Due to the lack of formal education related to curatorial and artistic work in the Balkan region (while in the former West there has been a proliferation of MA and PhD programmes in curating and artistic research), WCSCD was initiated with the goal of fostering the new generation of curators and artists as well as to raise awareness of the importance of curatorial and artistic knowledge and positions when thinking of art institutions and their role within the larger social context.
The intention is to bring together key international and local figures engaged in decolonizing curatorial and artistic discourse, who are specifically able to offer diverse knowledges to the program participants. Through the program, we invite mentors from non-western contexts, local practitioners and also colleagues from the former West.
In the last three years our participants were young practitioners from different parts of the world including the Balkans, EU, Asia, Central Asia, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America making it a unique program in Europe.
Due to very limited funding structures for the arts within Serbia, funding of the program was dependent on the support of cultural institutions. The program has also charged a participation fee in line with the monthly salary of the country from which the participants is a passport holder. This was an attempt to generate more equal access to participation for everyone who applied. We also offer special grants for colleagues in need and in 2022 we have granted program access to the colleagues from Russia. Furthermore, in collaboration with Kadist Foundation in 2022 we have enable grant for practitioners from the region in order to participate in the program.
The program is intensive, with daily programs of workshops, writing sessions, studio visits, and research trips in the region. Some of the research trips we have done so far include: Kosovo, Bosnia, Romania, Slovenia and Austria.
Every year the program would accept up to 15 participants. Besides closed-door workshops for participants, all invited mentors would present public lectures to the larger cultural sector, sharing their ways of working and instituting.
From 2023 educational program will be biennial and spread across two years in order to facilitate deeper and longer research of program participants.