After a successful first edition of the Serendipity Arles Grant, the largest of its kind for lens-based practitioners in South Asia is back with its second chapter/edition. As an ongoing exercise to strengthen regional cooperation on the foundation of the strong Indo-French bilateral relations through cultural exchange, Serendipity Arts Foundation and the Rencontres d’Arles announced today the second chapter/edition of the biggest photography, video and new media grant, supported by the French Institute in India / Embassy of France in India, with the shared purpose of promoting cultural practices in South Asia.

The grant amount going to the winner this year will be of 15,000 euros (the grant amount is inclusive of travel, production accommodation and other direct costs related to all representations) and will support lens-based practitioners from South Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The initiative seeks not only to empower artists from the region, but also further a spirit of regional cooperation and representation.

The open call for entries will begin 30th of January 2023, and will be shared through the social media handles and websites of the Serendipity Arts, the Rencontres d’Arles and the French Institute in India / Embassy of France in India. The process of receiving applications will close on the 15th of March 2023. The valid applications for the grant received within this deadline will be reviewed by a distinguished jury.

Welcoming the second edition of the Serendipity Arles Grant, Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Founder & Patron, Serendipity Arts and Founder of THE BRIJ, said, “This grant is the coming together of Serendipity Arts and Rencontres d’Arles to jointly support lens-based practitioners and to promote the diverse creative expressions of the South Asian region. The first edition of the grant showed us the possibilities emerging from this association and the second edition will show our commitment to back and support artists from the region and help promote their work on a global scale.”

Speaking about the 2nd edition of the grant Mr. Christoph Wiesner, Director, Rencontres d’Arles, said, “I’m very happy to continue this collaboration. The SAG offers the winner, through its exhibition, an international visibility but also possibilities of exchange with the lens- based practice and allows the professional and the general public of the festival to discover and deepen the richness of the South Asian scene.”

Like the previous edition, the grant this year will also be awarded in two stages. Upon receipt of applications for the grant within this deadline, a distinguished jury comprising artists, authors, Foundation directors, and eminent personalities from diverse artistic domains, will review the proposals and shortlist 5 artists. The first stage will recognise and support 5 artists with a grant of 70,000 rupees (approximately 800 euros). Along with receiving a part of the grant, these five shortlisted candidates will also be given the opportunity to showcase their work at the upcoming edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival, scheduled to take place later in the year in Goa, India.

Finally, at the 2023 festival, the same jury will unanimously declare the finalist, from amongst the five previously shortlisted artists, who would then receive a grant of 15,000 euros, subject to applicable terms and conditions, to develop the project and show the final presentation at Rencontres d’Arles, France, in 2024.

Welcoming the grant, Mr. Emmanuel Lebrun- Damiens, Counselor for Education, Science and Culture · Embassy of France in India, said, “I am thrilled to launch the second edition of the Serendipity Arts Grant, which stands as an emblematic partnership for the French Institute in India. This ambitious project is originating from a long-term relationship with the Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF). SAF has become over the years a key player of Indo-French cultural exchanges, not only for presenting upcoming and established French artists in India, but also for supporting young Indian artists by giving them international visibility through the collaboration with landmark institutions such as the Rencontres d’Arles. This marks a real success in terms of cultural cooperation.”

In 2022 France and Serendipity Arts also entered into an agreement to promote cultural exchanges that support creative expressions and artistic practices from the region.

All information about the grant, eligibility and application is available on the Serendipity Arts website:

Serendipity Arts, a Munjal initiative for creativity, is a not-for-profit arts and cultural development foundation that fosters cultural development and supports emerging artists across South Asia. It aims to promote new creative strategies, artistic interventions, and cultural partnerships that are responsive, addressing the social, cultural and environmental milieus of South Asia. The Foundation’s programmes are designed and initiated through innovative collaborations with partners across a multitude of fields, impacting education, promoting social growth via community development programmes, and exploring interdisciplinarity across the arts. |

The French Institute in India (IFI) is the Education, Science and Culture service of the Embassy of France in India. It facilitates academic and scientific exchange between higher institutes of learning and research, enables student mobility, and promotes the French language, and artistic and cultural partnerships. Cooperation between India and France takes place through a number of sectors: Arts & Culture, Books & Ideas, French Language & Education, Study in France programme, Academic Partnerships, Science and Technology, as well as Innovation and Multimedia. |

For over 50 years, the annual Rencontres d’Arles photography festival has participated in transforming and disseminating the medium alongside great names in the field. Year after year, the festival tries to make sense of a changing world. During the summer, visitors can see nearly 40 exhibitions in historic, contemporary and unexpected places and meet artists and curators on the program. At night, Arles continues to pulsate with festive events revolving around photography. All year, the Rencontres d’Arles offers courses in photography, visual education and reading images. Since 2016, the Grand Arles Express and its 15 exhibitions have showcased the vibrancy and diversity of photography in the South of France. The Rencontres d’Arles also has an international presence with the Jimei × Arles International Photo Festival in Xiamen, China. |