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



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. To get in touch with them join Turntables - the artist directory that facilitates South-South and South-North exchange, skill-sharing and training for actors across the fields of art and culture.

Meet your peers

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. CLOSED || Meeting Point #8

    Alte Reithalle, Aarau
    31.03.2023 | 18:00

    Join us for a shared meal and the dance performance Father Politics by Company MEK/Muhammed Kaltuk at Alte Reithalle, Aarau.

    Muhammed Kaltuk is the shooting-star of contemporary urban dance, his style the authentic dance language of a young, angry generation. In his award-winning dance piece "Father Politics", his company MEK unmasks the emotionalization of politics through the opinion-making and polarization of political advertising campaigns.

    Learn more about the performance:

    Join the Meeting Point!
  2. CLOSED || Meeting Point #7

    Virtual Forum
    27.02.2023 | 15:00

    E-Meeting with Sarah Girard, director of the photography festival 'Bieler Fototage'. She gives insight into the organisation of a big festival and answers your questions about the Swiss photo scene.

    For over twenty years Sarah Girard has been working as a photographer, art educator and consultant. She is the director of one of the most important festivals of emerging photography in Switzerland. It takes place every year in May.

    Learn more about Bieler Fototage:

    Join the Meeting Point!
  3. CLOSED || Meeting Point #6

    MBAL – Musée des beaux-arts du Locle, Le Locle
    18.02.2023 | 12:00

    Join us for a a shared meal and visit at the MBAL in Le Locle, Canton Neuchâtel.

    Since its reopening in 2014 the MBAL has increasingly established itself as a reference institution in Switzerland. Its programming, that offers three temporary exhibitions per year, succeeds in combining "an aura of excellence with a spirit of discovery" and therefore attracting a wide audience.

    Learn more about the MBAL:

    Join the Meeting Point!
  4. CLOSED || Meeting Point #5

    Virtual Forum
    15.12.2022 | 16:00

    E-meeting with Keabetswe Boccomino, Visual Art Curator & Director at AFRINOVA. She will talk about her practice as a curator in Switzerland and will answer your questions about the Swiss visual art scene.

    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 and 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.

    Learn more about Afrinova
  5. CLOSED || Meeting Point #4

    Gessnerallee, Zurich
    17.12.2022 | 18:00

    Together we enjoy the contemporary dance performance 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.

    Learn more about the Gessnerallee
  6. CLOSED || Meeting Point #3

    Kunsthalle, Basel
    04.12.2022 | 15:00

    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 are brought together in a polyphonic, colorful, and resonant presentation. Come along to enjoy the exhibition and exchange with peers.

    Learn more about the Kunsthalle Basel
  7. CLOSED || Meeting Point #2

    Dampfzentrale, Bern
    28.10.2022 | 18:00

    Join us for a shared meal and the performance The Goldberg Variations by Platform-K, Michiel Vandevelde and Philippe Thuriot (Belgium)

    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.

    Learn more about the Dampfzentrale Bern
  8. CLOSED || Meeting Point #1

    Virtual Forum
    10.11.2022 | 16:00

    E-meet Dimitri Witzig, Lawyer at Berner Rechtsberatungsstelle für Menschen in Not, and ask him all your questions during the 90 minutes session.

    Dimitri Witzig has studied law at Zürich University and now specialises in Asylum and Social Welfare Law. Amongst other things he will talk about the Status S in Switzerland.

    Learn more about the Rechtsberatungsstelle für Menschen in Not

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 Associated Artists and Observer. Please note that WORK! is limited to artists who have a legal residency status allowing them to work.

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. CLOSED || Residency @ Villa Sträuli, Zurich

    Submission Deadline:

    ➜ Submission Deadline: 14.2.2023
    ➜ Residency duration: 14.4.-14.7.2023
    ➜ Send your letter of motivation and CV in English to
    ➜ The grant covers per diems and travel expenses inside of Switzerland. Accommodation is included.

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

    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.

    Learn more about Villa Stäuli
  2. CLOSED || Residency @ Cima Città, Ticino

    Duration: 1.3.-24.3.2023 || Submission Deadline: 31.1.2023

    Send your letter of motivation and CV in English to

    The grant covers per diems and travel expenses inside of Switzerland. Accommodation is included.

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

    Cima Città is an interdisciplinary residence in a old 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, above all, a place that lives through its guests and a large network of members, interested people, neighbors, and friends.

    Learn more about Cima Città
  3. CLOSED || Residency @ far° Nyon, Vaud

    Duration: 10.1.-10.2.2023 || Submission Deadline: 11.12.2022

    Send your letter of motivation and CV in English to

    The grant covers per diems and travel expenses inside of Switzerland. Accommodation is not included.

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

    Since 1984 far° Nyon is known for its live arts festival which takes place every summer for approximately ten days. far° defines 'live arts' as "works activated by artists in front of an audience, including dance, performance, theatre, workshops, lectures." Their work is articulated around the axes of creation, artistic accompaniment, cultural participation and co-creation.

    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).

    Learn more about the Festival et Fabrique d’Arts vivants Nyon

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.


  1. 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.

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