Call for Applications: DeCoSEAS Southeast Asia-Europe Visiting Fellowship 2023

Call for Applications: DeCoSEAS Southeast Asia-Europe Visiting Fellowship 2023

Our project, Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS), invites up to four Visiting fellows from Southeast Asia for a three-month stay to work with one or more Southeast Asian collections within audio-visual archives located in Europe. For more information, visit the Current Call Page for DeCoSEAS Fellowship 2023.

1. Eligibility

The fellow can be an artist, curator, activist, scholar, or other stakeholders of the sonic repertoire they intend to consult for research, artistic, performance, curational, ritual, or private purposes. Early and mid-career applicants are prioritized.

  1. Someone who is passionate about sound recordings and enthusiastic about delving deeper into colonial archives
  2. National of Southeast Asia
  3. Early or mid-career artist, curator, activist, scholar, or other stakeholder of the sound archives
  4. Good communication skills in English
  5. Linguistic and cultural familiarity with the Southeast Asian sound recordings

2. Timeslots of Fellowship

DeCoSEAS can host fellows in two timeslots:

  • April-June 2023
  • September-November 2023

3. Choices of archives to work with

Selected candidates have access to the Southeast Asian collections of the following archives:

  • The Jaap Kunst Collection at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • The collections of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, The Netherlands
  • The audio-visual material of the BBC Archive Trust and the British Library in London, UK
  • The audio-visual and written collections of SOAS – University of London, UK
  • Sound archives on Southeast Asian music in Paris, France (CNRS, French National Library [BNF], Musée Guimet, Musée du Quai Branly, Maison de l’Asie…)

Visits to other European archives within the Schengen Area can be arranged, such as

  • The Phonogrammarchiv in Berlin, Germany
  • The Lautarchiv of the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany
  • The Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna, Austria

4. Stipend and support

Fellows will be hosted at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Fellows will receive a stipend of 2000 EUR monthly for a maximum of three months. The stipend is intended to cover the fellow’s accommodation, local commute, and daily living expenses throughout their fellowship stay. In addition, the grant will cover costs for visa application, one round-trip flight from Southeast Asia to Europe, travel-related Covid-19 tests (if necessary), and health and travel insurance for the duration of the Fellowship.

5. Types of support provided during Fellowship

All archives have varying degrees of organization and accessibility. DeCoSEAS can provide support by:

  • Endorsing fellows to archival institutions
  • Facilitating communication with archivists and archival staff
  • Facilitating getting access to the archival materials
  • Providing artistic, academic, or professional advice (through DeCoSEAS partners) when necessary
  • Providing advice for practical matters for living in the host city from city-specific DeCoSEAS partners during their fellowship period
  • Providing a desk in one of the partner institutions

Whereas DeCoSEAS supports fellows in getting access to the materials, acquiring this access might remain difficult, time-consuming, or bureaucratic. DeCoSEAS suggests the following options to deal with these hurdles:

  • Access might become easier when prospective fellows know what kind of materials they need (sound recordings or correspondence from specific eras, organizations or persons, photographs from particular objects or peoples, etc.) and for what aims. Applicants are encouraged to indicate this in their proposal. 
  • DeCoSEAS can help determine topics, areas of focus, approaches, and archival collections. Feel free to raise questions or requests for suggestions and guidance in the proposal.
  • DeCoSEAS also offers pre-application assistance

6. What we expect from the fellow

  1. Give a public presentation of their project.
    The presentation can be a report of their process, a short excerpt of the project, etc. This presentation can be in any format. The date can be determined in coordination with your host institution.
  1. Report problems encountered during archival research.
    Fellows are requested to keep a log of the hurdles they encounter when accessing the archival materials they need. These hurdles can encompass bureaucratic policies, language barriers, curatorial, academic, and other logistical issues. DeCoSEAS will use the fellows’ regular briefing to formulate recommendations for improving access to these and other heritage institutions.
  2. Contribute to the contextualization of the colonial archival materials.
    Fellows are requested to share their findings with peers at one or more of the host institutions during talks, events, and workshops for academic and curatorial audiences as well as the broader public. The fellow is expected to provide a final report on these issues at the end of the Fellowship.

These contributions can take the form of assisting in the transcription, translation, providing descriptions, and data enhancement of the archival documents. These contributions will be made in consultation with the project partner(s).

DeCoSEAS incorporates the fellows’ research outputs in the project’s publications and outreach projects in 2023 and 2024.

Application Procedure

Application Requirements

Candidates can apply by completing the application form consisting of the following:

  1. An 800-1,000 words proposal indicating specific reasons for visiting one or more of the above-mentioned audio-visual archives and collections, for instance, the request for specific archival material or indexes. Please provide a short description of the proposed output (book, article, artwork, digital curation, film, event, political action, repatriation, etc.). Please explain how your project fits into the DeCoSEAS agenda (see p.5).
  2. proposed timetable of the project goals. This timetable can be preliminary. Once accepted, the fellow can work with DeCoSEAS staff to finalize the plan.
  3. biographical CV indicating the fellow’s background as a scholar, artist, curator, archivist, cultural diplomat, activist, community member, or stakeholder of the audio material to be accessed. Early career applicants are prioritized.

Note: If you request assistance with drafting the proposal or if you want to discuss individual needs prior to applying, please contact the project coordinator, and we will get in touch with you.

An online info session on 9 November will be arranged where applicants can address their specific questions to DeCoSEAS staff. Please see below.  

Application Criteria

Criteria for the selection of proposals encompass

  • the project’s feasibility: can it be realized with three months of archival research?
  • the project’s possible contribution to the mission and vision of DeCoSEAS.
  • the linguistic and cultural familiarity of the fellow with the recorded materials.
  • the output proposed by the fellow. This can range from a scholarly publication and a work of art to an event, a digital exhibition, film, political action, or repatriation initiative. The output must contribute to DeCoSEAS’ agenda (see p.5).

Application deadline

The application deadline is 21 November 2022.
Successful applicants will be notified by the end of December 2022.

An online info session is scheduled on 9 November, 09:00-11:00 CET. During this video call, applicants can address their specific questions to DeCoSEAS staff. Please email the DeCoSEAS project coordinator, Layan Nijem, at if you want to attend this info session.

Application Documents

Download the Visiting Fellowship 2023 Guideline
Download the Visiting Fellowship 2023 Application Form