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Open Call: Now On

NOW ON was conceived as a call that welcomed ideas, thoughts and experiments that responded to the current crisis and its impact on our core work of promoting arts and international arts exchange.

We were thrilled to receive over 100 applications from individuals, collectives, organisations from across the entire region and working in different disciplines. We thank them all for continuing to imagine a world of possibilities!
And finally we are pleased to announce and congratulate the Now On grantees who proposed experiments, ideas and creative solutions for the future of artistic creation, research, development, presentation and collaborations! We will be sharing more details on each selected grantee in the coming weeks and look forward to the engagement with the arts community!
Artist Project name City, Country Discipline
Anshika Varma Guftgu Talk Series New Delhi, India Visual Arts
Anubhav Syal – Round them Oranges Virtual Segments Jaipur, India Interactive Media
Aqui Thami Sister Radio Mumbai, India Interdisciplinary
Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts Spaarkk Bengaluru, India Dance
Dhruv Saxena & Praveen Sinha Idée fixe – anticipating craft futures Jaipur, India Interdisciplinary
Ke ba kahara Curatorial Collective Curatorial Collaboration as Method Dhaka, Bangladesh Visual Arts
Tejas Pande WhatsApp-Free University Bengaluru, India Interactive Media
The Packet Sri Lanka Instigating Collaborative Study Wellawatte, Sri Lanka Interdisciplinary


Already underway, Anshika Varma’s “Guftgu Talk Series” aims to create programs and publishing experiments that lead to discussions around photography and photo books. These monthly live interactive video conversations will later lead to an annual publication in print and virtual form as a “book” with individual zines showcasing the work of independent practitioners.

Through “Virtual Segments,” Anubhav Syal of Round Them Oranges proposes a web-based environment that allows its members to create virtual art galleries in life-like 3D spaces. Here artists and organisations can design realistic spaces in which to hold virtual exhibitions.

Aqui Thami’s “Sister Radio” began with the intention to share healing in community in these difficult times. Through the voices of creative women, away from dominant narratives, Sister Radio creates a space to share, listen and (un)learn. Through interviews and discussions in the form of podcasts, this intimate heartfelt space will help listeners learn how to be a sister supporter and celebrate women.

By leveraging the possibilities of the digital medium and combining it with the expertise in contemporary dance, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts aims to herald a new era with “Spaarkk”. An online creative platform, “Spaarkk” aims to stimulate new ideas and initiatives with a focus on contemporary dance/movement arts while also being open to other disciplines  With a vision of live or online events and at times hybrid one blending both Spaarkk would envisage performances, interventions, gatherings, events, training, sharing of skills, residencies and discourses.

Through “Idee fixe: anticipating craft futures”, Dhruv Saxena and Praveen Sinha set out to explore radically new modalities in the scenario of design and crafts practices in India. Envisaging what alternative identities that crafts and crafts practitioners might attain, this project imagines provocative future(s) for the crafts industry in the form of text, visuals and artefacts.

Curatorial Collaboration as Method” brings together practitioners of the Ke ba kahara curatorial collective in a new collaborative territory and method in South Asia. Ke ba kahara members include Omar Chowdhury, Samiul Sabbir Islam, Khaled Mahmud, Sadia Rahman, Nabil Shahidi. Combining practices across filmmaking, print, architecture, anthropology, photography, the collective curates a five-month curatorial programme of exhibitions, publications and seminars set in a modernist architectural site in Dhaka, centred on Bangladesh’s past, present and future. The model presents a hybrid future of online and physical space interacting to experience art.

Tejas Pande’s “WhatsApp-Free University” is an interactive project that encourages engagement with one’s cognitive biases with respect to social media use through short video forwards. By analysing and producing content for WhatsApp groups in Tier 2 and tier-3 cities in Mahrashtra, Tejas intends for members of group and beyond to reflect on one’s own biases.

Instigating Collaborative Study” takes as its departure point ‘The Packet’, a zine archive and practice traversing texts, discussions, workshops and residencies – from which the Sri Lankan collective derives its name. Working with over 8 artists – including Sandev Handy, Abdul Halik Azeez, Imaad Majeed, Cassie Machado, Venuri Perera, Ephraim Shadrach, P. Pushpakanthan and Dinelka Liyanage – this collaborative practice begins with a broad topic to allow for a collective focus and process to emerge.

Watch out for more details on the above projects in the coming months! 


Information on the Now On open call.
The applications for this call are closed.

For more, see overview and projects

Pro Helvetia New Delhi has been active in the South Asian region for the last 12 years, promoting Swiss arts, creating cultural exchange between the region and Switzerland and enabling collaborations.

As the art world grapples with challenges that the pandemic has thrown our way, PHND invites visionary ideas, thoughts, experiments from artists and organizations in the region to respond to the current crisis and how it impacts our core work of promoting arts and international arts exchange.

Going beyond our existing formats, “Now On” is a call to reflect on innovative formats that address our immediate future – from rethinking our place in ecology to (trans)forming models of meaningful communication and community. The open call is an invitation to explore new mediums and innovative formats of artistic creation, research, development, presentation and collaboration. Projects are invited that initiate or intensify new formats under the current conditions of restricted mobility. Ideas, processes, platforms or formats that enable further exchanges and sustain dialogue and collaboration are welcome.


  • Open to applicants from South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan) and Myanmar.
  • Open to all disciplines PH works in, viz. literature, visual arts, dance, theatre, design and interactive media, music and interdisciplinary.
  • The proposal is for a project to be realized by the end of 2020.
  • The proposal does not need to be tied to a direct outcome or product but should have a clear outline.
  • The proposal needs to have a time-frame and in-built evaluation/assessment of the goals set.
  • The proposal can come from an individual artist or collective or an arts organization. One application per individual/organization.
  • Applicants must apply all recommended COVID-19 safety procedures for the safety of all artists and public involved in the project.
  • The proposal needs to have a defined budget (not exceeding CHF 10’000).

Sunday 12 July 2020

To apply: click here.

For any queries, please email newdelhi@prohelvetia.in.

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Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.