Open Call for AE x Goethe-Institut Critical Writing Micro-Residency 2021/2022

ArtsEquator and Goethe-Institut Singapore are pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural AE x Goethe-Institut Critical Writing Micro-Residency 2021/2022.

This is a digital micro-residency focusing on the development and promotion of critical writing about arts and culture in Southeast Asia. The residency programme is unique in its positioning of the online editorial space as a generative, discursive and even playful space, providing speculations on what the next generation of critical arts writing in the region can look like.

Through this residency, Goethe-Institut Singapore and ArtsEquator signal the urgent need to support the labour of independent writers in the region, especially those who are passionate about arts and culture and yet lack the resources and opportunity to nurture that passion. During a time of great flux, both in terms of local developments and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that it is also timely to document and chart the corresponding movements happening in the arts in Southeast Asia.

Following the open call, 6 Southeast Asian writers will be selected to undertake a two-month residency each, between May 2021 – May 2022.

During the two months, each writer-in-residence will receive support in the form of individual mentoring, professional editorial advice and guidance to help them in the development and writing of 1 article, which may take the form of a review, reflection piece or editorial essay. This article (written in English, and possibly other languages) will be published on ArtsEquator at the end of the residency. A stipend of SGD$250 will be provided for each writer.

The objectives of the AE x Goethe-Institut Critical Writing Micro-Residency are to:

–  Develop the rigorous critical writing and thinking skills of writers in Southeast Asia and to support independent expression

–  Develop and deepen both the public and the writer-in-residence’s awareness and understanding of local arts groups practising in the arts scenes familiar to each writer

–  Add to the critical discourse and documentation surrounding arts and culture-related issues in Southeast Asia

–  Encourage creativity and innovation in the presentation of critical writing

While this residency is particularly suitable for emerging critics, all writers who believe they can benefit from ArtsEquator’s mentoring and guidance, and from the residency opportunity in general, are welcomed to apply. The AE x Goethe-Institut Critical Writing Micro-Residency, being a digital residency, is designed to be accessible to those who may not live in metropolitan areas, and those with other access needs.

Applications will be assessed by a panel of representatives from Goethe-Institut Singapore and ArtsEquator.



–  Applicants must be based in a country in Southeast Asia.

–  Applicants must be willing and able to engage and actively participate in the digital mentoring and editorial process of the residency.

–  Applicants must be able to write and deliver 1 article in English (est. 1,000-1,500 words) by the end of their two-month residency. If the article is written in another language, an additional English translation must be provided, both of which may be published. This article will be subject to the editorial process of ArtsEquator.

–  Applicants must bear any third-party costs, cost of tickets or other fees incurred as part of the residency, or take note that the residency stipend does not cover these.


Important Dates

Open Call: 12 to 31 March 2021 (Applications close on 31 March, 11.59pm SG time/GMT +8)

Announcement of selected writers: 15 April 2021


Important Links

To download the Open Call info document, please click here.

To apply for the Open Call, please click here.

For enquiries, please email


About ArtsEquator

Established in 2016, ArtsEquator is a digital media platform which covers arts and culture in Southeast Asia. It is committed to developing arts writing and criticism which identify Southeast Asian creative practices as part of, rather than an adjunct to, global contemporary arts. Its principal stakeholders are arts makers, arts critics and arts audiences in Southeast Asia. ArtsEquator is a leader in arts writing and publishing in SEA and is the only publication with an explicitly arts media focus that covers the arts across genres and geographical boundaries.

About Goethe-Institut Singapore

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with global reach. It promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and fosters international cultural cooperation. Its cultural and educational programmes encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural and social involvement. Goethe-Institut Singapore promotes and enables cultural exchange and international collaboration in the arts, bilaterally between Singapore and Germany and multilaterally between Germany, Europe and Southeast Asia.

About the author(s)

Nabilah Said

Nabilah Said is an award-winning playwright, editor and cultural commentator. She is also an artist who works with text across various artforms and formats. Her plays have been staged in Singapore and London, including ANGKAT, which won Best Original Script at the 2020 Life Theatre Awards. Nabilah is the former editor of ArtsEquator.

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