Shifting Places

Shifting Places is an initiative assisting artists affected by war to continue their work in Switzerland. The initiative is addressed to artists who have either fled to Switzerland from war or who are still living in war affected countries. It is built around three main pillars of artistic work. Networking. Creating. Sharing. Shifting Places is implemented together with various cultural partners.

Shifting Places
Initiated by artlink and supported by
the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
August 2022-March 2024, pilot project

Shifting Places gives professional artists and cultural practitioners in the fields of design, interactive media, literature, music and performing arts the possibility to continue their professional activity and to pursue their practice in the artistic scene of Switzerland. artlink understands artistic creation as a way of life, of perceiving the world, of dealing with it and of communicating. Artists do not only work for themselves, but rather for an audience, and often in exchange with peers.

The initiative has emerged in response to the war in Ukraine; however, it intends to include artists and cultural practitioners from all other regions and countries at war. Artists and cultural practitioners in war zones often find the working conditions on site have become hard, sometimes life-threatening - forcing them to leave their country.

Shifting Places aims at

  • assisting artists who have fled war or still reside in countries at war to continue their work
  • connecting these artists to the cultural landscape of Switzerland and providing platforms to showcase their work in the artistic scene

Shifting places offers opportunities for artists organised in three subprogrammes: Meet!, Work! & Share!


is based on the idea that artists can only fully understand and settle in the cultural environment in exchange with peers and other cultural practitioners. Meet! offers both digital and physical exchange opportunities for artists that have fled to Switzerland. By enabling artists to connect and exchange with peers, Meet! is designed to support the development of a network in Switzerland. Meet! sets first steps for the artists to discover the Swiss cultural landscape.

One-to-One offers virtual one-to-ones. At its core lies the principle of establishing peer-to-peer support; artists with a experience of migration who have built their career in Switzerland advise newly arrived artists on their path to navigating the Swiss cultural landscape. 

  • Do you want to become acquainted with the new cultural landscape?
    Meet your peers
    . These artists arrived some time ago in Switzerland and have established their artistic career here. Get in touch! They are delighted to answer all your questions.

Meeting Points offer both physical and virtual opportunities for exchange. Physical meetings are get-togethers with fellow artists to visit an exhibition, concert or performance followed by a shared meal. The virtual forum provides artists with an online space for exchange: to share their experiences, discuss challenges and opportunities. Each meeting will be hosted by a peer artist or cultural practitioner who has a particular knowledge that can help to gain artistic ground in Switzerland.

  •  Do you want to connect with peers over a cultural event? Are you interested in meeting event organisers? 
    Check out the schedule and send us an email to be part of the next get-together. The event ticket as well as the travel expenses will be covered by artlink. Please be aware that the places are limited. First come, first serve! Quick tip: Follow us on social media to stay tuned with the meeting dates.
  • Would you like to meet your peers virtually and ask practical questions about your life in Switzerland?
    Check our schedule and send us an email to join the next event.
  1. Online / Meeting with Sarah Girard, Director of Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography
    27.02.2023 15:00

    Meeting with Sarah Girard / Director / Biel-Bienne Festival of Photography

    Sarah Girard is a director of the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography, one of the most important festivals of emerging photography in Switzerland that takes place every year in May. For more than twenty years Sarah Girard has pursued a career as a photographer, art educator and advisor.

    Sarah will give an insight into the big festival organisation process and answer your questions about the photo scene in Switzerland.

  2. Musée des beaux-arts du Locle, Le Locle, Visual Arts
    18.02.2023 12:00

    MBAL – Musée des beaux-arts du Locle

    Since its reopening in 2014 the MBAL has increasingly established itself as a reference institution in Switzerland. Its programming succeeds in combining an aura of excellence with a spirit of discovery, while at the same time attracting a wide audience. Three temporary exhibitions a year broaden our perspectives : prints, photographs, installations, paintings… With the dual ambition of offering a programme that is both cutting-edge and daring, the MBAL exhibits both renowned artists and emerging artists of undeniable talent.

    In 2021, the MBAL launched a new, exclusively virtual exhibition space : the ORBIT_E.

  3. Online / Meeting with Keabetswe Boccomino, Curator and Director of AFRINOVA
    15.12.2022 16:00

    Meeting with Keabetswe Boccomino / Visual Art Curator & Director / AFRINOVA

    Keabetswe Boccomino, founder and director of AFRINOVA, is a South African interculturalist and creative living in Basel, Switzerland. Her previous work as a researcher and writer in innovation motivated her to gain her Master in Intercultural Communication at Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, 2019.

    Since its founding in April 2020, AFRINOVA is a creative community platform aimed at showcasing a new and authentic experience of art & design from Africa & the diaspora. It represents emerging artists who have exhibited on various international platforms, i.e., Swiss ArtExpo. Her newest exhibition, "Take Back Your Keys", is open from 26.11.22 to 01.01.23 in the frame of Regionale 23, in Projektraum M54 in Basel.

    Keabetswe will talk about her practice as a curator in Switzerland and will answer your questions about the Swiss visual art scene.

  4. Gessneralle, Zurich, Contemporary Dance
    17.12.2022 18:00

    Lucie Tuma Chænelings by and with Kiran Kumãe, Mamela Nyamza and Lucie Tuma

    Occultism, Dance, Magic. In Chænelings Lucie, Kiran and Mamela deal with occult and mediumistic practices. The work combines spiritual with technical media - and thus undermines the boundaries between a cosmology that underlies science and the worlds beyond modernity.

  5. Kunsthalle Basel, Visual Arts
    04.12.2022 15:00

    Exhibition Regionale 23 We are so many here

    26.11.22 – 22.01.23

    Under the title We are so many here, the artists of the association board of the Basler Kunstverein exceptionally curate this year’s Regionale at Kunsthalle Basel. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Kunsthalle Basel, more than 50 artists will be brought together in a polyphonic, colorful, and resonant presentation.

  6. Dampfzentrale, Bern, Contemporary Dance
    28.10.2022 18:00

    Platform-K / Michiel Vandevelde and Philippe Thuriot (Belgium) The Goldberg Variations

    When baroque meets post-modernism, supposedly incompatible worlds are on a collision course. The performance is part of the international dance festival at Dampfzentrale, Bern.

  7. Online / Meeting with Dimitri Witzig, Lawyer, Berner Rechtsberatungsstelle für Menschen in Not
    10.11.2022 16:00

    Meeting with Dimitri Witzig / Lawyer / Berner Rechtsberatungsstelle für Menschen in Not

    Dimitri Witzig has studied law at Zürich University and worked for 4,5 years for the Legal Aid Center for People in Need in Bern (Rechtsberatungsstelle für Menschen in Not). He is a specialist in Asylum and Social Welfare Law. Dimitri will talk about the Status S in Switzerland and answer your questions connected to this and other subjects. Duration around 90 min.


enables artists who have fled to Switzerland to establish further connections and to start working within the new environment. Work! is directed at artists who have escaped to Switzerland, settled in and are keen to restart their professional activities in the cultural sector.

This subprogramme offers the two types of opportunities Observer and Associated Artists. Please note that Work! is limited to artists who have a legal residency status allowing them to work.

Observer is a programme that offers artists insight into cultural organisations, an internship. Venues, organisers, and cultural practitioners invite artists to work with them for a minimum of four weeks. The internship will be paid, travel expenses related to it will be covered by artlink.

  • Do you want to gain insight into the cultural sector of Switzerland?
    Check below for current openings. If you are interested, please send an e-mail explaining your motivation and a short bio to the respective host. Further details will be communicated by them. If you have questions regarding the application processes, please contact us. 

Associated Artists is set up in partnership with various Swiss cultural institutions, offering artists a residency, a fellowship or a collaboration, within the framework of their already existing programme. The artists will receive per diems, and their incurred travel expenses will be covered by artlink. Please note that the Associated Artists' offers may vary in length and conditions, depending on the host.

  • Would you like to develop a new project or continue working on a former one? 
  • Are you looking for a residency, a fellowship, or a creative collaboration with Swiss artists and venues?
    Check out opportunities below. Interested? Please send an e-mail explaining your motivation and a short bio to the respective host. Further details will be communicated by them. If you have questions regarding the application processes, please contact us.

  1. 14.4. - 14.7.2023

    Three months residency at Villa Sträuli in Winterthur, Canton Zurich. The grant covers per diems and travel to/from the residency inside of Switzerland. To apply for the residency, please send your motivation letter and CV in English until 14.02.2023 to

    Please note that basic knowledge of at least one of the following languages, English, or German, is mandatory for all applicants.

    Established in 1999, Villa Sträuli is a non-profit contemporary art center in the city of Winterthur, Canton Zurich, supporting artistic practice and encouraging interdisciplinary approaches as well as creating bridges between a local and international public and long lasting cooperations.

    Villa Sträuli’s residency program has a cross-disciplinary focus. It welcomes artists from all disciplines (music, visual arts, performance, literature, new media, film, photography) but also curators and art critics.

    As a space for artistic creation, production, and dissemination of contemporary art, Villa Sträuli facilitates the free transfer of knowledge through interdisciplinary work and the exchange of artistic and curatorial projects.

    The team of professionals is focused on developing strategies for collaboration and the integration of residents into various networks and platforms in the city of Winterthur and Zurich, as well as on finding opportunities for residents to anchor in new areas.

    Staying at Villa Sträuli means:

    · To receive professional support and personal guidance.

    · To work collaboratively.

    · To be nurtured by the exchange with the other artists in residence and with the local art scene.

    · To immerse in the intense, cultural life of the city of Winterthur.

    · To participate in Villa Sträuli’s diverse public cultural program including exhibitions, talks, concerts, screenings, lectures, meet-the-artist events, etc.

    · To get technical support and advice from a professional team in research, production, and post-production of works.

    Villa Sträuli has three bright, renovated, and autonomous studios. They are all provided with a living and working space, a small kitchen, a bedroom (double bed) plus shower/WC.

  2. 1.3. - 24.3.2023

    24 days residency at Cima Città in Canton Ticino. The grant covers per diems and travel to/from the residency inside Switzerland. To apply for the residency, please send your motivation letter and CV in English until 31.01.2023 to

    Cima Città is an interdisciplinary residence in a disused chocolate factory in the Ticino Alps. Cima Città stands for retreat, inspiration, concentration, and exchange. Curious and committed voices from art, science, and society come together here. Cima Città sees itself as a nucleus for the development and exchange of collective answers to pressing questions of our time. The residence, in its unique surroundings, inspires, connects and asks for bold ideas for futures worth living.

    Cima Città is a place of retreat and exchange that offers uncomplicated, accessible, and cost-effective generous, and inspiring spaces. In this way, it creates freedoms and opportunities that are difficult to be found elsewhere. In Cima Città, therefore, projects can be researched and developed in a protected place that does not yet need large audiences, is still uncertain, or is only in the making phase. Based on this, we would like to see projects that dare to experiment and break new ground.

    Cima Città is, above all, a place that lives through its guests and a large network of members, interested people, neighbors, and friends. That's why people try to be at Cima Città ourselves as often as possible, to spend time together, to participate in the projects, or to act as hosts.

    Cima Città offers:

    · Space for staying for both individuals or groups in an old chocolate factory site in the Swiss alps.

    · Working place for a wide field of disciplines (visual arts, performing arts, photography, and music, as well as writing)

    · A stay in quiet surroundings and proximity to nature and a great place to focus on your work and exploring the close forests and hills.

    Cima Città does not provide coaching, hosting, and food, and the residents must bring and cook their own food. Cima Città is happy to help with tips on local grocery shops and anything else you may need.

  3. 10.1. - 10.2.2023

    One month at FAR° Residency in Nyon, Canton Vaud. The grant covers per diems and travel to/from the residency inside of Switzerland. To apply for the residency, please send your motivation letter and CV in English until 11.12.2022 to

    Please note that basic knowledge of at least one of the following languages, English, German, or French, is mandatory for all applicants.

    FAR° Festival et Fabrique d’Arts vivants Nyon – live arts festival and factory Nyon

    Since 1984 FAR° Nyon is known for its live arts festival which takes place every summer for approximately ten days in Nyon in various places of the city and the broader lemanic region (theatrical spaces and also churches, forests, next to the riverbanks). The city of Nyon with approximately 20’000 inhabitants is located on Lake Geneva and in the Nyon region composed of several smaller towns between the cities of Geneva and Lausanne.

    FAR° defines live arts as works activated by artists in front of an audience, including dance, performance, theatre, workshops, lectures.

    The work of FAR° is articulated around the axes of creation, artistic accompaniment, cultural participation and co-creation.

    Since 2018 FAR° supports artists throughout the year thanks to its residency space "Les Marchandises". Hosting artists in residency allows FAR° to foster the involvement of the Nyon-region’s inhabitants around participatory works in progress. Sometimes transdisciplinarity happens mingling artistic research with specialists from different disciplines living and working in the region (biologists, sociologists, mushroom growers from a village, cookers, architects, historians, foresters).

    In a world of recurring ecological and social crises FAR° is since several years interested in addressing the questions of social and ecological sustainability.

    The residency FAR° seems particularly interesting for artists who:

    · Situate their work in live arts (dance, performance, theatre).

    · Need little technical support in their artistic work.

    · Propose approaches that can be integrated into the territorial and social context.

    · Are concerned with ecological and social sustainability and the questions of care.

    · Want to experiment new modes of presentation to broaden the notion of live arts (artists from other artistic disciplines are welcome if they wish to explore live arts as an artistic mode of expression).

    Far° can provide: a studio space with a size of about 120m2, small technical installation (sound, beamer), sewing machine, construction workshop.

    Please note: The residency FAR° provides a studio space for work but no accommodation. The offer is open for applicants who live in Nyon, or in the Nyon region, including the city of Geneve and Lausanne. The travel expenses from/to Nyon will be covered.

  4. Open Internships

    There are no open offers at the moment.


Offers digital spaces for artists to develop and share their artistic work in collaboration with partners in Switzerland. Share! is explicitly aimed at artists from war zones who cannot or do not want to leave their country.

To know more follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Meet Your Peers