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French Embassy in India Announces Winners of Villa Swagatam 2023-2024: Fostering Indo-French Artistic Exchange

The French Embassy in India and the French Institute in India have unveiled the 17 talented winners selected for the inaugural season of the Villa Swagatam residency programme. This unique initiative aims to foster artistic exchange between India and France by providing artists and writers with the opportunity to spend one to three months in India at one of the 16 partner residences. From this month until spring 2024, the selected residents will engage with the vibrant and innovative contemporary arts scene in India, creating meaningful connections and collaborations.

Villa Swagatam: Encouraging Indo-French Dialogue on Arts and Literature

The Villa Swagatam residency programme, launched with great enthusiasm in New Delhi on 3 March, is a testament to the desire of both France and India to explore and strengthen their cultural ties. The selected partner residences were carefully chosen for their ability to immerse the residents in the rich tapestry of Indian art, live performances, and literary creations. Villa Swagatam aims to be more than just a residency; it strives to be an experience that ignites inspiration, encourages professional networking, and fosters a deep understanding of India’s vibrant creative ecosystem.

A Diverse Selection Process and Profiles

The call for applications, open from 20 April to 5 June 2023, garnered an overwhelming response with over 200 applications from a diverse pool of writers, cartoonists, visual artists, performing arts professionals, and designers. The French Institute in India, in collaboration with Indian partner organizations, meticulously reviewed each application to identify the most promising candidates.

The final selection comprises 17 artists and writers with varied profiles, including both emerging talents and established practitioners. For the young artists, Villa Swagatam offers a platform to develop their skills and expand their horizons with the support of experienced partners. At the same time, seasoned artists will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in new environments, learn new techniques, and enrich their artistic practice.

Indo-French Collaboration in S&T (E)
Indo-French Collaboration in S&T (E). Courtesy:Indian Science

A Journey of Artistic Discovery

For many of the selected residents, this will be their first encounter with India, a voyage of artistic discovery that holds the promise of fruitful long-term collaborations. The programme aims to facilitate meaningful interactions with local professionals and peers, creating a vibrant community of cultural exchange. For others, Villa Swagatam represents an opportunity to revisit India, further nurturing their creative ties with the country and realizing specific artistic projects.

Villa Swagatam: A Building Block in the Global Artistic Residency Network

The Villa Swagatam residency programme aligns itself with prestigious French initiatives worldwide, focused on establishing networks of artistic residencies. These include Villa Albertine in the United States, Villa Kujoyama in Japan, Casa de Velazquez in Spain, Villa Medicis, and the Grand Tour in Italy. With this network, Villa Swagatam becomes a pivotal player in promoting artistic and cultural connections across borders.

French Minister unveils Villa Swagatam to boost Indo-French cultural engagement – ThePrint – ANIFeed
French Minister unveils Villa Swagatam to boost Indo-French cultural engagement. Courtesy:ThePrint – ANIFeed

Future Outlook and Mutual Enrichment

Looking ahead, Villa Swagatam aspires to expand its horizons by facilitating artistic residencies for Indian artists and writers in France. This reciprocity will create a continuous flow of exchanges, fostering mutual enrichment and deepening the cultural relations between France and India. The long-term vision is to create a community of artists and writers dedicated to nurturing Indo-French artistic dialogue.


The Villa Swagatam residency programme stands as a symbol of Indo-French artistic collaboration and cultural understanding. By providing a platform for artistic exploration and exchange, the initiative strengthens the bonds between France and India and enhances the global artistic landscape. As the first cohort of artists and writers embarks on their creative journeys in India, Villa Swagatam sets the stage for an exciting future of artistic partnerships and mutual inspiration.

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