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From Now On. Meetings on infrastructures and work processes of artistic residencies (2023)
Idensitat - hablarenarte -  - La Escocesa. 

Monasterio de la Inmaculada Concepción, Loeches, Comunidad de Madrid
September 2023

Who goes to an artistic residency? What really happens in that context of 'reflection and immersion'? Who has access to residency programmes? What limitations are there in being part of them? How can we build truly inclusive programmes which address these limitations? What conditions must be in place in order to put into practice all the theories which we have been sharing and debating in recent years? And finally, who supports the people behind these programmes,  and what working conditions should we suggest in order to be able to carry out the work properly?

These are some of the questions which have brought us together here and now. On the basis of  these situated practices and reflections, we have invited artists, researchers, and cultural workers to shape ideas for the future with us, the three organisers.

Residencies have become rites of passage, initiatory experiences and almost inescapable requirements for the professionalisation of artists. Now is the time to ask ourselves how, from their conceptualisation and structures of support, we can work to make them accessible, sustainable, and politically active infrastructures in a context of such social and environmental complexity.

These meetings attempt to generate spaces for listening, caring, and mutual support among all the guests, involving us in rethinking the functioning of residencies, and in practising other ways of making them work (based upon management, coexistence, and situated research). These considerations and processes will be reflected through texts or other documents which will serve to share experiences, doubts, good practices, etc., reviewing the existing bibliography and/or expanding it. The aim is not only to generate transversal knowledge, but also to put it into practice in our programmes, and to monitor these processes of transformation.

During the first meeting, we organised five working groups ordered by theme, and guided by people who work with and through the proposed themes. Each group delivered a spoken report and visual documentation. The questions we started with were: Are artistic residencies enabling spaces? Why? How can we make the experience of moving to another place compatible with parenting and other family or caring responsibilities? How can we create structures and initiatives that facilitate the mobility of people who, due to legal circumstances, find it more difficult to cross borders?  What conflicts - visible or invisible - exist for diverse bodies and identities to participate on equal terms in residency practices? How, and from which places of enunciation, should these nodes of conflict be addressed and unblocked? How do we confront the contradiction of promoting mobility and internationalisation in a world undergoing ecological collapse?

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The guides of the working groups were: Júlia Ayerbe, Paloma Calle, Ana Bibang, Jo Muñoz and Ane Rodríguez Armendáriz. The rapporteurs were: Emma Brasó, Roser Colomar, Alba Feito,  and Flavia Introzzi. The other participants were: Christian Fernández Mirón, Ivan Cicchetti, Carlos Almela, Alba Colomo, Gema Sanz, Mamen Adeva, Irati Irulegi, Julio Jara, Lenka Holikova, Marcela Rodríguez, Mercedes Álvarez, Sara Martín Terceño, Viviana Checchia, María Mallol and José Ramón Hernández. 

The second meeting will take place in Barcelona at the end of October and will focus on the question of support structures, and the work carried out by those who make possible, organise, and coordinate residency programmes. We will consider both the processes and necessary for these processes to occur.