Varanasi Residency

Goethe-Institut/Alice Boner Residency in Varanasi (India) © Harsha Vinay, Director, Alice Boner Institute, Varanasi

Goethe-Institut / Alice Boner Residency in Varanasi

The Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi is awarding two fellowships for a residency programme at the Alice Boner Institute in Varanasi, India. The residencies will be for the periods: September-October 2018 and November-December 2018.

The Alice Boner Institute is located at Assi Ghat near the banks of the river Ganges in the south of the city. The building was the home of Alice Boner, a Swiss painter, sculptor and art historian, who lived in Varanasi intermittently from 1936 to 1978. Boner was an outstanding scholar whose studies on Indian sculpture and temple architecture have made a significant contribution to the understanding of Indian art. For her services, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards, in 1974.

This call for proposals is directed at individuals for whom the engagement with India is central to their creative work, academic research or planned projects.

  • The resident artist will have one floor in the small villa at her/his disposal.
  • The accommodation comprises a bedroom and study with an attached shower and toilet. The rooms are equipped with ceiling fans and air conditioners, a landline connection and WLAN.
  • The fellowship includes two vegetarian meals a day, five days a week, which will be prepared by a cook. The resident may use the simple kitchen after clarifying this with the cook (no meat may be kept or cooked).
  • The consumption of alcohol in the building is not allowed.
  • The language of communication is English.
  • Other residents are accommodated on another floor.
The Director’s residence and office are located on the ground floor of the institute, as are small rooms for institute employees (manager, security guards, cook, etc.).


The fellowship is for artists working in the areas of literature, electronic music, drawing, graphics, photography, film, choreography and for academics whose research centres on Indology, South Asia studies, Indian history, art history, etc.

Applicants with a German passport or being based in Germany for at least the last three years, are eligible for the programme. The key criterion for selection is your motivation for being in Varanasi, as an individual and as an artist or researcher. This must be clearly communicated.

Application format and documents:

You are requested to submit the following documents (combined into one pdf file, please):
  • motivation letter
  • outline of your current project
  • CV/ short biographical note and brief description of your connection with India

Deadline for applications:

The deadline for applications for 2018 is Sunday, 1 April 2018. Please send your application only by email to:

Successful candidates will be notified by 1 June 2018.

Duration of residence:

Two months each: 1 September – 31 October; 1 November – 31 December

What the Goethe-Institut provides:

The Goethe-Institut will bear the cost of a return flight (economy class), accommodation, lodging (two meals a day), visa and health insurance. The cost of materials will be covered on a case-by-case basis and will be up to a maximum of EUR 500 per resident.

Please note:

The house is not suitable for children or disabled persons (very steep steps).

Residents will be expected to make at least two public presentations of their work or of the projects they plan to execute. You will not be expected to complete your works or your research during the period of the residency.

After completion of the residency programme, you are expected to send a report (in English) to the Alice Boner Institute and the Goethe-Institut.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Leonhard Emmerling, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi,