Moving Body foundation (Varna) and School of Kindness present Critical Moves Research Residency and Mentorship for artists and researchers who want to embark on a four-week, site-specific residency in Varna, Bulgaria in Autumn 2023 (from 21st September until 21st October 2023.) The residency involves a one-to-two-day mentorship for the School of Kindness programme, running from the 17th to the 21st October 2023. The residents (four in total — two of which will be selected through this open call and the other two invited by the organisers) will reside in the Asparuhovo district of Varna, whose Black Sea port and coast will be a site for investigating, learning and presenting.

This research residency will take place within the framework of Water Histories: a Case Study of the Black Sea. Mythical yet underrepresented, the Black Sea is the epicentre of this long-term research trajectory. The Black Sea is taken as a case study to unravel its various facets – explored through the lens of (cultural) migration, geopolitics, ecology and climate change. Topics addressed include but are not limited to: territorial behaviours and water borders; (post-socialist) trade; extraction and environmental injustice; aquatic life and meteorology. Not only to show that these topics are indeed related but also that they, together, weave a web that affects human and nonhuman lives alike, both on and offshore. Different strands of research and programmes will explore histories and narratives across waters as opposed to land, to disclose forms of cultural lineage via water that oppose the dominant narratives on how we approach geography.

We are inviting artists to become a part of this long-term research trajectory with a research proposal that responds to one or more of the subjects listed above.

Who are we looking for?

The residency is for artists and researchers working in the field of art, humanities, natural or political science, in any kind of discipline, from any kind of background. 

We are looking for candidates whose practice and research are engaged with the topics addressed, and/or who are connected to the regions bordering the Black Sea. 

We are looking for residents who are interested in education and exchange as part of their practice. 

For this call, we have two spots available for applicants outside of Bulgaria (two Bulgarian residents have already been selected by the organizers). We specifically would like to receive proposals from candidates connected to other shores of the Black Sea. 

We furthermore encourage applications from disadvantaged communities and those who work from experiences of individual or collective trauma. 

What do we expect from the resident?

The resident will submit a proposal for a body of research to conduct onsite. They will conduct the research as they see fit (e.g. fieldwork, recordings, site visits, archival research, meetings, walks, etc.) 

The resident will conduct a one-to-two-day workshop in the role of mentor for the 2023 programme of School of Kindness. In this workshop, School of Kindness participants will be introduced to the resident’s research and methodology.

The resident will give both an informal, introductory public presentation at the beginning of their research and a conclusive presentation at the end of the residency, on 21st October, which can range from a lecture to an (outdoors) performance, event, or other — within the allocated production budget. 

Each resident will be expected to be present throughout the entirety of the residency. 

What do we offer?

  • An artist fee of 4,000 Bulgarian Lev before tax (approximately 2 000 Euros before tax)
  • Accommodation in Varna during the full length of the residency (four weeks)
  • A production budget of 350 Bulgarian Lev (approximately 180 Euros)
  • A Bulgarian/English-speaking team of professionals with expertise in performance, writing, curating and critical theory to assist you, help you find your way and put you in contact with local entities

Unfortunately, we cannot cover travel costs but are of course able to supply letters to support any mobility applications.

Who are we?

Critical Moves Research Residency is a project by the Varna-based organisation Moving Body and the itinerant School of Kindness.  

Moving Body is a platform aiming to take care of artists and the audience, bring them together and foster an active relationship between them to ask the following questions: How do we move? What makes us move? What are we moving towards? How do we move from an individual body to a collective one, shaping the future of history? How do we move in a time of catastrophe? Employing various formats, such as the yearly Moving Body Performance Festival, Moving Body maps routes for artists and audiences to move through art, with a strong conceptual and choreographic sensibility. Moving Body unfolds in different territories and contexts and with different themes. The program focuses on process-based work; research practices; workshops; performances; exhibitions; screenings and parties, where experience, encounter and dialogue are key. Driven by curiosity and an open view of the world, Moving Body highlights the role of art in promoting intercultural dialogue, kindness, human rights and social cohesion through the promotion and display of socially and politically engaged art. The initiatives of Moving Body Platform 2022 – 2023 are financially supported by National Culture Fund.


IG: moving_body

School of Kindness is a ‘non-disciplined’ performative, educational and discursive program that takes place yearly in Bulgaria and beyond, bringing together artistic practitioners, thinkers and social workers. School of Kindness was initiated in 2020 with the aim to promote kindness as a radical form of action, in a time of real, virtual, and psychological wars, both in the so-called west and non-west. School of Kindness is motivated by the idea that education and ‘other’ forms of knowledge production can lead to social change. The project aims to work both artistically and socially with a philosophical and ethical task: to ponder the very question of what it means to be kind, to listen to and learn from both the human and the nonhuman ‘other’. The curriculum focuses on social and cultural narratives of migration and displacement and develops emancipatory tools for (young) practitioners to confront economic, cultural, and political inequality and antagonism in and on the border with Europe through theoretical and practical-artistic learning.  


IG: schoolofkindness

How to apply?

Please fill in the following Google APPLICATION FORM no later than Sunday 11th June 2023. A round of online interviews for shortlisted applicants will be held between 19th and 25th June 2023 and the final selection will be announced Monday 3rd July 2023 latest.

For further questions and other information, or should you require a different application format for accessibility reasons, please feel free to contact us at

The way we move matters — we look forward to receiving your proposals!

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