Luisa travelled from Portugal to China to attend the Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers through the support of Mobility First – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative!
Update: The Call for Applications for 2017 is now closed. The Open Call for 2018 will be launched in February 2018. Stay tuned!
ASEF’s Mobility First! travel fund for artists has been recognised by UNESCO for promoting multilateral co-operation between Asia and Europe, as well as within Asia. In its latest Reshaping Cultural Policies report (2nd edition), the only global document on trends in cultural development launched by the new UNESCO Director-General Ms Audrey Azoulay on 14 December 2017, limited funding for cultural mobility has yet again been recognised as a key challenge to international cultural co-operation. However, a positive trend is been observed in mobility opportunities provided through transnational cultural collaborations, with a renewed interest in South-South mobility. In this context, ASEF’s Mobility First! travel fund has been acknowledged as a “success story” by a multilateral intergovernmental organisation to bridge existing gaps in support for artists’ mobility. ASEF’s Mobility First! is funded by 51 Asian and European countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat in the framework of the Asia Europe meeting (ASEM).
Cultural mobility, whether for work, co-production or participation in a seminar or residency, is integral to the practice and career of artists and cultural professionals in Asia and Europe. However, securing funding to finance international travel (for touring shows, residencies, exploratory visits, collaborations etc.) remains a major challenge for most artists, particularly in the Asia-Asia and Asia-Europe contexts. In particular, ensuring balanced bi-directional (i. e travel from Asia to Europe as well as from Europe to Asia) and reciprocal (i.e. adequate funding for incoming and outgoing mobility) mobility remains a challenge.
It is in this context that the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching Mobility First!, a new fund to support the travel of Asian and European artists and cultural professionals between Asia and Europe. Mobility First! – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative is launched in April 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEF, which was established in 1997 as the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
We invite applications from individuals and arts organisations at least 10 weeks in advance of the event for which mobility support is being sought. Selection is through competitive open calls – please refer to the documents section of this page for the Call.