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Application and Residency Conditions 2024-25

The Citadelle de Marseille/Iméra residency “Utopian viewpoints on Marseille” is open to multidisciplinary artists and researchers in urban planning, architecture, humanities and social sciences, mediation, and heritage. Additionally, it may address researchers specializing in Marseille or similar dynamics to those described below from a comparative perspective.

Located at the heart of a historic monument and a cultural project driven by social and solidarity economy, the Citadelle de Marseille embodies multiple significant issues faced by contemporary society. As a site of memory, a former military building, a social integration project, and a partially polluted site, it is intertwined with sensitive and vibrant histories that form the core of its programming. This programming highlights a plurality of heritage approaches—built heritage, intangible heritage, living heritage, reinvented heritage—thus making visible numerous species and experiences that have been overlooked, questioning established hierarchies.

However, these heritages are part of Marseille’s history. The intertwining of these issues in the new chapter of the history of Fort Saint-Nicolas/Entrecasteaux invites us to see it as a laboratory for transforming perspectives and the appropriation of heritage by the Marseille population. In relation to the “utopian perspectives on Marseille” theme, what can be understood about Marseille and its past and present dynamics from Fort Saint-Nicolas/Entrecasteaux? Conversely, what can be understood and imagined about Fort Saint-Nicolas/Entrecasteaux from the history of Marseille and its present?

To address these questions, it is necessary to consider the stark contrast between the rich history of the fort and its current multi-layered project. On one hand, there is a military and colonial history marked by longstanding tensions between Marseille and Paris, characterized by a lack of trust in centralization. On the other hand, there is the current project rooted in social and solidarity economy, giving significant importance to art and ecology. This ambitious project offers a glimpse of a transition from the myth of Marseille as a resilient city to the reality and possibility of a truly resilient city, socially and in symbiosis with the living world. It could thus become a place for concrete utopias built upon a complex site and history, taking into account the negotiations at play.

To address these questions, the residency project “Citadelle de Marseille/Iméra: Utopian Perspectives on Marseille” should be grounded in the fort site and reflect on its connection with the individuals involved in the project, while benefiting from the interdisciplinary context of Iméra and the local scientific and/or cultural ecosystem. Finally, the project should incorporate participatory methods, which are at the forefront at the Citadelle de Marseille.

Among the preferred axes:

  1. An integrative and utopian approach to history, memory, and parallel narratives: production, invention, and exchange of knowledge.

The Citadelle de Marseille aims to explore the diversity of narratives that make up its history, including citizen memories, military archives, testimonies, collective imaginaries, and academic research. Attention is given to certain forms of invisibility, as part of a new approach to research on Marseille (see the collective work Marseille Mozaic. A Mediterranean City at the Crossroads of Cultures, 2023). The question of knowledge creation lies at the heart of the Citadelle’s challenges, as it does not possess a traditional collection, but rather a multiplicity of narratives and individuals who share its memory. The proposed projects can focus on memorial and historical issues related to the site and its Marseille context, contributing to the creation of a future historical interpretation center. Special attention will be given to a contemporary perspective on these issues.

  1. Utopian negotiations on a polluted site: respecting living heritage and questioning the hierarchy of the living.

The history of the fort encompasses not only human history but also the history of fauna and flora, populated by native species that have recently been joined by other species reflecting globalization and displacement, confronted with the presence of contaminants as persistent traces of human activities. These species now constitute the existing ecosystem.

Beyond its material heritage value, recognized by its classification as a Historic Monument, the geographical and topographical site of Fort d’Entrecasteaux, surrounded by three hectares of green spaces, preserves the traces of the calanque in which it was built in the 17th century. It bears witness to centuries of urban redevelopment, military occupation, and human uses that have had a direct impact on biodiversity, as observed in other natural spaces in Marseille shaped by human industries. Particularly, the soils, considered as non-renewable resources and living heritage at the Citadelle de Marseille, are intended to receive the same conservation, restoration, and valorization care as the built heritage.

In the coming years, the Citadelle de Marseille will serve as a field of study for the history of the living and experimentation with different solutions for responsible management of pollution in relation to the uses and history of the spaces and species involved. This will be done in close collaboration with the Population Environment Development Laboratory (LPED UMR 151 IRD AMU), specializing in urban ecology.

With the aim of cross-cutting expertise and contextualizing environmental issues, the residency aims to focus on research and creative practices around living ecosystems and their connection to issues of geographic displacement and power relations among living beings.


Applications deadline: October 16,  2023, 1 PM (Paris time)

Duration of residence:  5 months

Period of residency: from 10 February, 2025 to 4 July, 2025

Eligibility criteria

Applications are open to scientists from all fields, and to artists, whether they are junior or senior and following the specific criteria set by each program.

– For scientists:

  • Not to have lived in France more than 12 months during the three years preceding this call for applications.
  • Hold a Doctorate or PhD.

–  For artists:

  • Not to have lived in France more than 12 months during the three years preceding this call for applications.
  • No pre-requirements of diploma and employment contract.

Remuneration and accommodation

Scientists remuneration

  • Junior: €2,000 monthly allowance
  • Senior: €3,000 monthly allowance

Are considered juniors, scientists who, at the closing date of the call for applications, have full-time postdoctoral research experience ranging between 2 to 9 years.

Are considered seniors, scientists with minimum 10 years’ experience in full-time research after obtaining the PhD as at the closing date of the call for applications, and university professors.

Artists remuneration

Artists will receive €2,000 monthly allowance or salary (depending on their candidate status).

Residents will also benefit from paid travel expenses and free accommodation on Iméra premises.

Selection Criteria

Application assessment criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Candidate’s history.
  • The scientific or artistic project; on the basis of its originality and rigor, risk-taking and the potential for experimentation, the place given to collaboration, making the most of opportunities within the intellectual community of Citadelle de Marseille, Iméra (residents and scientific team) and the Aix-Marseille University, while actively contributing to its animation.
  • The interdisciplinary approach; on the basis of a proven practice and a project where it is practicable.


Online applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • A duly completed application form (mandatory fields);
  • A curriculum vitae including a list of publications for researchers, and / or former works for artists.
  • A presentation of the project (maximum 5 pages) followed by a selective bibliography (compulsory for researchers) or a list of artistic and scientific references (compulsory for artists).
  • A letter of support from an Aix-Marseille University researcher or associate/assistant professor.

About the chair’s partner

Located in the heart of Marseille on a site classified as a historic monument since 1969, and never before open to the public except on very rare occasions, La Citadelle de Marseille, also known as “Fort Saint-Nicolas,” will gradually open its doors starting in spring 2024.

The ambition of La Citadelle de Marseille is to create a true place of life and creation on this emblematic site of Marseille’s history, with and for everyone, while respecting the values of inclusion and transmission that have driven this project from its inception. It aims to have strong cultural, artistic, and sustainable development ambitions. La Citadelle intends to extend Acta Vista‘s socially responsible management model to the future jobs of the site. Restoration, hospitality, security, and mediation will all serve as opportunities to make it a real driver of inclusion.