Deadline: Open call

La Wayaka Current / TROPIC 9°N

Tropic Residency + Research Project in a Protected Indigenous Region with Community, Forest and Sea.

LA WAYAKA CURRENT are currently taking applications for artists in residence for 21 or 42 days to join us on the next expeditions to our Tropic Location. This will be an opportunity for artists to create projects in a remote, tropical, rainforest and coastal environment while also living and learning from isolated indigenous communities as we are currently based inside a Guna indigenous village.


Please Read Carefully...

This residency is not suitable for everyone. Artists will need to demonstrate they have the ability to get out of their comfort zone and act independently in order to grow. Artists must be open minded, up for challenging themselves in less 'comfortable' conditions to create memorable and life changing experiences. Artists must be able to live and work in a communal environment with other artists, no private studios with air con and luxury - this is expedition style living in vast, natural and remote landscapes, a small price to pay for being in these spectacular locations. At our tropic location we will be living inside a community and artists must also be prepared for this.

Description of residency

We are pleased to launch LA WAYAKA CURRENT, a new exploratory arts project andunique artist in residence program operating in three contrasting and remote geographical locations. We are the first to offer artist residencies working with indigenous tribes in such remote locations. Expeditions to the three locations will happen throughout the year and artists can apply to join.

We currently offer artists a chance to engage with projects in spectacular natural landscapes, difficult to access and remote locations. 

We are collaborating together with indigenous groups for this project.

Artists are responsible for securing their own funding to cover the subsidised costs we ask for at each location.

LA WAYAKA CURRENT / Tropic will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for artists to work on projects in the tropical region of South & Central America living with an isolated, autonomous and indigenous community in Guna Yala. We currently offer a residency alongside us for artists and projects at Tropic, here you will work at the location with us for either 21 or 42 days.

We are supporting self-directed, contemporary art projects in alternative locations and facing crucial issues of our time. We are the first to offer artists the chance to make residencies with remote indigenous communities and for this we are working in collaboration and permission of the Tribal Congress of Guna Yala.

Duration of residency

21 / 42 days.

Dates for 2018

  • April 24 - May 15, 2018

  • May 17 - June 7, 2018

  • June 10 - July 1, 2018

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

All disciplines are welcome to participate in the project to create a dynamic, collaborative and open environment. Disciplines include sculpture, installation, site-specific works, drawing, painting, writing, sound/music, visual arts, moving image, research etc.

Work equipment includes basic tools (tools used in the local area). Natural materials are available for artists to use in sustainable ways and learn about local techniques such as clay, bamboo, wood, palms etc. 


As an artist at Tropic you will be living in a small community, isolated in nature between the jungle and ocean. Here artists will have basic accommodation, traditionally built bamboo house with palm thatched roof with shared toilet, shower, bedrooms, communal space, solar powered energy (limited) - light, power outlets, padlocks for locking doors. This is expedition style living meaning you will be sharing between 2-3 per room - private rooms may be available depending on availability and will be with additional fee. Clean safe drinking water will be provided.

Studio/ Workspace

Artists are encouraged to use the nature and environment as their workspace - work outdoors along the coast, in the jungle or within the community. There will be basic and communal workspace for artists provided with desks and chairs. 

Cost and Support

We subsidise costs through our project to keep the costs as low as possible for artists. Artists are responsible for securing their own funding from their own countries. We are a non-profit and many artists who have come with us have been successful at gaining funding from different cultural and arts institutions in their home countries.

We have built a project that gives artists opportunities to apply for and receive funding support internationally to join us. In the past supporters such as Danish Arts Foundation, Swedish Arts Council, OCA Norway, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture and Arts Council UK have offered artists funds as a result of our project. Artists have also raised successful crowd funding campaigns to realise their projects with us and others find their own private ways of funding themselves.

We have experience working and living in these difficult to access locations developing relationships, trust and understanding in all areas of the communities and area to make the best out of this project for everyone involved who participates.

The subsidised cost of the residency is currently -

  • 21 days - £1,200 GBP
  • 42 days - £2,400 GBP

We do not provide:

  • funding beyond the subsidised cost
  • transport other than the local pick up and drop off (from nearest airport/harbour on day set residency starts and ends)
  • personal materials further than the opportunity to use and work with local materials and the land in resourceful, respectful and sustainable ways.
  • Translation for projects or contacts for artists to use for their projects. If an artists wants to work with members of the community it is their own responsibility to build relationships and they must consider that people may not want to be photographed or filmed. Artists must not expect and depend on this for their projects success, they must remain open minded and have other alternatives if this option proves difficult. Please read our Terms and Conditions if you wish to apply with a photography project.
  • Insurance and liability. Artists are responsible for themselves and must take out private travel insurance.

We provide:

  • Environment - beautiful and remote geographical locations
  • The opportunity to be part of a dynamic group of other artists
  • Accommodation in remote natural landscapes w/ shared expedition rustic living arrangements. *limited electricity and little to no internet
  • Food Supplies for communal cooking (3 meals a day) in these remote locations we have limited resources so it will be expedition style / basic food.
  • Transport local pick up and drop off (from nearest airport or harbour that we state, on day set residency starts and ends)
  • Workspace - communal and outdoor. Artists should find it an interesting concept to work outdoors within the landscape, challenge their practice and create site specific work using limited tools and resources / what is available.
  • Introduction to artists on arrival.
  • There will be 1-2 La Wayaka Current project overseers at each location to oversee the project, assist with certain logistics to do with the project and give advice.

Expectations towards the artist

Artists who apply will need to demonstrate their ability to be self-directed. Our residencies are centred around the individual artists self directed practices, giving them space to develop and work at their own pace and direction. We do not provide a set program or itinerary for artists to follow, this is also due to the remote locations - here set schedules are not possible as everything depends on weather and local/cultural lifestyle within the community, this is part of the residency and artists must be prepared for this. Artists will have the opportunity to join us in activities we create to share and connect to the local area, culture and communities.

We expect artists come into the project with a basic knowledge and respect for the local area and culture. Basic Spanish language is also useful if you plan to try and work with people in the community. We expect the artists to produce high quality research and works that involve contemporary art and themes of the residency.

  • Artists must demonstrate the capacity to and be responsible for their own time planning, research, execution and production of works. 
  • Artists must demonstrate their ability to rise to the challenging aspects of the location. Part of the experience is to disconnect and there is limited to no electricity or internet at our locations.
  • We expect artists to fill out a digital document after the completion residency about their experience for our records and to potentially be shown on our online platform or in future exhibitions. 

Application information

We have an on-going deadline and artists may apply at any time.

The applications will be reviewed by the jurors of the project consisting of the directors of La Wayaka Current and potential our location partners. You may be asked to answer further questions after submitting an application. Response time is usually between 10 - 30 days. 

Tropic Specific Rules in regards to Film / Photography

At Tropic the Guna indigenous group we will be working with have special rules and requirements for projects with commercial gain that involves profit. This is in order to protect their culture and you will need to consider this if you plan to exhibit, publish or sell any of your images/ film from here. You will have to acquire special permission independently from the Tribal General Congress of Guna Yala, Panama. For any work of this nature you will also have to ask permission from the individuals involved and respect what the community decide is appropriate to film or photograph. An exchange might be involved in some cases or people can refuse. Cameras are restricted from most sacred places, for documenting spiritual objects and during ceremonies. You must respect their wishes, beliefs and traditions.

At Tropic,La Wayaka Current is working with permission from The General Tribal Congress of Guna Yala, Panama and the Sailas 'spiritual elders' and leaders of the community. We will be living under the rules of the community, as in any other country where they have their own rules or requirements. If you are found disrespecting the rules of the community or the comarca, doing something wrong in secret we will not be held accountable and you will be responsible as an individual - this could involve a fine, asking you to delete any material or even leave the location.


La Wayaka Current / TROPIC 9°N

La Wayaka Current / TROPIC 9°N


No application deadline / Open call

Residency starts

Residency ends

More information

Posted by:
La Wayaka Current