Open Call for RCF/Valletta 2018 travel grants

The Roberto Cimetta Fund and Valletta 2018 Foundation have been collaborating since 2015 to improve and increase mobility of artists in the Euro-Arab-Middle East region.
This is the second open call launched this year. Artists and cultural operators living and working in the Euro-Arab-Middle East region who wish to undertake collaborative projects and who satisfy the criteria below are invited to apply.

1. Introduction

The Roberto Cimetta Fund and Valletta 2018 Foundation have been collaborating since 2015 to improve and increase mobility of artists in the Euro-Arab-Middle East region.

This is the second open call launched this year. Artists and cultural operators living and working in the Euro-Arab-Middle East region who wish to undertake collaborative projects and who satisfy the criteria below are invited to apply.

Both the Roberto Cimetta Fund and Valletta 2018 see freedom of mobility as essential to the development of the arts and strongly support the right of the artist to travel freely. In the context of Valletta’s title of European Capital of Culture 2018, where Valletta is physically and culturally a crossroads and meeting point in the centre of the Mediterranean, this fund aims to aid mobility, communication, collaboration and exchange between diverse cultures and to contribute to local, community participation in the arts in the broader context of the Euro-Arab-Middle East geographical zone.

This call for 2018 is launched 1st June and will be open to applications for one month.

Applications can be made in Arabic, English or French.

2. General Roberto Cimetta Fund Criteria

The following general criteria apply to the fund:

i. The aim of the travel must show potential for a constructive and long-term impact on the arts’ sector in a concrete, localised context in the Euro-Arab-Middle East geographical region;

ii. This means that travel must contribute to the applicant’s personal development, which in turn can be shared with artists and operators on return to their country in order to maintain, renew and develop contemporary art practices;

iii. Travel can take place as soon as the call is launched but in this case the applicant runs the risk of paying for travel without guarantee of the success of the application;

iv. No nationality or age criteria apply to the fund; however the applicant must be resident or work in the Euro-Arab-Middle East geographical region;

v. The applicant’s profession must be one of the following; administrator in the cultural field, artist, creator, cultural organiser, performer, project leader in the cultural field, or teacher;

vi. The call aims to give financial support to applicants who have not found the financial resources by themselves;

vii. Applications must be made by individuals rather than organisations. Only three members of a group can apply for a grant concerning the same project;

viii. The fund will only be granted to any one individual three times in total;

ix. Applicants must choose the cheapest form of transport and can only apply for one international return travel ticket and visa costs per application;

x. Local transport, per diems and accommodation costs are not covered by the fund.

xi. Upon selection, the beneficiary must inform the Valletta 2018 Foundation of their arrival date, one month in advance via email detailing the contact information as well as a concise project description addressed to [email protected]. The beneficiary must be available to meet the press if requested by the Foundation throughout their residence in Malta.

xii. Roberto Cimetta Fund and the Valletta 2018 Foundation will require 5 to 10 photos (high resolution) from the beneficiary, to be sent within the first 3 months following their return to the country of origin. These photos may be used by RCF and Valletta 2018 for promotional purposes and must therefore be copyright-free.

3. Specific Valletta 2018 Criteria

The following specific criteria apply to the fund:

 i) The application for mobility must directly address one of the three themes of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture’s cultural programme, these being Island stories, Future baroque and Voyages as described below.

ii) Applicants must be either:

a. Residing or working in Malta, and developing projects specific to the Euro-Arab-Middle East Region;

b. Residing or working in Europe and/or the Arab-Middle East Region and wishing to travel within the Euro-Arab-Middle East Region for collaborative work specific to Malta’s context or specific to the Euro-Arab-Middle East context (for example, traveling to another country to collaborate on a project that has a tangible link with Malta, or with a Maltese artist).

4. Schedule

This call opens on the 1st June 2018 and will remain open to applications until 30th June 2018. Results will be announced in September 2018.

5. Administration and Evaluation

The call will be administered by the Roberto Cimetta Fund, however evaluation will be carried out jointly by the Fund and the Valletta 2018 Foundation.

Funds will be released to successful applicants after travel and upon submission of proof of travel and a written report.

6. Rules

The following rules apply to the fund:

i) The decision of the evaluation board is final;

ii) The Roberto Cimetta Fund and the Valletta 2018 Foundation reserve the right to reject all applications submitted if the quality is not seen to be sufficiently high;

iii) Dates in the schedule must be respected and complied with in full; failure to do so may result in disqualification.

7. Further information

More details on the call can be found on and
For more information please contact: [email protected] 

Island Stories

What’s island life really like anyway? We may be able to drive across the whole of Malta or Gozo in a single morning, but it doesn’t mean we’ve seen it all. Indeed, a closer look at life on the Island soon reveals that there’s more than one narrative at play.

One side of the island story goes that Malta’s a small, loud, emotional island where you can never escape your neighbour’s gaze and where your family’s always just around the corner bearing either good news, bad news, enough food for a week, or all three. So living on our islands is often seen as a domestic drama, with a dose of tragi-comedy that’s hard to resist. The flip-side to that view is that Malta happens to be one of the most densely populated countries in the world – a fact that brings to the forefront issues of over-crowding and a growing concern over space and what to do with it.

How to better explore and reconcile the various narratives that play out in both Malta and Gozo is a question that’s constantly evolving. Certainly, community spaces and the image of the open sea play a big role in our journey towards imagining better solutions – for when private spaces aren’t easy to come by, the Maltese turn to community spaces for company, and to the sea for air to breathe. 

The narratives that Island Stories seeks to draw out portray vivid, timely pictures of life on our shores – its realities, its communities and the spaces they use, of how old spaces are, or could be, utilized for new things, and of how to create new spaces inside which one may appreciate tradition.

Future Baroque

Future Baroque is about a way of life; it’s an extravagance and theatricality that’s part and parcel of our daily rhythms. It means colour and ornamentation, exaggerated gestures and actions; spectacle is the central philosophy of Future Baroque. 

Our capital city, Baroque at heart, and layered with a succession of diverse stylistic interventions across time, is a backdrop which tells stories about our history and culture even when the hustle and bustle of daily activity won’t stop to listen. 

Contemporary Malta speaks the language of the Baroque as loudly as its architecture. Today, communities engage with the fabric of the city as it is developed and rethought across time, making Valletta a stage where life and ideas are constantly evolving, settling and re-shaping themselves.

Future Baroque contains a kind of spirituality that’s suspended somewhere between the traditional and the contemporary. The backdrop of Valletta is enriched by the necessity of ritual; the colourful ornaments and banners that line the streets to celebrate our famous carnival and the capital’s own festi, or feasts, may boast of material riches, but they also create spontaneous soundscapes of revelry and joy. Behind the clinking of jewellery and the honking of new cars, and in the blasting of loud speakers and the chanting of prayers throughout the streets, might reside our plain and simple tendency to make noise. But beyond this is a newer, ever-growing need that’s married to our old sense of spectacle – a need to make our voices heard over and above the noise of the city.


Thanks to its harbours, Valletta has always been a melting pot of different cultures. And Malta’s ancient heritage, with Arabic roots that stand alongside a European past and present, combined with a strategic geographic location which place it right between Europe and Africa, translate into a unique capital city – a space that’s able to host meaningful encounters with and between its close neighbours, both in and beyond the Mediterranean. 

Our capital is no stranger to surges of conflict and resistance: Valletta is a city surrounded by fortified bastions, built for warding off external attacks and for celebrating victory within. Even now, the city stands inside a wider global context that’s marked by growing political instability, and which brings into sharp relief issues of violence, exile and migration.

Valletta 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate life and creativity in our capital while nurturing vital dialogue; it provides a space in which to challenge dominant perspectives, and extends a hand of friendship to artists and creatives working under threat. An openness to different cultures is vital for a healthy community, and as we strive to recreate a sense of belonging in an age of cultural diversity, we have the power to give diverse communities a platform for expression and the necessary networks to support meaningful exchange.

News from elsewhere 2018/06/04

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