Soil: The Critical Zone






2022-10-01 - 2022-10-30


This residency is available to one person/project. You may apply as a pair or an individual.

terra (n.)
Latin, "earth," from the Proto-Indo-European root *ters- which means "to dry."

SOIL is 2022 NAHR’s focus. Fellows will explore the critical function of soil from a range of natural, ecological, social, political and ecosystem perspectives, and reflect on the impacts of soil health and soil degradation.

More than 75% of the earth’s soil is substantially depleted, while the remaining 25% is of inestimable value. (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Report from 2018)

Soil is alive. It is a critical zone just beneath our feet. It is foundational for entire ecosystems, impacting rural and urban environments. Soil is composed of several layers called horizons that interact with each other,  a composition of a dynamic and rich fabric of life and organic matter. Soil is a living system bursting with microbes, fungi, insects, worms, other invertebrates, and more, which collectively determine its complex biodiversity. This complex, dynamic, and transformative assembly establishes the chemical and structural composition of the soil and impacts what is likely to thrive. These layers of materials and organisms make up a fragile ecosystem that is in jeopardy by unsustainable use patterns, urbanization, industrial food production, contamination, and ignorant disregard.

Soil builds and shapes cultures. Over millennia, soil conditions have supported and erased civilizations, restructured entire social compacts, been a determinant of the architecture of inhabitation, impacted artistic, ritual, and religious practices, and been crucial to the narratives of societies - their triumphs and conflicts as seen through their territories. Soil can be framed as an indicator of the future, and as a key component of the historical chronicle. How cultures interact with soil affects the entire animal/plant/water cycle, the structure of social and political systems, and the narratives of the future.

NAHR is looking forward to receiving proposals that reflect creative and critical approaches to investigating soil as a dynamic and resilient ecosystem, and as a critical element which can provide a regenerative lens for the future. The goal is to chart paths that will transform the actions of the exploitative anthropocene into a sympoiesis conducive to life - like the soil itself.

Santa Ynez

The Santa Ynez Valley is north of Santa Barbara in an inland valley, with rolling California mountains rimming heavily cultivated farmland. The Santa Ynez Mountains are on the south, the San Rafael Mountains on the north, with the Santa Ynez River running from east to west.

From a geological point of view, the consolidated rocks of the Tertiary age compose the surrounding hills. These consolidated rocks are marine in origin and consist of relatively impermeable fine-grained deposits. In addition, there are unconsolidated deposits of Pliocene and younger aged material, made chiefly of sand, gravel, silt, and clay.

The Valley’s soil varies with respect to the underlying geologic material. Soils underlain by consolidated deposits tend to be clayey loams, whereas soils underlain by unconsolidated deposits are typically sandy loams (Hydrologic Consultants, Inc., 1997). Both soils have formed from similar parent material, as the unconsolidated deposits are sourced from the erosion, transport, and deposition of the underlying and surrounding consolidated deposits (shales and sandstones) that comprise the surrounding mountains and hills (Upson and Thomasson, 1951; Hydrologic Consultants, Inc., 1997).

Ecologically, the River provides a rich habitat for various endangered birds. The lower Santa Ynez River supports a large and little-known population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus). Golden Eagle is always sighted in the summer, and the oak savannah supports grassland birds, including wintering raptors (Buteo regalis).

The vegetation consists mainly of brush interspersed with chaparral, live oak, and grassland. The native flora of the Valley is understood to be naturally renewed by fire, such as Adenostoma fasciculatum which produces a specialized lignotuber underground that allow it to resprout after fire has off burned its stems.

The soil in the Valley is well suited to the cultivation of certain grapes, and the well-established viticulture economy has resulted in extensive research on the soil. The farmland is mostly planted with wine grapes and the Valley is known for its wineries. The agriculture also includes significant groves of olive trees and fruit trees. The farms are typically small to medium sized. There is also a notable community of horse owners and equine-serving businesses. The Valley attracts visitors who come to experience a typical California viticulture landscape, taste and purchase wine, visit the small towns, and enjoy the temperate climate. As such, the Valley is a particularly rich context for reflecting on soil health and systems for soil renewal.

Refugio Road Ranch (r3), Santa Ynez, California
Contact & Links: 

An Urgent Situation: Rethinking Tourism through Architecture, Art and Community Pt.2





During phase two of An Urgent Situation, a series of online gatherings will focus on a specific task: the conceptual and physical development of Samong Haven Bali, a culture centre presently in development in rural North-West Bali, Indonesia.

This initiative offers participants a unique opportunity to propose and develop ideas that connect visitors and the visited, encourage cultural exchange and development, minimise environmental impact and contribute to conservation. Combining insights from phase one with new concepts and inspirations, the group will (a) script a manifesto for responsible and resilient development, and (b) create design proposals for Samong Haven Bali – plans for sustainable, low-impact constructions that reflect the manifesto’s ideals and are practically realisable.

It is hoped that phase three of this project (2023) will bring some of those plans to fruition on site in Bali. Residents participating in phase two’s online community will be prioritised for participation in phase three, working on the ground at Samong Haven Bali. The ability to participate in both phases is not a criterion for selection for phase two. However, to assist our planning for 2022 and 2023, we’ll ask you to indicate your desired level of involvement within your phase two application.


Online community/residency
(3 - 31 October)

In October, residents will meet as a group online twice each week, with further opportunities to meet in smaller gatherings. Sessions will be held together with project partners, guest mentors, and residents themselves will have space to propose activities. This stage of the residency will: 

  • give time for all participants to get to know each. 
  • review key points from the An Urgent Situation talk series, and take those ideas further.
  • learn about the Samong Haven Bali site and appraise its development model and principles.
  • script a dynamic, inspiring and practical manifesto that can be carried forward into the design development. 

Design Development
(31 October 2022 - 30 January 2023)

The aim of the design workshops is to evolve at least two proposals based in sustainable, low-impact construction principles, for building at Samong Haven Bali during phase three of An Urgent Situation, an on-site residency in Bali. The proposals need to embody the theory and values outlined during the online residency. The design workshops will foreground peer cooperation and feedback between two cross-disciplinary groups of eight participants. Project partners Don Lawrence and Eleena Jamil will each steer a group.

Potential residents 

Applications are welcomed from architects, artisans, craftspeople, artists, designers and all others whose interests and experience are relevant to the residency’s theme. Essential for selection is an interest in community, in place making, and in low impact construction.

16 places are available. Selection will be based on the relevance of the application and the applicant’s ability both to gain from, and contribute to, the activities of the online residency. PRAKSIS aims to provide an environment for development and professional growth: applications are welcome from practitioners of differing ages and experience levels.

Contact & Links: 

Our Festival 8

Artistic field:




The organizing team of Our Festival invites artists of all kinds of arts to submit their proposals for participation in Our Festival 8, which will take place in September 2022 at the Rematia Theater in Chalandri Athens Greece. Multidisciplinary, inclusive and collaborative: Our Festival provides a platform for artists from all disciplines to present their work to the public.


Entry Fee:

Contact & Links: 

Banff Centre | Emerging Visual Artist Intensive Online





The Emerging Visual Artist Intensive is an immersive program of feedback, connection and mentorship for artists in the early stages of their careers. Participants will continue their practice from home, while being part of an online community of emerging artists each committed to developing and expanding their practice.  In addition, participants will receive a stipend to support the development of their work.

What does the program offer?
This online program will provide a discursive forum for visual artists to explore ideas in relation to their work, communities, geographic locations, and current societal conversations. Participants will form an online community of peers; share previous work with each other and continue work already in progress; partake in online studio visits; participate in conversations, presentations, and workshops; and engage with faculty and each other to develop ideas, insights, and connections that can be applied to the theoretical and practical development of their practice.  Please see the Itinerary section for an approximation of the program schedule. 

Who should apply?
This residency is for emerging artists who have completed university level training in visual arts (preferably within the last five years), hold an active exhibition record of at least two years in length, and/or show evidence of dedication in their pursuit of an artistic career.

Collectives of no more than two people are welcome to apply.

What Length of Residency is Available?
This program requires a dedicated commitment over a period of 3 weeks with the understanding that absence from weekly synchronous activities will be minimal and cannot be made-up. 

*Financial Aid of 100% of the tuition fee is available for this program for all accepted applicants.
* A Stipend of $750 is available to support the work of accepted applicants.

Program Dates: March 8 - 26, 2021
Program Deadlines: February 15, 2021
Learn more and apply online:

Contact & Links: 

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2021: Call for Proposals

Artistic field:



Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) is inviting proposals for our 2021 festival. The festival will be held Friday 16 – Sunday 25 July, 2021.

The devastating impact of climate change is being felt across the world. Global warming is fuelling extreme weather events, rising sea levels, intense heat, natural disasters, environmental degradation, food and water insecurity, mass migration, and conflict.
These consequences are already daily experiences for many within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Our 2021 festival will respond to how climate change is impacting MENA communities who are already experiencing the destruction of their environments and land due to conflict and colonialism.
We welcome proposals from artists from or based in the MENA region, or artists across the globe with MENA or Arab heritage, that responds directly to, or are influenced by, issues related to climate change.
Examples include:

  • The climate and environmental crisis within the Arab world
  • Local and global issues related to conflict, colonialism or climate justice
  • Works/ideas that increase awareness and encourage a global exchange of new ideas
  • Works that imagine a more sustainable future

Proposals can be in any art form, including: dance, theatre, music, visual art, spoken word, or literature.
Outputs can include: live performances, events, artworks, exhibitions, workshops, public realm works, talks, panel discussions, young people’s activities, or digital activities.
We are strongly committed to promoting the inclusion of womxn, queer, Black Arab, and Deaf or disabled artists in our work.
We ask applicants to consider how they can minimise their environmental impact at every stage of their proposal.
The deadline for applications is Friday 4 December 2020.


Entry Fee:

Contact & Links: 

2021 Artist Residency Program @ The Watermill Center




The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program began in 2006, when The Center officially opened as a year-round facility. Each year collectives and individuals take up residence at The Center to live and develop works that critically investigate, challenge and extend the existing norms of artistic practice.

The Artist Residency Program is process-based, without the expectation or promise of a final exhibition of the work. Watermill provides artists with time and space to focus on developing their practice in a communal environment that encourages experimentation. Artists-in-Residence share their creative process with the community through open rehearsals, workshops and artist talks.

Artists-in-Residence receive access to an extensive collection of resources central to the Watermill experience: 20,000 square feet of rehearsal/design spaces and outdoor stages; a theater production archive (housed in New York City); The Watermill Center Study Library; The Watermill Collection; and The Center’s ten acre landscaped grounds and gardens.

Applications are reviewed by a distinguished international committee composed of artists, academics, and cultural leaders across disciplines. To date, we have hosted over 200 residencies featuring artists from more than 65 nations.

Contact & Links: 


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