Open Call for Making Marks: Connect ME Digital Residency

19 June '20


Open Call for Connect ME Summer Residency PDF

Read the Open Call and Apply in ARABIC


The Arab British Centre in partnership with the British Council is pleased to announce a brand-new digital opportunity for artists of any creative discipline aged 18-30 based either in the GCC (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) or the United Kingdom.



Making Marks ran throughout 2019 as an exchange programme between young creatives and artists in the UK and Kuwait. The programme encouraged artists to consider the positive impact of international working and exchange, and the ways in which this shapes our own societies. The programme actively challenged stereotypes of our respective cultures and highlighted the similarities, differences, and universal challenges facing emerging creatives the world over.

Working in partnership with arts institutions in Kuwait and the four UK regions, Making Marks facilitated group visits for nominated artists to Kuwait and the UK, and offered funding for artistic, creative and community engagement programmes under the project’s themes. Two short films created by artist Hydar Dewachi were also made to document the project: Journey to Kuwait and Journey to the UK


CONNECT ME: Digital Connectivity Across Borders

July – August 2020

In keeping with the spirit of exchange and international collaboration, Making Marks will run a new programme called Connect ME, a collaborative digital residency programme focused on connecting artists aged 18-30 based in the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia) and the United Kingdom.

The Connect ME programme will pair an artist based in the United Kingdom with an artist based in the GCC, to create new, collaborative work that considers how digital tools can encourage connectivity across borders.

The results could be anything from an augmented reality experience to a short film, a zine, a live performance – the only stipulation is it must be delivered to the public through digital channels. Participating artists will also benefit from a residency fee of £1000, guidance and support from The Arab British Centre and a dedicated mentor from a UK culture organisation, as well as workshops and crit sessions with “visiting” artists and mentors over the course of four weeks.


Eligible Artists:

  • Are practicing artists/creative practitioners aged 18-30 and based in the GCC (countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) or in the United Kingdom.
  • Have an interest in collaborative working and in digital art. This project will rely on the artists being comfortable and excited about creating new digital work and incorporating technology into their practices – a good base level understanding of social platforms and digital technologies is therefore desirable.
  • Must be available to participate in the project during the dates specified in the Open Call.
  • Artists will also be encouraged to document their experiences of the collaboration through their and the Centre’s social media channels.
  • Creative possibilities of digital technologies and collaboration across borders are at the core of this project, so a good sense of teamwork, curiosity for exploring new ideas, and strong and open communication skills are essential qualities for the artists involved.
  • The programme will be run in English. A conversational level of English is desirable. Written work can be submitted in Arabic for translation by the Arab British Centre. Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss this and think that there may be ways we can support you.
  • A pair cannot be changed once the project has commenced, and it is each pair’s responsibility to ensure that they work well together to produce the project outcomes.
  • Artists must have internet access to take part in this residency

Committed by the Artist:

We are looking for responses that will explore the connectivity and capacity of current digital tools and social platforms. Participating artists commit to:

  • Participate in weekly mentoring sessions and delivery of artist response throughout the month of the programme.
  • Artists must be able to commit to a minimum of 2 hours of contact time with the Arab British Centre and/or lead mentor per week of the programme, and dedicate sufficient time to deliver their project over the month. Please note: time management will be the responsibility of the collaborating pairs.
  • Submit final work by the agreed date.
  • Share their progress and participation through social media channels
  • Deliver participatory activities in line with project and agreed with the Arab British Centre (talk, workshop, Insta-live, etc).

Offered by The Arab British Centre:

  • £1000 artist fee (per artist). This includes development and delivery
  • £500 material budget available per paired group (upon budget submission and approval by the Arab British Centre)
  • Note: Material budgets will be paid upfront upon submission and approval of proposal and budget. 20% of participation fee will be paid up-front, 80% of participation fee will be paid on completion of the project.
  • Weekly mentoring/crit sessions with Arab British Centre, lead mentor and visiting artists and curators (Delivered via Zoom)
  • The Arab British Centre will actively support artists to building professional networks and connections, by inviting relevant artists/curators/organisations to participate as visiting mentors and programme participants.
  • Communications support and dissemination of work online


How to Apply:

Fill out the application form below and make sure to attach/send:

  • A 90 second video of you telling us about yourself and your work in English. Production value is not important – a selfie video is fine! – we just want to hear you talk about your work in your own words.
  • An artist CV, portfolio or link to your current website and social media channels

The deadline to submit all applications is 23:00 GMT+1 on 5 July. Applications must be complete to be considered, and applications received after this date will not be considered.

Please note: this application form does not have an autosave function, and you will not receive a copy of your final application once you’ve submitted. We strongly recommend writing your application in a Word document, and saving your final version for your records.