Nieuws Fellowship

18 april 2023


Deadline: 4 June 2023, 24:00 hrs CEST  
Public announcement of selected Fellows: 15 July 2023  
Fellowship term: 11 October 2023-19 June 2024  

Applications to the BAK cell are closed

You can apply to the ÇAP cell in Istanbul by filling out the downloadable form here and forwarding it to 


BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht welcomes proposals from Netherlands-based practitioners for the 2023/2024 BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice. Requested are proposals located at the intersections of art, theory, and social action that enquire into the renewed possibilities of alignment and nonalignment, understood as imagination and practice of solidarity that connects beyond the traditional formations of identity, nation-state, and ideology. The deadline for the reception of the applications is 4 June 2023, 24:00 hrs CEST.  


Structure: Situated, Distributed, Federated  

Since 2017, BAK has been conducting a post-academic fellowship program focused on facilitating research that reframes and rethinks conditions of the contemporary through theoretically informed and sociopolitically driven art and inquiry. The program offers positions to practitioners working at the intersections of art, theory, and social action, providing them with opportunity and resources to develop their practice, research, and talent.   

In 2021 the program developed into the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice (BFSP) to foreground situatedness of both research and practice—artistic, intellectual, political, as well as institutional—as a guiding conceptual and operative principle. In collaboration with cultural institutions outside of the Netherlands—that share with BAK a commitment to cultivate a sustainable critical study culture around present urgencies and to support the development of practices and debates in the context where they are grounded—the program organizes into a federated constellation of research cells.   

The 2023/2024 edition of the BFSP is envisioned as a collaboration between BAK in Utrecht and the Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Program (ÇAP) at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) in Istanbul. The upcoming edition opens 10 to 16 positions (5 to 8 positions in each cell, the total number depending on the cell composition and based on the affinities within proposed research trajectories) for Fellows to be distributed amongst the two cells—BAK and ÇAP—for the duration of 8 months between October 2023 and June 2024.   

A Satellite Fellowship program (by invitation and geared toward artists’ writing practices) as well as a program of Young Fellows take place in parallel.    

Each cell is coordinated by a convener who situates the conceptual lines and program structure within their context, accompanies the development of the Fellows’ research, facilitates the discussions and organization of their respective cells, and liaises with the other cells. The BAK cell in Utrecht is convened by Irene Calabuch Mirón, and the ÇAP cell in Istanbul is convened by Zeyno Pekünlü


Eligibility, Expectations, and Conditions  

The BFSP presents practitioners with an opportunity to dedicate time to further the development of their research, talent, and practice in a challenging artistic, discursive, and sociopolitically driven environment. The applicants are expected to propose and develop experimental research within their own field of practice that connects with the overarching “Alignment/Nonalignment” research trajectory.  

Fellows have consistent and significant experience in their field. The BFSP aims at recognizing and sustaining an ongoing practice, project, or research by contributing with economic, institutional, and social support to develop it.   

The BFSP is an initiative-driven, research-based program in a peer-to-peer learning environment. There is no prerequisite to have undertaken formal education prior to the Fellowship. Enrollment in any academic program is not compatible with the Fellowship. While Fellows are autonomous in their research trajectories, this is done in dialogue with others in the BFSP—other Fellows, guests, hosting institutions, and institutions’ networks. No mentorship or tutorials are provided in the traditional sense; instead, there are guest interlocutors who join the program to expand the questions, drives, and enquiries of the Fellows.  

→ Fellows develop their practice and socialize it with and within their respective research cell and Fellows’ cohort by sharing their questions, challenging their work, and expanding their scope. BFSP is geared toward developing a collectively shared space for critical and creative exchange.  

→ Fellows are expected to actively and consistently engage with the program’s discussions, presentations, and activities. They are expected to devote approximately 60% of their working time toward the program, which includes both their individual research as well as cohort and cell meetings. They also need to prove the advancement of their research through regular check-ins with the conveners, bi-monthly reports, and other forms of deliverables to be defined.  

→ Fellows meet weekly with their cell every Wednesday, and regularly with the Fellows’ cohort to present, share, and discuss their research. Curated Gatherings are organized periodically in the respective localities of Utrecht and Istanbul following a semi-public or public format to share and amplify with others the status of the discussions and enquiries. 

→ English is the operational language of the program, and local languages are used in the context of the cells. Translation of materials bridging the cellular languages to facilitate exchange will be present.   


Both cells are composed through local open calls in the Netherlands and Turkey.   

Fellows receive a monthly stipend from BAK, which is calculated in each cell in relation to local monetary value, costs of living, and median income. In the Netherlands, each Fellow receives a stipend of €1,700 a month for the period of 8 months. Collectives can apply with one shared proposal, and will receive an adjusted stipend according to the number of members: duos receive 1.5 stipends; 3-member collectives receive 2 stipends; collectives with more than 3 members receive 2.5 stipends.  

The enrolment fee is €2,400 and has to be paid only once. This fee is to cover initial administrative costs, and only applies to candidates who are selected for the Fellowship. Fellows are responsible for their own health insurance.  

The 2023/2024 BSFP is realized by BAK in collaboration with The Istanbul Production and Research Programme, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Istanbul; and in partnership with HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht. It has been made possible through support by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the City of Utrecht. 


Research framework: Alignment/Nonalignment  

The proposed overarching framework of research and discussion of the upcoming BFSP is an invitation to renew our practice and imaginaries of alignment and nonalignment beyond traditional and bygone frameworks such as the national: a layered and urgent geographical imagination addressing questions of organization, positionality, and solidarity that we would like to take as a starting point of exploration. This question emerged in the context of the 2021/2022 edition of BFSP, specifically prompted by the military invasion of Ukraine: a chain of events that strengthened the refusal of all forms of imperialism and also instigated the sharing and reconnection with collectivist initiatives, non-official histories, and subterranean legacies that enacted and cultivated solidarities against the grain of imposed archives, identities, and structures. Possible lines of enquiry and practice include:  

→ Multifarious and layered forms of solidarity—radical, grieving, precarious—that cultivate life-affirming relations and which, in turn, shape affective communities, dissident friendships (after literary and cultural theorist Leela Gandhi), and cultural classes that disalign with violent oppressions and negotiate without indulgence and without reductionism the political, social, and aesthetic complexities that traverse us. Affective communities based on a disidentificatory ethos that embraces anticolonial, anti-imperialist, transfeminist, anti-extractivist, and ecological thought and action, populated by radical intimacies and prefigurative gestures that operate through multiples scales.  

→ Creative refusal, active desertion, and abolitionist work as forms of action-research that instigate tactics, strategies, and social choreographies that refuse antagonism and punitivism but instead open up propositional, fertile, and reparative grounds. Tactics and practices of creative refusal, exodus, withdrawal, or boycott, and how to enact them collectively. The social choreographies that these tactics perform, and how the collective body moves through or as them.   

→ Life-affirming organization and structure-building that instigate and renew our habits of coalition-making. Structures and bonds that often go under representativity and beyond essentialized identities through transnational, stateless, and interdependent networks. Reflections on positionalities, relationality, attunements as well as geographies of solidarities and sensibilities are welcomed.    

This should be taken as an orientative urgency to inspire the applications and encompass the inquiries of the BFSP, but is in no way as a rigid thematic framework.  


How to apply  

You can apply to the BAK cell in Utrecht by filling out the form here. 

You can apply to the ÇAP cell in Istanbul by filling out the downloadable form here and forwarding it to 

Questions about the Application Procedure

For any outstanding questions on the application procedure, contact:
Irene Calabuch Mirón, BAK Fellowship Program, at