Decolonial encounters: Historical and contemporary narratives in Europe

Apply here until 6.12.2020

How we perceive the world around us is interwoven with narrated stories of colonisation which has deeply inscribed itself into European society. Dealing with the consequences of our colonial past is nowadays present on many levels: In the Netherlands, a debate on the figure of Black Pete (Zwarte Piet), Saint Nicholas’ companion, is going on for many years. In summer 2020, following the protest movements in the USA, monuments of colonial lords were destroyed and removed in several European countries. Initiatives research how the colonial past is still noticeable in urban environments and are committed to making these traces visible. Names of streets and institutions are critically questioned and re-named.

The platform for young civil society leaders “Europe Lab” has been highlighting historical memory in Europe for the past five years. We are now launching a new Open Call and invite young activists, cultural practitioners, researchers, NGO and media representatives to hand in their concept notes on the topic of Decolonial encounters. Under the heading of decolonial encounters, we understand reflections in art, science and (civil) society on colonial entanglement in the present and past. We are searching for creative solutions to overcome eurocentrism, racism and foster spaces for dialogue and equal rights.

The granted projects will be presented during the 7th edition of Europe Lab in the Netherlands in July 2021.

What we are looking for

  • Ideas for creative and cultural projects from international teams: at least two people from two different European countries (including Russia, EaP countries, council of Europe countries). Applicants should be born after 1980 and can apply as individuals or as a non-profit organisation.
  • Projects can represent and include multiple disciplines: Documentary film, photography, (field) research, activism, performing and participatory arts, literature and many more.
  • Results of the projects can be exhibitions, artistic projects, performances, multimedia products, event series. They should be presented and exhibited in the framework of Europe Lab in July 2021 in the Netherlands.
  • Applicants can be alumni of Europe Lab or members of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, but proposals from new teams are also welcome.

What do we offer

  • Funding of up to 3 projects with a maximum sum of 6.000 € each.
  • Travel to the Netherlands in July 2021 for at least two members of each project team if the situation with COVID-19 pandemic allows. Otherwise online formats and exhibitions will be planned.
  • Consultation and guidance by experienced Europe Lab team in Berlin and the Netherlands.


19.11.2020, 16.00 – 17.30: Online Q & A for interested applicants. Sign up here

6.12.2020, midnight CET: Deadline for project sketches

13.12.2020 Announcement of short-listed projects. Preparation of detailed application documents

1.1.2021 – 1.7.2021 Project implementation phase

14.-18.7.2021 Presentation and exhibition of projects at Europe Lab in Amsterdam and Assen, Netherlands

Please submit your application using the online form. Bear in mind that you also have to upload a short video pitch of your project idea together with the form.

Any questions? Please get in touch with us: