Engaging with the art of curating
March 2021

TASAWAR Curatorial Studios is a postgraduate study program, initiated and hosted by the GOETHE-INSTITUT Tunis. The one-year program is tailored to artists, curators, art mediators and cultural producers, researchers and writers on art who wish to integrate curatorial frameworks and activities into their practice.

Online and onsite

The international program comes with online and onsite parts. Biweekly online workshops, called the “studios”, are at the core of the program. They are embedded in a variety of off- and online co-working units. Participants are required to join the regular online studios and the onsite project units (3 times x 10 days / year) in Tunis.

The program

The studios encompass lectures, discussions, and training with local and international experts structured around a curriculum with a focus on key competences for content- and concept-driven exhibition-making, as well as art mediation and audience development. They include as well analysis, debate, and critic of contemporary art exhibiton pratice.

The research

Integrated into the program is a collective research project on contemporary art in North Africa and Southwest Asia (SWANA). They are enmeshed in a program of activities such as visiting artists’ studios and ongoing exhibition projects or hosting informal lunch or dinner meetings for further networking.

The practice fields

Part of the program are 3 collective practice projects and an optional individual or team project. The main pratice modules are an exhibition program with an adjunct program of debate and mediation, a conference and a publication.

The website

The entire process of the project is mirrored on the TASAWAR website that acts as an interactive meeting place. It is an online learning platform which comprises the profiles of both teachers and participants, lists the plans for each studio and related tasks, files program-specific and cultural activities in Tunisia, hosts a directory of upcoming curatorial projects, and links to the program’s social media channels.

The learning environment

Jointly, the participants explore the regional art scene, discuss the conditions of contemporary art on the African continent, and ask about the links to Southwest Aisa, in addition to best-practice projects worldwide.

The language

English is the main language according to the international orientation of the study program.

The tasks and tools

Over the course of the study year, participants must conduct and document interviews, develop exhibition concepts and write curatorial statements, prepare lectures and experiment with art mediation. The program also includes essential project management tools from a spreadsheet for a budget-planning to the design of websites for the communication of a project.

The workload

TASAWAR Fellows are required to provide a minimum of 12 hours / week on research, study, and experimentation. During the practice projects the workload will rise to 40 hours / week.

The costs

The entire TASAWAR Program comes as a grant, participants are required to cover the costs for infrastructre (computer / internet), travel and stay for the practice projects on their own. Any kind of funding application by the TASAWAR Fellows will be supported by the TASAWAR Team.

The development of the program

Internationally active as a curator, writer, and academic teacher, Bettina Pelz developed the concept and the program based on her recent experiences working in Tunisia since 2014. Her curatorial focus on art-in-context projects shaped the program’s concept. In the hands of Emily Sarsam from the Goethe-Institut Tunesien, the idea turned into a program. Since 2020, Salma Kossemtini is the program’s coordinator. She cares for the flow of information, organizes the co-working sessions, and cares for the well-being of the TASAWAR Fellows.