Residencies and makership

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Under the title "Place, place and space," Boekman Extra #28, an investigation into the functions of residencies in makership by editor, programmer and literary agent Kim van Kaam, was published in November 2021.

Van kaam visited various places and organizations in the U.S. and Canada with the ultimate goal of creating his own establish residency program for writers. Central question in the study, "What can travel, a different place and encounters mean for makers?" is not only of interest to writers, but also to visual artists. In her research, Van Kaam distinguishes four themes that play a role in residencies in different ways: location, education & guidance, temporality and network.

Residencies are often about inspiration and support, but also about the place itself: "The place (...) gives, as it were, discomfort and pressure, because it is linked to a defined time in which one has to work and think with focus. At the same time, this place offers relaxation: the maker is alone, no one is watching, and the maker is taken care of (...)." 

Residencies are often about inspiration and support, but also about the place itself

Because most residencies today are focused on the process and on research, it gives the creators free (thinking) space and possibilities. It is much more about the work itself than about an end product. Van Kaam speaks of "a stimulus for daring" in this context. 

Due to the corona pandemic, the opportunities for transnational mobility for artists in 2020 and 2021 have been drastically reduced. Both organizations and artists are open to virtual alternatives for exchange and networking, but the core of a residency takes place live, on location. The digital is a supplement rather than a replacement. 

Download the publication here

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