Open Call for SMArt programme

1. SMArt in a nutshell 

The SMArt programme aims to increase the perception of both decision-makers and the population as a whole of the challenges facing mountain regions, through artworks, and more particularly photographs or videos. 

It has chosen to focus its attention on four themes, which affect all mountain regions around the world: climate change and natural risk disaster / water resources / migration / agriculture, biodiversity and food security


Artists in residence  

Within the framework of the SMArt programme, cultural partners in Switzerland welcome artists from the South or the East. During their stay, the artists create an artwork reflecting how they perceive and understand the challenges of their host region. 

More than 20 artists have already participated in the programme and brought their very personal look on the reality of mountain regions. 


Exchange, dialogue and sensitisation 

The artists’ works are exhibited in Switzerland. During their residence, they participate in meetings with the general public, artists and professionals. The local decision-makers and population are thus confronted with a new vision of the realities facing them. 

When the artists return to their own countries, their works and experience are promoted in partnership with a local cultural organisation and the debate with the local population continues. 


A vast network at the crossroads of culture and sustainable development 

SMArt was launched in 2014 by the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions (FDDM) in close cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (DDC) and the Culture Service of Canton Valais. It relies on an extensive network of institutional and cultural partners in Switzerland and around the world. 

To learn more on SMArt and discover the artworks: 



2. The residence Monthey 2021 

Dates: 20 September to 19 December 2021 

Please Apply Before 11th Oct, 2020, 24pm

Place: The residence consist in an individual flat in the small castle of Monthey in the French speaking part of Valais. Monthey is a small city of about 18’000 inhabitants located in the Rhone Valley in the Chablais region, at the foot of the mountains "Dents du Midi". Monthey is best known for its carnival, one of the largest in French-speaking Switzerland, and its chemical site, which is home to various international companies. It also benefits from its proximity to the resort Portes du Soleil in the Val d'Illiez. 



The artist will be welcomed by the Crochetan Theater, which manages the residence. He will be supported by FDDM team in the discovery of the region, meeting with people and understanding of the local challenges. 



The exhibition will be held in the gallery of Crochetan Theater from Mid-December 2021. 



3. Offer and expectations 

Offer of SMArt partners: 

 Full artistic freedom as far as the artwork is linked with the global challenges of mountain regions. 

 Coaching to discover the local reality based on a deep knowledge of the region and a broad network of local actors. 

 Production of an exhibition in Switzerland and in China in cooperation with professional curators, as well as organisation of cultural meditation activities to foster the dialog with the public. 

 Production of an exhibition sheet and catalogue, as well as postcards. 

 Promotion of the artwork in the cultural and sustainable development networks in Switzerland and in China. 

 Bearing of all costs related to the travel, visa procedure, accommodation (except food), as well as travel costs in Switzerland up to an amount of 500 CHF. 

 Allowance of a 1’500 CHF per diem a month x 3 months. 

 SMArt keeps the entire physical property rights on all the artworks produced in Switzerland. The artist keep the entire property rights on the electronic files. He shares these rights with SMArt for non-commercial use in the frame of programme. SMArt / Three Shadows Photography Art Centre will return the artworks produced in China to the artist after the programmed exhibition(s). 


Expectations from the artist: 

 During his residency, the artist will produce an artistic work on the theme of global challenges of mountain regions and solutions developed to address these challenges. 

 The artist will participate in the production and installation of the exhibition. He is expected to be flexible enough to adapt to local technical and financial constraints. 

 During his residency the artist will participate in cultural mediation activities organized in collaboration with Crochetan Theater. 

 At his return, the artist will participate in cultural mediation and educational activities organized in collaboration with Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. 



4. Selection criteria 

General criteria of professionalism: 

 Academic or professional degree in the field of photography, film or video. 

 Remunerated professional experience in the field of photography or video. 

 Recognition by actors of photography or video, at least at the local level (such as institutions with cultural programmes, professionals in the field and other artists, general and specialized media, recognized juries of competitions, scholarships, residencies etc.). 


Specific criteria of SMArt programme: 

 Availability to stay in Switzerland for a three months period. 

 Interest in mountain regions and their global challenges (climate change and natural risk disaster / water management / migration / agriculture, biodiversity and food security), demonstrated in an artistic production, respectively any other commitment to mountainous regions and their challenges. 

 Experience in meetings and exchange with the public about the artist’s in the context of cultural mediation actions. 

 Fluency in English, French or German. 

 Permanent residence in South America/Asia/Africa or originally coming from this region and maintaining regular cultural ties with the region. 



5. Jury and selection process 

A first selection of candidates is made by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, which submits at least 5 candidates to a jury, which takes the final decision. 

The jury includes a member from each of the following institutions: 

 Foundation for sustainable development in mountain regions (FDDM) 

 Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 

 Canton of Valais, Department of Culture 

 Ecole de design et haute école d’art du Valais (édhéa) 

 Crochetan Theater 

 Three Shadows Photography Art Centre 


FDDM coordinates and chairs the jury. Each representative has one vote. Each institution ensures its internal consultation process and provides the jury with a consolidated opinion. In case of disagreement, the choice of the host residence has priority. 


July 15, 2020