Rizoma is an international institute based in Palermo. It emerges from the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo 2019 and Transeuropa Festival and aims to promote a continuity of action starting from Palermo.

While the institution will only be formally established in Summer 2020, due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the cultural sector, we have decided to immediately implement an emergency production room taking the title of Pandemos to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the cultural sector. We will provide up to ten production grants  of €1,000 each addressed to artists, writers, thinkers and creatives based in Sicily and/or with a personal connection with Sicily. We foresee a second edition of this call, extended to the entire Mediterranean area.


The Covid-19 crisis represents one of the most significant interruptions of daily life and business-as-usual of recent times. We want to seize on these extraordinary developments and engage a new generation of artists, thinkers and writers in the creation of artworks that will remain as witness to the pandemic event of 2020, while providing a mythopoetic contribution to the transformation of our unhappy, unsustainable, and unjust “normality”. 

Weeks of lockdown starkly challenged us to redefine our previously held values. This applied both on an individual level – from our perception of time to that of personal relations, from our relation to objects, animals or plants to the reassessment of what holds meaning – as on a systemic level – with cultural institutions and artists forced to experiment with new ways of engaging their audiences and guaranteeing the continuation of creative output. 

Glimpses of a different present, a possible alterity, have been emerging from this lived experience. The land has been plowed. Has anything of value emerged? Can we pick it up and look at it closely? Understanding our respective practices as an act of care, a power capable of generating new realities, which potentialities should we nourish? You may want to read Lorenzo Marsili’s Non aspettatevi troppo dalla fine del mondo or Jan Verwoert’s Personal Support: How To Care? to situate these questions in a broader context.

We invite artists, thinkers, writers and creatives to help us gather the seeds of a possible future that’s already here, directing our gaze to some of the intuitions that may have emerged out of our recent collective experience. We are looking for up to ten concrete gestures of transformation, forming a small collection of tools to contribute to reimagining individual behavior and collective processes as we move forwards. 

Pandemos will take the form of a multimedia and multi-dimensional book and flatpack exhibition, in some ways referencing the magic tomes that inhabit the libraries described by Jorge Luis Borges, or the Atlas produced by Aby Warburg. The various contributions will form chapters of a collective work, with each contribution following a language of choice: whether that is a story, a performance, a theoretical text, a musical composition, a visual artwork, or else.

The magic book will be available online, taking full advantage of its multimedia potential. In physical format Pandemos will further exist as an exhibition that can be replicated and is devised both for a public context and for a home exhibition, thus allowing for suitable fruition in times of social distancing. The same contribution may be expressed differently for book and exhibition; they can be complementary elements or approximate translations between the physical and the digital.


We ask you to work on your project over the Summer with a first delivery in early August 2020. During this time we will be in touch with you to provide all the information required and discuss the implementation of your idea. The book and exhibition will be prepared over the months of August and September for presentation in October.


  • Is there an age restriction?

No, Sicilian residents of any age and from any strain of life are welcome to apply.

  • The sum of 1000,- doesn’t seem like a lot. Why haven’t you chosen to give more money to fewer participants?

We feel that it is important to support as many artists, thinkers and creatives as possible with this first initiative. Considering that the final output isn’t necessarily a physical work per se but its translation into a) an output that can be published in a digital book and b) a reproducible contribution to the travelling exhibition, we don’t expect you to invest the entire sum into physical production.

  • Is there additional budget for the production of bigger works?

Technically speaking, no. But don’t drop your idealism just yet, where there’s a good project there might be a way. However, bear in mind that we are interested in ideas and projects that are able to connect people and project a vision beyond the physical constraints of an object.

  • I have no idea on how to translate my work into a book contribution or reproducible format. Should I still apply?

Yes, absolutely. You don’t need to have all the answers already; working towards a translation or approximation of your work into a different format will be part of an artistic process and curatorial dialogue we’d like to embark on with each participant, personally and as a collective if desired.

  • What will happen if I get selected?

Someone from our team will contact you smilingly. We will then organise a first meeting with all participants, either virtually or IRL depending on the circumstances of the present moment. Afterwards we should schedule individual meetings for everybody with the Rizoma Team and the curator to discuss the proposal in more depth and start thinking about matters of format and development. You will then have the month of July to produce your work for the book, which should be submitted at the beginning of August. September shall be used to review and reconfigure materials for the exhibition which shall start to travel in October.


To participate in the call please fill out the form below by midnight (CET) on Sunday, 7 June 2020. Successful applicants will be notified within a week. If you have any questions, please contact us at

The selection jury is composed by: Luca Cinquemani, Giusi Diana, Letizia Gullo, Simone Mannino, Lorenzo Marsili, Izabela Anna Moren, Ennio Pellicanò, Filippo Pistoia, Clarissa Renée Podbielski, Giuseppina Vara, Giorgio Vasta.

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