context of residencies?


Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to engage in a collaborative discussion. Together, they will explore the significant role that residencies can play and the key factors required for the successful initiation and implementation of arts residencies in peripheries.


Sonja Soldo is the Senior Associate for Cultural Programmes and International Cooperation at Pogon. Since 2010, she has managed an artist exchange program with Akademie Schloss Solitude. Her past roles include work with [BLOK] Association on art in public space and co-managing UrbanFestival.

Marijana Rimanić, an Art History and Comparative Literature graduate, joined Pogon in 2011. She's held roles as a Programme Coordinator, Manager of Communications and Marketing, and worked as a journalist at Croatian Radiotelevision. She's also been a Co-Curator at [BLOK] Association's UrbanFestival and worked at the Multimedia Institute as the Manager of MaMa, a cultural and social center.

III. Culture and Tourism

Online training in English on sustainable cross-collaboration between the arts and tourism, supported by Ohrid SOS. Free and open to all interested organizations transnationally. 

IV. New Media and New Technologies for Transnational Collaboration 

Online training in English by Oyoun on new media and new technologies for transnational collaboration. Free and open to all interested organizations transnationally. 

V. Grassroots Growth to Urban Hubs

Online training in English on Oyoun's  experiences on strengthening the organizational capacities for growth. Free and open to all interested organizations transnationally.

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