AiR zusa – residency programme


AiR zusa residency is primarily aimed at facilitating an opportune framework, a transdisciplinary and safer space for resilience in times of war and persecutions for artists, cultural managers, curators, culture and art activists from countries at risk. Thus, the main objectives of the project are: 

Process and reflection. It is not a product-oriented residency programme – we would like to provide the time and sources to heal the mental health and well-being of cultural professionals living under pressure. 

Resilience. The residency is prepared based on residents’ personal needs, but we also offer the activities including i.e. external mental health and coaching support, local and international networking, exploration of the local cultural scene, research support, exploration of methods how to deal with fear and trauma and re-build the resilience after the war. The culture professionals under pressure are also able to take none of these options and spend their time in Berlin relaxing, resting, regaining and regenerating.

The program was launched in 2022 with a round of short-term (1-3 weeks) and long-term (2-6 months) residencies dedicated to culture professionals from Ukraine (for those who remained in the country and also for those who left).

The idea behind organising the first edition of residencies in two strands lies in the need to create an opportunity for those who need to take a break and leave Ukraine for a while and for those who want to relocate but need a bit of perspective and stability before they find a place to live and work or decide on next life steps. The main goal is to create a safer space where the artist could focus on their well-being, where self-reflection is a priority in order to help their creativity or even to encourage them to be present and slow down.

Why is it different? The majority of residences have the focus of the final result, but we have to admit that part of being creative also implies being unproductive or taking breaks, even more so when external factors affect us emotionally generating certain blockages. Away from repression, economical issues, stress or post-traumatic events, the residency invites the cultural workers to take the time to rest, to focus their energy in the direction that they need without any pressure, finding a balance between production and latency.

The activities proposed for AiR are designed to provide a complex experience for the direct beneficiaries and include knowledge and socialisation activities, counselling activities, and cultural activities. Furthermore, the artistic scene of Berlin is unique and dynamic and offers a prolific environment for creation and being inspired.

This project is designed to offer support both in the short term, as financial and mental health-based support, and in the long term through networking and possible connections that can be formed between artists.


Kasia Zielińska

Project manager AiR zusa


mental health
time off
safer space

Supported by:

In 2022, AiR zusa was hosting Ukrainian visual artists thanks to the financial support with funds from the Goethe-Institut and special funding programme “Residenzen für bildende Künstler:innen aus der Ukraine” organised by Kunstfonds together with Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM).


In 2023, AiR zusa received financial support from the Goethe-Institut.