Please note that the information on this page only applies to additional scholarship opportunities specifically for Afghan artists and cultural actors. Information on our regular application procedures can be found here.
Before contacting us, please read the general information as well as specific information for host organisations and artists and cultural actors at risk. Please pay particular attention to the information on secure communication!
Support for Afghan artists and cultural actors
As of now, the Martin Roth-Initiative offers support for Afghan artists and cultural actors at risk who have been issued with a residence permit according to section 22 sentence 2 of Germany’s Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) since August 2021. Through cooperation with cultural host organisations, the supported artists and cultural actors will be integrated into the host cultural scene, enabling them to continue their creative work.
Since the Taliban took power in mid-August 2021, thousands of people have left their home country Afghanistan. Artists are particularly threatened: Music, theatre and visual arts are largely banned under the Taliban. Many of the most at risk artists have therefore received a residence permit from the Federal Government of Germany. For them, the Martin Roth-Initiative of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and Goethe-Institut is now establishing up to twenty additional scholarships to facilitate their start in Germany.
MRI funding enables cultural organisations in Germany to temporarily host artists and cultural actors from Afghanistan, providing scholarships and a free and safe space for them to continue their creative work and to develop professionally.
Host organisations can be cultural institutions or collectives (e.g. museums, theatres, festivals, etc.) and other relevant organisations that are based in Germany. These organisations not only host scholarship holders but also provide support for their personal wellbeing and professional development.
Artists and cultural actors from Afghanistan who have been issued with a residence permit according to section 22 sentence 2 of Germany’s Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) since August 2021, and who are demonstrably artistically/culturally active and whose works have a proven artistic/cultural and/or social relevance (hobby artists or persons who undertake purely private artistic activities are not eligible for funding).
- a monthly scholarship,
- individual support for the scholarship holders (e.g. necessary insurance, psychosocial support, networking activities, etc.)
- financial support for additional personnel for the host organisation,
- counselling by the MRI and further training (for example on topics such as safety, sensitive public relations, psychosocial support) as well as networking activities and exchange of experience with other host organisations and scholarship holders.
At present, up to 20 scholarships can be approved. The MRI is planning to increase the number of scholarship opportunities in the course of 2022. At the time of writing, scholarships can last up to 6 months and must be concluded by the end of 2022.
- Applications for funding must be submitted by host organisations.
- An application consists of an application form (incl. annexes) completed in full by the host organisation, and a personal statement completed by the artist/cultural actor. You will receive all forms from the MRI team after an initial consultation session.
- Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis following an initial assessment of the formal eligibility criteria. Based on availability, funding will be provided to organisations that sufficiently meet the requirements and submit high quality applications. At present, up to 20 scholarships can be approved. The MRI is planning to increase the number of scholarship opportunities in the course of 2022.
- MRI will communicate on this website as soon as all funds have been assigned.
- Please note: There is no legal entitlement to the award of a grant by the MRI. Please note that the selection is for the time being still subject to the availability of the budgeted project funds for the financial years 2022/2023. Due to the provisional federal budget administration after the federal elections in September 2021, subsequent adjustments may be made. Thank you for your understanding.
FAQ for Host Organisations
Please note the following information for host organisations.
You are welcome to contact us regarding the support of a specific artist/cultural actor at risk, or to signal a general interest in a cooperation. We will be happy to advise you and jointly determine possibilities for the implementation of a project. Please always observe our instructions for secure communication.
- The host organisation must have a legal form (e.g. e.V., gGmbH, GmbH, etc.). Private individuals may not apply for funding,
- the host organisation must not pursue any economic gain from the project,
- the host organisation should have experience in dealing with public funding or be willing to acquire the necessary skills to comply with the public funding regulations,
- the host organisation must be able to integrate an artist or cultural actor at risk into its structures, support with the continuation of their artistic work, and to provide a necessary level of personal support,
- the host organisation must be willing to deal with issues concerning security and to take the necessary measures to guarantee safety standards,
- the host organisation must have sufficient organisational and administrative capacities to deal with matters related to right of residence (if necessary with the support of the MRI).
- Host organisations organise and implement MRI funded projects. This means that MRI concludes funding agreements with host organisations, which in turn take care of the artistic, professional and personal integration of the scholarship holder. Host organisations are therefore responsible for the payment of a monthly stipend and the provision of everyday support to scholarship holders.
- Temporary relocations funded by the MRI aim not only to protect artists and cultural actors at risk but also to provide a free and secure space for them to continue their creative work and to develop professionally. A host organisation should therefore be able to integrate the scholarship holder into existing structures/networks and provide a setting to further their work and professional opportunities.
FAQ for cultural actors
Please note the following information for Afghan artists and cultural actors.
Persons who have been issued with a residence permit according to section 22 sentence 2 of Germany’s Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) have been or will be contacted by official Federal German authorities. The MRI has no influence on the issuing of residence permits according to section 22 sentence 2 of Germany’s Residence Act.
No, a residence permit according to section 22 sentence 2 of Germany’s Residence Act is a necessary requirement.
No, all funding is channelled through designated host organisations. The provision of scholarships without a host organisation is not possible. If you need help in finding a host organisation, please contact the MRI. Please note that we cannot guarantee a successful matchmaking.
- You can find our contact details below. When contacting us, please observe our Information on Data Protection and the information on secure communication.
- If your security situation and the chosen communication channel allow, please describe as concisely as possible,
- how you became aware of the MRI,
- which nationality(-ies) you hold and in which country you are currently located,
- which artistic/cultural activity you pursue,
- what kind of support you are looking for and if you are already in contact with a potential host organisation,
- Following an initial assessment of the formal eligibility criteria, you will be granted access to our application form (Personal Statement).
Note: The MRI is not an emergency programme. We therefore cannot provide immediate support or speed up processes.
Before you send us a specific request, please read the general and specific information and criteria carefully. Please also observe the following information on secure communication in order to reduce risks for all parties involved (these are recommendations for improving digital protection, 100% security cannot be guaranteed).
We recommend that you use encrypted communication services. We have listed one free provider below through which you can reach us. Before you do so, please check whether the installation or use of the respective service in your home country (or country of residence) could lead to security issues (suspicion, prosecution). If necessary, inquire locally and/or research (if possible) on the internet, for example under Privacy International.
- Protonmail: This e-mail service allows for end-to-end encrypted messages between Protonmail users. You can create an account free of charge at www.protonmail.com and send us a message to afghanistan [at] mri-application [dot] de (please note that this is a Protonmail email address). Attention: If you send an e-mail from another provider to this address, it will not be encrypted!
ATTENTION: Unencrypted e-mails or phone calls are comparable to postcards in terms of security. This also applies to channels like Facebook, SMS, Skype and - to a certain extent - Whatsapp. If you still wish to contact MRI in this way, please make sure that you do not disclose any sensitive data (names of persons at risk, information on the risk situation, etc.) when contacting MRI.
- email: Please send all requests regarding the MRI Afghanistan programme to the following email address only: afghanistan [at] mri-application [dot] de
Please note our Information on data protection and processing of your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).