III Open Call for Artists

ECHO II: Traditions in Transition 

Open Call for Artists (3)

We are looking for four (4) artists -one from Greece, one from Bulgaria, one from North Macedonia, and one from Hungary- working in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphic design, fashion design, craftwork, and mural, to participate in the 5th *extra* art residency of the ECHO II: Traditions in Transition project.

  1. The “ECHO II: Traditions in Transition” Project 

ECHO II is a European cultural project inviting artists who work in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphic design, fashion design, craftwork and mural, to create original artworks inspired by selected local traditions from Greece, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Hungary.

In the context of ECHO II, local traditions are perceived as dynamic and evolving processes that shape and are shaped by the lives of local communities. This means that traditions are recognised as constitutive elements of cultural identities, but are not considered as ‘objects’ that need to be retained unaltered and protected via musealisation. In this light, ECHO II takes a critical stance towards established but unfruitful perspectives that restrict innovation and creativity, and consists of an opportunity:

  • for artists to highlight and renew local traditions through contemporary artistic creation, and
  • for the local communities to self-reflect, and hence, reconceptualise and revitalise their own traditions within the framework of European cultural heritage.


  1. The Art Residency in Smolyan town (Bulgaria), September 24 – October 21 2021

The selected artists will be integrated in a 4-member team of artists (coming from Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, and North Macedonia), and, in dialogue with the local community, will create original artworks inspired by the local traditional folklore customs and household items. Smolyan town is located in Rhodope mountain. Its people are hospitable, and consider the natural environment and their history as highly valuable. The vast majority are Orthodox Christians, while the rest are mostly Muslims. The cultural influence of both religions is visible in the architecture, design and traditions of the region. Also, the harmonious relationship between these two religious communities in the past has led to many mixed marriages, and therefore to the essential integration of these communities. The local traditions, and especially the local musical practises, are related to Orpheus, with the local folk music ensemble “100 kaba gaidi“, which searches for, preserves and promotes the Rhodope folklore, being one representative example.

During the Smolyan Art Residency, the participant artists can get inspired by:

2.1. Requirements 

Applicants need to take into consideration the following requirements in relation to the artworks that they are expected to create:

  • Paintings: One big scale painting (min. 100×100 cm),  or a series of paintings smaller than the given dimensions (min. two pieces).
  • Sculptures and craftworks: One big scale sculpture or installation (min 100x40x40 cm), or a series of sculptures and objects smaller than the given dimensions (min. two pieces).
  • Graphic design: a complete set of artworks at least.
  • Fashion design: a collection of 12 pieces (combination of illustrations and outfits).
  • Mural sketches: one wall with dimensions: 4.4 x 11 m.

2.2. Accommodation, travel expenses and benefits

The accommodation, travel and subsistence expenses, as well as the expenses of the materials needed for the creation of the artworks are covered by the project within the limits of its budget. Also, the project offers visibility and networking opportunities for the participant artists, as well as opportunities for commercial collaborations, in order for the artists to benefit economically from their creations.

  1. Presentation of the Artworks 

3.1. Local Exhibitions

The artworks that will be created during the art residency, will be presented in a local arts exhibition, which will be organised in Smolyan town after the residency. The exact dates will be announced in due time.

3.2. Digital Exhibition

At the end of the art residency, the artworks will be digitised by Inter Alia, and will be published on the digital exhibition, which will be created and posted on the ECHO II website.

  1. Open Access Policy 

The digital copies of the artworks will be published on the ECHO II digital exhibition under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license, allowing their reuse and remix for any purpose under the terms and conditions of the license.

The metadata, i.e. the information documenting the artworks (title and type of the artwork, name of the artist, artistic technique, conceptualisation etc.), when published on the ECHO II digital exhibition, will be dedicated to the Public Domain, allowing their reuse for any purpose without terms and conditions. For more information about the Public Domain Dedication, please see the CC0 1.0 Universal deed.

Inter Alia has chosen this particular open access policy in order for the artworks and their metadata to be reused by the public for educational, research and other creative purposes. Inter Alia respects the fact that the ECHO II project is funded by the European citizens (through taxation), and wishes to offer them the possibility to get benefited from the creative results of ECHO II, during and after the project.  

4.1. Benefits of open access policy for the participant artists

  • CC licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain reuses of your work – a “some rights reserved” copyright.
  • CC provides global recognition. Increasingly, creators in the digital environment are recognising the CC concept and iconography, easily identifying the specific reuses it allows. Content sharing platforms (such as Flickr and Vimeo) are employing CC licensing in their upload process, while search sites (such as Google) have created CC-specific search engines.
  • CC has international application. The latest version of Creative Commons licences (4.0) is specifically designed to be global in its application, and to be enforceable with the same effect in any jurisdiction.
  • CC licences are easy to understand by both creators and users. Each licence has its own licence button which can be attached to content to indicate that it is CC licensed and under what terms. By clicking on this button, the user is taken to the ‘Licence Deed’, which provides a bullet-pointed plain-language summary of what the user can do with this licensed content. From there, they can access the full legal code of the licence, if they would like to learn more and in detail.
  • CC material is easy to find ensuring greater visibility and more collaborations. Google and a number of other search engines currently allow people to search specifically for CC-licensed material, as does the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Also, many content sharing platforms (such as Flickr and Vimeo) allow users to search or organise content based on CC licence terms. This means that if someone wants to find, reuse and remix artworks in relation to the selected traditions of the ECHO II project, your artwork(s) might be among the first to be found and gain visibility. By gaining visibility, your chances to become known and attract more collaborations and funding are increased.

By accepting the open access policy of the ECHO II project, you also accept the reasons why Inter Alia has decided to digitise the artworks and publish them on the digital exhibition under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license. This means that you are a socially responsible artist.


CC licenses cannot be revoked. As soon as a copyrighted artwork and/or its digital copy is published under a CC license, it is and will remain open forever. A CC license can be changed only when a cultural work is significantly revised and altered (for example, in the case of a revised edition of a book). But the initial licence of the initial work, as well as any reuses based on this initial licence will remain valid. The inspirers of CC licenses incorporated this provision into their legal deeds, to ensure the openness of cultural works for the further advancement of knowledge and culture, and consequently, the further development of the economy and the well-being of the society. By applying CC licenses to your cultural works, you not only increase the chances of their becoming more visible and popular, but you also contribute to the open movement, its vision, mission and goals.


No one can fully control reuses and remixes of the content once it is published online, whether it is CC-licensed or not. In any case, Inter Alia will raise awareness on good practises in relation to reuses and remixes of CC-licensed cultural content, by organising GLAM Hack workshops and other events in the context of the project and beyond.

  1. Applications 

Artists who wish to participate in the Smolyan Art Residency are invited to fill in this application form (to which they have to attach a short bio and portfolio) until the 16th of July 2021.   

The selection process will be completed until the 31st of July 2021. All applicants will be notified of the results via email.

The selection will be done by the ECHO II working team based on:

  • The type, the conception and the identity of the artists’ previous artworks (portfolio or/and online hyperlinks).
  • The reasons that motivate the artists to participate in the residency.
  1. COVID-19 Update

The ECHO II working team monitors the situation closely, and will take all the necessary measures to protect the participating artists, the staff members and the local communities against the spread of COVID-19. In case the art residency needs to be postponed and realised on different dates, the selected artists sustain their positions, and will be timely notified for all the changes that will need to be made. In case an artist cannot participate in this extra residency of the project due to the change of dates or other reasons will be replaced by another shortlisted applicant.


  1. More Information 

For more information on the ECHO II project, you can contact:

For more information on the digitisation of the artworks and the open access policy of ECHO II, you can contact Revekka Kefalea (kefalea@interaliaproject.com).

ECHO II is implemented by Inter Alia, in collaboration with the non-profit organisations Sfera International, Open Space Foundation, Pro Progressione and Balkan Beyond Borders, and with the contribution of PostScriptum, the small-medium enterprise that is responsible for the digital strategy of the project.


ECHO II is co-funded by the “Creative Europe” programme of the European Union, National found of Culture (Bulgaria) and Program Culture of Sofia Municipality.