AyarKut Foundation announces launch of three international art residencies in Yakutsk

The AYARKUT AIR Art Residency program, initiated in 2021 by the AyarKut Foundation in Yakutsk is an international project to support professionals in the field of contemporary art. It invites artists from all regions of Russia and the world to cooperate, regardless of their preferred genres and techniques, as well as age and nationality. The residence provides an opportunity for artists to visit Yakutsk within the framework of an individual plan required for the implementation of the project, immerse themselves in local cultural, scientific, and natural contexts, explore the Sakha Republic and conditions conducive to intensive work, which will create an opportunity for the fruitful implementation of creative projects.

Yakutia, or the Sakha Republic, is the largest region of Russia by territory and one of the largest administrative units in the world. If Yakutia were an independent state, it would occupy 8th place in the world by area. At the same time, in terms of population, it remains one of the most sparsely populated territories (about 1 person per 3 sq km, which is because almost 40% of the region's lands are located beyond the Arctic Circle). At the same time, Yakutia, almost the entire territory of which is located in the permafrost zone, is one of the most isolated and inaccessible regions of the world in terms of transport: 90% of the territory does not have year-round transport links.

In addition to the general isolation of the entire region, the capital of the Republic of Sakha - Yakutsk is also very far from other large cities, which makes this region a particularly difficult area for the development of international cultural policy and cultural tourism. In the current not only social and economic context but also in the context of the current political situation, the development of art residences in Yakutia seems not only an effective tool for professional exchange but also the most important direction for the development of international cooperation in the field of culture and arts, the development of creative mobility of professionals of the art world vital for maintaining a viable artistic environment and integrating Yakutia into the global context.

The main objectives of the modern art residence are to stimulate professional exchange and creative mobility processes, to provide artists with the opportunity to find inspiration and new material for artistic research, to establish new professional connections, to think about new works and joint projects with international colleagues and like-minded people. At the same time, the functions of art residences are constantly expanding, being tested in new contexts and formats, and going far beyond the traditional cultural exchange and the improvement of professional skills, so the AYARKUT AIR residency program is also a search for a sustainable art residency format that would be adequate to the post-pandemic state of the world.


The three residencies of the program – "Indigenous Knowledge", "Sounding Landscape of the Arctic" and "In dialogue with Nature" are primarily aimed at analyzing the local Yakut environment and its development. One of its tasks is to establish a dialogue with both a narrow professional community and a wide audience. The AYARKUT AIR art residency program is designed to become an effective point of interaction between representatives of different countries and cultures, as well as contribute to the development of the local art scene of Yakutia.

AYARKUT AIR: Indigenous Knowledge

The primary problem of the indigenous peoples of the North is the disappearance of their natural habitat, traditional way of life, language, and national culture. The deterioration of the environment, social living conditions, and the lack of perfect legislation to protect their interests force small nationalities to move from their native lands. There is a loss of national roots, assimilation in big cities, the disappearance of ancestral ties.

The focus of the research in the residence will be the harsh everyday life of the Arctic indigenous peoples on permafrost, the unique ethnocultural heritage, the centuries-old creative experience of transforming the cold world into a developed living space, where Home is Nature itself, the conquests of cultural progress taking place before our eyes. Artists will be able to access unique materials on the history and ethnography of the northern Yakuts, get acquainted with the culture of the aboriginal northern communities, stories and historical legends about the settlement of the Yakut clans and about the disappeared tribes preserved in the cultural memory of the people, ecological traditions and adaptive technologies to harsh climatic conditions, relying on the scientific traditions of the Russian Northern ethnographic school of V.G. Bogoraz and V.I. Jochelson.

One of the most important mechanisms for preserving the ethnocultural heritage of the Arctic can be found in the creative potential of the northern nomads, in their eternal movement and aesthetic experience of the cold world as a harmonious state of Nature and Man. Large-scale transformations in agriculture, in the cultural and social life of Northerners in the Soviet and post-Soviet times, the analysis of changes in the traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia have an enduring value today as an actual direction of social anthropology.

Researchers will be able to immerse in the travel strategy of the Arctic nomads, where the choice of a variety of paths depended on natural and geographical features, landscape and "scenario schemes" of ethnic communities lives, the centuries-old experience of the exploration of the North and the Arctic with its indigenous peoples.

You can apply for the program here.

AYARKUT AIR: The sounding landscape of the Arctic

The concept of a sounding landscape is relatively new for Siberian ethnomusicology and art criticism. The Arctic is one of the quietest corners on Earth, tuned to an intonational understanding of nature. This is reflected in the musical folklore of the Arctic peoples. There can be distinguished several layers in the sounding landscape: intonational interaction with nature (the embodiment of the nature sounds and their comprehension in ritual, song, and epic intonation), the projection of a person's personality outside (lyrics, epic, ritual), imitation phonoinstruments. All of them can be illustrated with unique authentic audio examples (sound images), photographs (visual images) from the researchers' field materials. The sounding landscape can be considered not only as a subject of research but also as a new methodology that allows us to identify those aspects of sound culture that often remained "behind the scenes" (it was developed by Y.I. Sheikin, O.E. Dobzhanskaya, and V.S. Nikiforova as part of the scientific activities of the Laboratory of Integrated Geocultural Studies of the Arctic (headed by Dmitry Zamyatin)). The least studied, but a very interesting area of the traditional culture of the peoples of the North is onomatopoeia - a vocal imitation of the voices of birds and animals, hunting and reindeer herding signals of the Chukchi, Khanty, Nganasan, etc. Folklore texts of the indigenous peoples of the North perfectly demonstrate the "filling" and "vitality" of the northern space, the sounding landscapes of the Arctic with the voices of people, gods, and spirits and destroy the stereotype of the emptiness and silence of the cold world, which has dominated Russian science for many years.

The residence "Sounding Landscape of the Arctic" is aimed at drawing attention to the need and importance of studying such an intangible sphere of the traditional culture of the North as musical heritage, sacred rhythms, melodies, tunes of ritual holidays, unique musical instruments of the indigenous peoples of the North, and is addressed to Russian and foreign musicians, sound artists, and interdisciplinary researchers.

You can apply for the program here.

AYARKUT AIR: In dialogue with nature

In recent years, the issues of ecology and environmental protection, rational nature management as the basis of economic development, and ensuring the security of territories have become increasingly acute and relevant. They are especially important for the Arctic territories of Yakutia, the economy and life support of which are to a certain extent connected with the use of natural resources. The state of the environment in conditions of the increasing impact of human activity on it and the growing number of environmental problems for many northern territories of the Sakha Republic increases the threat of natural and man-made emergencies.

To date, the urgent problems of environmental protection in the Arctic and northern territories of Yakutia are accumulated environmental damage, large-scale dumps of mining developments, local pollution areas where the scale of degradation of natural ecosystems reaches dangerous levels. After large-scale mining of tin ore, gold, coal, and other minerals, so-called lunar landscapes appeared in many areas, while appropriate land reclamation measures were not carried out. Thus, there are quarries filled with water in many places of Yakutia. The active industrial development of the Arctic and northern territories has a negative impact on the territories of reindeer pastures, as a result of which the number of northern domestic reindeer is decreasing.

In addition, the consequences of global warming affect Yakutia most strikingly, and the republic is considered one of the world's leading regions where the greatest warming is observed. Forest fires covering the republic are one of the direct consequences of global warming. The melting of permafrost, which occupies the territory of almost all of Yakutia, is another obvious threat that the international community fears due to the possible release of greenhouse gases during its melting. The results of research by international scholars indicate serious changes in permafrost landscapes and note the movement of different species of animals to the north with climate warming. Such processes are fraught with relocation for many residents who live on the permafrost.

The focus of the residence "In Dialogue with Nature" will be devoted to artistic research and interpretation of current environmental problems of Yakutia and the world, as well as ways to recreate the lost harmonious ties of man with nature.

You can apply for the program here.


The residency program is supported by the Arctic Institute of Culture and Arts (AGIKI) and the Institute for Humanitarian Research and Indigenous Studies of the North of Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Resident artists of AYARKUT AIR will be able to access the resource base of the institutes, get scientific advice from employees, and have expert counseling needed for the implementation of an art project.

Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts ( is the only regional university in Russia, which trains personnel in the field of culture and arts for the largest region of Russia - the North-East of the Arctic zone. AGIKI is one of the well-known leaders in the training of creative personnel of the small peoples of the Arctic. The key to the attractiveness of the Institute for the youth of the regions of the North, Siberia, and the Far East was the specificity of the content of educational programs based on the combination of academic art forms with the cultural traditions of the peoples of the Arctic. An important area of the Institute's work is the research center of circumpolar civilization. The leading school of Russia in the field of ethnomusicology, headed by Yu.I. Sheikin has developed in AGIKI. Researchers of this school are studying the musical and folklore heritage of the peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East. The Museum of Musical Instruments of the Peoples of North Asia was opened at the Institute in 2017 based on the unique personal collection of Professor Yu.I. Sheikin. The exhibits were collected as a result of more than 25 years of field collections and expeditions.

Institute of Humanitarian Studies and Problems of Small Peoples of the North of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IGIIPMNS SB RAS, /) is one of the oldest academic scientific institutions in Siberia with a humanitarian profile. The Institute, founded on the initiative of a prominent statesman and public figure P.A. Oyunsky as a Research Institute of Language and Culture at the SNK of the IAASSR, during its existence has made a huge contribution to the comprehensive study of languages, ethnic culture, and history of the peoples of the North-East of the Russian state. The main purpose of the Institute's work is to preserve and develop the national (ethnic) identity and cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia. The main directions of scientific activity of the Institute: the study of languages, literature, and folklore of the peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), as well as the small peoples of the North; the study of the historical experience of the formation and evolution of the Arctic civilization on the territory of the RS (Ya), the inclusion of Yakutia in the Russian Empire, historical events in Soviet and post-Soviet times; the study of cultural and historical processes in the territory of modern Yakutia in the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, the Middle Ages, as well as ethnogenesis, ethnic history, transformation of traditional cultures and the specifics of the mentality of the peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).


Artists working with painting, sculpture, graphics, photo and video, installation, public art, land art, new media, research-based art, science art, sound art, music, as well as curators and researchers in the humanities over the age of 18. Individual or collective participation is possible (up to 3 people).


The duration of the residence is 1 or 2 months to choose from.

The participant is provided with:

  1. Accommodation in an equipped studio in the center of Yakutsk;
  2. Workshop for work with an area of 30 m2 for sharing;
  3. PR project support;
  4. Assistance in coordinating the project (introduction to the context, organization of meetings, assistance in finding information and selecting literature)

The participant is expected to:

  1. Implement n and present the project during the residency (exhibition or other forms of presentation, organic for each project individually, depending on the concept);
  2. Conduct a welcome lecture;
  3. Hold an additional event in a different format (master class, seminar, field lecture, open day, educational course, etc.)


Priority is given to projects that meet the following requirements:

  1. Full compliance of research and artistic interests with the topic of the chosen residence;
  2. Site-specificity of the research, involvement of the resource base of partner Yakut organizations, focus on working with the local context of Yakutia;
  3. Elaborated project concept;
  4. Drawing up a work plan for the project and a preliminary estimate for its implementation


The AYARKUT AIR Art Residency Program operates on a competitive basis and considers all applications submitted before December 31, 2021 (until 23:59 GMT+9)

Required documents:

  1. Description of the research topic and final project (PDF file, no more than 3 pages);
  2. CV, (PDF file, maximum 25 MB);
  3. The current creative portfolio of projects (PDF file, maximum 25 MB)

Documents are accepted in Russian or English. Incomplete or incorrectly executed applications are not considered.

Documents can be sent in an online form on the website

The files must be sent in a single email to with the subject of the letter "Name of the chosen residence_name Name" (note: the name in the subject of the letter must match the name specified in the online application).

The first set of applications for the AYARKUT AIR Art Residence 2022 are received from October 13 to December 31, 2021.


  1. To cover the cost of air travel to Yakutsk airport. Visa fees and travel insurance are covered by the participants;
  2. Provide accommodation in the center of Yakutsk for the duration of the residence, cover living expenses (per diem);
  3. To cover the costs of the project (up to 300,000 rubles);
  4. To provide the necessary administrative assistance on the spot, to get acquainted with the local context, to introduce the local art community, as well as representatives of local institutions and other specialists;
  5. The program cannot provide a joint stay in the artists' residence with their families, but the foundation's team can help give recommendations on finding housing in Yakutsk

If you have any questions about the residency programs, please contact