Call for Applications: Artist Exchange Residency



Highlight Arts is delighted to launch a new exchange programme between Scotland and the Middle East and North Africa. Every year one Scottish artist will be hosted by a local organisation in the MENA region, and one MENA artist will be hosted by a local Scottish organisation. The aim for us is to create space for meaningful artistic encounters. These encounters are opportunities for growth, for learning, for collaboration and play, to express solidarity and resist borders.

The aim of residency is to support the artists’ practice, while creating the circumstances for artists to widen their network, think through new modes of creating, experience their practice in a different context and make connections they wouldn’t otherwise make. This is not about an end product; it is about process. However, we do ask that the artist presents a sharing at the end of the residency.

We invite artists to use the residency either as a point of departure, a space for research and development, or for experimentation. We ask the artists to approach this residency with an open mind, and to try to suspend their pre-conceived assumptions.

This year the residency will take place between Glasgow and Cairo, some time between September and December. We’re very pleased to be partnering with the National Theatre of Scotland and Orient Productions as the first host organisations. We’re looking to support one artist from Scotland and one artist from Egypt.


  • Travel (international and local)
  • Artist fee for four weeks work (£440/week)
  • One month’s accommodation
  • Living stipend for one month
  • Visa Costs
  • Studio space
  • Tech/Materials support


This year we’re looking for artists interested in developing their performing arts practice. You don’t have to have a theatre/performing arts background, but your focus for the residency should be on a project which has a theatrical element at its core.

We will consider applicants from all levels of experience, however, you need to be able to demonstrate that you identify your needs as an artist and can self-direct the residency.

This is open to individual artists only. Unfortunately, we cannot support artistic partnerships or collectives.

You must:
Be resident in Scotland or Egypt

Be available for 4 consecutive weeks between September and December 2020
Be over 18 years of age


Sara Shaarawi (Highlight Arts)

Bejal Desai (NTS)

Anna Hodgart (NTS)

Ahmed El Attar (Orient Productions)

Nevine El Ebiary (Orient Productions)


Please answer these questions in a word or pdf document, it should not be longer than one side of A4:
What do you want to explore during the residency? (350 words)

What do you hope to gain from this residency? (250 words)

Can you provide a brief timeline on how you plan to use your time?

Can you provide links to previous work?

Please indicate which four weeks you’re available (between September and December)

Please email your submission along with an up to date CV to: with the subject heading ‘Highlight Arts||your name.’ Applications can be made in either English or Arabic and must be in a Word doc or pdf. If you have any questions or concerns please email Sara Shaarawi at