Print Studios Across Europe Will Welcome 30 Refugee Artists for a New Residency Program That Aims to Help Them Share Their Stories

In from the Margins aims to help refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers share their stories.

Mohammad Barrangi and a work in progress. Courtesy of the artist and Edinburgh Printmakers.

Five printmaking studios across Europe have joined hands to launch a new initiative offering residencies to 30 artists who are refugees or migrants to create new works that will share their stories with a wider audience.

Spearheaded by Edinburgh Printmakers, the three-year program—called In from the Margins—operates with €178,000 in funding from Creative Europe, an initiative of the European Commission that aims to support the culture sector. The other participating studios are Cork Printmakers in Ireland, Aga Lab in Amsterdam, Funen Printmaking Workshop in Denmark’s Odense, and the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The endeavor is an expansion of the Studios of Sanctuary program, which originated in Yorkshire, U.K., in response to the experience of Mohammad Barrangi. The artist and paralympian medalist knocked on the doors of the Art House in Wakefield while he was seeking asylum from Iran in August 2017. He received support from the Art House to develop his artistic practice, including materials, storage space for the work he brought with him from Iran, as well as a letter backing his application for long-term settlement in the city. He is now preparing a solo show, “Wonderland,” that will go on view at Edinburgh Printmakers in 2022.

Under In from the Margins, each selected artist will be offered a one-month residency to work in a print medium of their choice and develop their practice, organizers said. Edinburgh Printmakers will be bringing refugee and migrant communities to the studios to interact with resident artists to help bridge the creations by artists affected by displacement with a wider community.

“In from the Margins seeks to break down barriers and create opportunities for refugee artists and local communities to share and to learn from each other while being supported by the resources and expertise of print studios,” Janet Archer, CEO of Edinburgh Printmakers, said in a statement. “The emphasis of the project is to platform artists, bringing them from the margins to the heart of mainstream cultural programming.”

Applications are now open, with a deadline on November 22. The first residencies kick off in January 2022, and fruits of the program will go on display in the form of a group exhibition at Edinburgh Printmakers in spring 2023.

The article was updated on October 27. 

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