Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS) program: scholarships and admissions requirements

Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS) program: scholarships and admissions requirements

Valais School of Art (EDHEA)

Nyakallo Maleke, (« …to be given back distorted » : code switching duologues), 2019, Photo: Maëlle Cornut.

March 31, 2020
Master of Arts in Public Spheres (MAPS) program: scholarships and admissions requirements

Application deadline: April 3, 2020
Valais School of Art (EDHEA)
Route de la Bonne-Eau 16
3960 Sierre Valais/Wallis

T +41 58 606 95 11

MAPS—Master of Arts in Public Spheres—is an agile multi-sited program which foregrounds travelling and displacing as part of its experimental approach to artistic research. The two-year program is part of the HES-SO University of Applied Arts and Sciences and is geared to artists, who wish to explore the relationship between art and environmental, political, cultural, and media-related dimensions of the public sphere. 

The program is composed of eight stations per year, each consisting of 7–10 days, in which the student’s work becomes a starting point for continuous reflections and artistic exchange. These fluid node points with their various forms of (un-)learning, include research activities, seminars and workshops, screenings, performances, exhibition making, collective discussions and face to face discussions. Stations are conceived by visiting lecturers, students and tutors and foster highly concentrated and convivial moments during which the participants interrogate the public spheres by intervening artistically, investigating environmentally and socially engaged art practices, considering writing and publishing as an artistic practice, working with postcolonial, queer and feminist theories, and adopting alternative approaches to pedagogy. In between the stations, the artists continue their research individually or within self-organized Study Groups, a process that is supported by tutors. Due to the program’s pluri-national context, collective exchange usually take place in English. However, Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish are frequently spoken languages among tutors and students and navigating in-between linguistic spaces has become a common practice.

The MAPS home base is located in the alpine town of Sierre in the canton of Valais. Surrounded by an idyllic landscape, the valley is also witness to (post-)industrial development and has become an international laboratory for studying the effects of climate change. Situated at the crossroads between several language borders, Sierre is well connected to various regions of Switzerland as well as to Italy and thus offers access to a broad view on cultural practices.

Half of the stations take place in Valais, the other half in exchange with national and international institutions as well as independent initiatives with which MAPS has established a sustainable network. Recent partners and hosts include, among others, the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, the Vilnius Academy of the Arts and the Nida Art Colony, TRAIN—Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation of Chelsea College of the Arts London, the Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Walking Encounters in Psarades (Florina School of the Arts), the FAR Festival in Nyon, the Arsenic in Lausanne, the collective Mesa 8 in Conception and the CIC in Cairo.

Current research questions investigated by the faculty include art and labour, politics of attention, environmental crises, speculative narratives, transformation through repetition, critical site-specificities as well as feminist, post and decolonial art histories.

Collaborations with art residency programs offer a fluid transition between the program and the ensuing artistic career. The program’s sustainability is also founded on the regular contributions of alumni whom MAPS support as artists, cultural agents and co-researchers.

Applications and requirements
Required qualification: Bachelor's diploma in visual arts and/or equivalent training and experience. Applicants must submit their application in English or French by April 3, 2020.

All information on the EDHEA website:

EDHEA scholarship
The EDHEA scholarship supports students who wish to work intensively on site during their Master's studies. It consists of one room in a 3-room apartment in Sierre (additional costs for electricity and water are paid by the student). Candidates who would like to apply additionally enclose a short letter of motivation with the note "EDHEA scholarship" (max. 1 A4 page) to their MAPS application.

Wyss Foundation scholarship
The Wyss Foundation scholarship is a fellowship for international emerging artists from Latin American, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries. It is awarded to selected MAPS students by the Hansjoerg Wyss Foundation. Eligible candidates who wish to apply additionally enclose the Wyss Fellowship form (EDHEA website) to their MAPS application.

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March 31, 2020

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