Goethe-Institut / Alice Boner Residency in Varanasi

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

Submission Deadline Extended: 28.04.2019

The Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in 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 2019 and November–December 2019.

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 scholarly contribution, 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, shelves for books/clothes, and Wi-Fi. The fellowship includes two vegetarian meals a day, six 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 & Hindi. Other residents are accommodated on two other floors. The ground floor also includes the Director’s office and rooms for institute employees (manager, security guards, cook, etc).

This year’s call is directed at:  

  1. Researchers in the field of urbanism / cultural heritage
  2. Musicians in the field of electronic music.


  1. Varanasi is considered to be one of the oldest cities of the world. It faces massive challenges in the field of waste and water management, traffic and infrastructure. The necessity to modernize stays in contrast with the task of preservation of cultural heritage.
  2. The spaces of Alice Boner Institute and its surroundings present a perfect environment for the research on and the production of electronic music which enjoys a widespread appreciation in India.


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, and how it could enhance your work 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.
  • Applicants for the electronic music residency should make audio files available to the jury via streaming, download links or on their websites.

Please note that only applications in English are eligible. Non-English applications will not be considered.

Deadline for applications

The deadline for applications for 2019 has been extended until Sunday, 28 April 2019. Please send your application only by email

Successful candidates will be notified by 1 June 2019.

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 with history of dust/lung allergies, or asthma are to take necessary precaution as air pollution levels are severe.

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. The Alice Boner Institute does not offer a team of assistants or collaborators to develop projects.

After completion of the residency programme, you are expected to send a report (in English) to the Alice Boner Institute and the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan. Parts of this report may be published on the website of the organizer institution for public viewing.

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