Open call for WHW Akademija 2023

The curatorial collective What, How & for Whom / WHW announces an open call for applications to participate in the fifth year of Zagreb based WHW Akademija, an experimental, interdisciplinary, tuition-free art study program for emerging artists. Through generating new models and testing existing ones, WHW Akademija seeks to develop a reciprocal educational process. Its programs encourage participants to coproduce critical content based on how knowledge is produced and questioned through the poetic, the physical, the material, and the eco-social.

The program starts in March 2023 and lasts until November 2023. It combines live and digital sessions, starting online in March and April and intensifying in May with a physical summer school that will take place in Zagreb. The program then continues online until the end of October 2023, when the final meeting of participants will take place in Zagreb.

Application deadline: 25 January 2023

Interviews: 13–18 February 2023,in-person (for Zagreb-based applicants) and over Zoom

Final status notification: by end of February 2023


The fifth edition of WHW Akademija is set up as an education model that combines online and physical encounters and explores participatory modes of artistic and knowledge production.

As we are transitioning from the pandemic to an even more severe crisis related to the ongoing wars, rising austerity measures, increasing international recession,and intensifying ecological disaster, WHW Akademija 2023 aims to create an environment for engaged eco-social participatory cultural production. Focused on eco-social and somatic practices, artistic ecologies, care, collectivity, and degrowth, the 2023 program explores methodologies developed by artists and cultural workers to engage with their environments, be that artistic, social, digital, or ecological.

The professorial team for 2023 is: Yael DavidsAdelita Husni-BeyMiguel A. LópezPablo MartínezMarina Naprushkina, and WHW. Alongside this professorial team, the public lectures and workshop series Evenings with WHW Akademija brings together further artists, curators, and thinkers, such as farid rakun/ ruangrupa, alumni of WHW Akademija, and others, who will present public conversations and lectures.

Through seminars and workshops, the program rethinks and redevelops the structures that hold us—our bodies, communities, and environment. The semi-peripheral position of Zagreb, between north and south, between socialist plan and capitalist extraction, offers an intriguing setting for forging fresh perspectives on eco-social values.

WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with the Kontakt Art Collection. The collection focuses on experimental and neo-avant-garde art activities in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe from the late 1950s onward. The manifold artistic positions included in the Kontakt Art Collection will serve as a point of departure and source of inspiration for stimulating the interdisciplinary approach of WHW Akademija, aimed at bridging the divisions between theory and practice.

The 2023 program will be realized in conjunction with the collaborative project Artistic Ecologies, New Compasses, Tools and Alliances, organized in collaboration between WHW (Zagreb), Rijksakademie (Amsterdam),and Neue Nachbarschaft // Moabit (Berlin). Part of the program will be realized in dialogue with the 9th Degrowth Conference and the exhibition People, Planet, Care – It Spells Degrowth.

After starting in March in online mode, the participants of WHW Akademija will later physically gather twice in Zagreb: for the summer school in May 2023, and again in October for the concluding exhibition and presentations.

The program from April to May 2023, culminating with The summer school, will be led by Yael DavidsPablo Martínez, and Marina Naprushkina. Through a series of bodily and somatic collaborative exercises, seminars, presentations, discussions,workshops, and collective actions, the WHW Akademija summer school will initiate an intense exchange between the participants, the professorial team,and the local setting. The summer school takes place May 16–23, 2023, in Zagreb. During that week, we will host two to four alumni of the Rijksakademie residency program and Moabit Mountain College, who will take part in the summer school program.

From June to October 2023, participants will partake in a “soft residency” format with Adelita Husni-Bey, which will involve mentoring sessions and conclude with an intensive workshop in October 2023 at Gallery Nova, Zagreb. This program will also include a shorter online seminar led by Miguel A. López.

Ana Dević and Ana Kovačić of WHW will provide mentoring support throughout the entire WHW Akademija 2023 program, as well as facilitate the closing event at the Gallery Nova in October 2023.

As in previous years, a series of online public talks and workshops, entitled Evenings with WHW Akademija, will share topics and experiences explored by WHW Akademija with a broader audience. Participants are also invited to actively participate in and shape Evenings with WHW Akademija as part of the program.  

Based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity, and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars, and practitioners in various disciplines, since 2018 WHW Akademija has enacted and established innovative forms of education and collaboration in different formats: workshops, intensives, exhibitions, summer schools, actions in public space,lectures, conversations, practical workshops, podcasts, and performances.

Between 2018 and 2022, WHW Akademija has hosted numerous eminent international curators, artists, scientists, activists, and cultural workers: Ivana BagoZbyněk Baladrán, Ben Cain,Tina Gverović, Sanja Iveković, David Maljković, KateSutton, Pierre Bal-Blanc, Banu Cennetoğlu, DAAR – Alessandro Petti and Sandi HilalManuel Pelmuş, Rajkamal Kahlon, Adam Szymczyk, Wendelienvan Oldenborgh, Oscar Murillo, Charles Esche, Ana JanevskiKathrin Rhomberg, Kem collective – Alex Baczyński-Jenkins and Kasia Wlaszczyk, Dan PerjovschiVlatka Horvat, iLiana Fokianaki, Marwa Arsanios, AudeChristel Mgba, Pablo Martínez, Hana Miletić, Daniela OrtizJelena Vesić, Želimir Žilnik, Dubravka Sekulić, Zdenka Badovinac, Christine Tohmé, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri.

The Advisory Board of WHW Akademija is David MaljkovićEmily PethickKathrin Rhomberg, and Christine Tohmé.


WHW Akademija is a study program for 10 to 15 international participants. It is open to individuals seeking to deepen their formal, theoretical, and critical skills in art and who are at the beginning of developing an independent artistic practice. Participants will be engaged in an intense process of collective working and learning and partake in an educational model that combines discursive formats and a number of practical exercises, including encounters with the public.

The working language of WHW Akademija is English.


For WHW Akademija 2023, participants will be selected through an open call. Applicants should be practicing emerging artists with or without formal training.

Please submit applications only through this application form. Applications must be received by 25 January 2023 and include the following information:

• CV

• short biography (250 words max.)

• statement about your work (2 pages max.)

• one PDF portfolio (15 pages max.) containing work descriptions, images with captions, and links to media hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud.

Please title all your files according to the following formulation: “Your last name_Your first name[_CV / _biography /_statement / _portfolio].”

Candidates are selected based on merit as well as their application’s relevance to the aims of WHW Akademija. The WHW Akademija team will select an initial shortlist of candidates for interviews, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview over Zoom or in-person (for those based in Zagreb). Interviews will be conducted between 13 and 18 February 2023.

Applicants will be notified of their status by the end of February 2023.

Applicants must commit to the full assigned schedule and adjust other engagements to accommodate it.

The program is open to applicants from all countries.

For additional questions, please contact


WHW Akademija is a tuition-free program. Participants will receive financial support during the program, consisting of a seven-month scholarship of 350,00 euro per month. Program-related costs in Croatia will be covered by WHW. Travel costs to Croatia will be reimbursed.  


WHW Akademija is funded by Kontakt Art CollectionERSTE FoundationFoundation for Arts Initiatives, and Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Additional funds for the public program are granted by the European Commission’s Creative Europe program,Ministry of Culture and Media of Republic of Croatia, and City Office for Culture, International Relations and Civil Society.

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