Programme 2022

Programme for Emerging Artistic Researchers

PEERS is a new pre-PhD programme of the Department of Performing Arts and Film at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Its main aim is to support emerging artistic researchers who are interested in pursuing a doctorate in the arts, foremost yet not exclusively in the performing arts and film.
For a period of one year, starting in March, participants get the opportunity to benefit from an intensive mentoring and training programme. They become part of the vibrant research environment at ZHdK (such as lab-practice, colloquia, symposia, research academy), and gain access to the University’s outstanding infrastructure and relevant professional networks. Participants also benefit from peer-to-peer learning in the Junior Research Group and receive tailored support aimed at promoting their individual development. They are assisted in developing their individual research plan, as well as in searching and applying for artistic PhD programmes at ZHdK and beyond.

Programme activities:

  • Mentoring:
    PEERS participants are mentored by two mentors, which are choosen individually from a pool of mentors at ZHdK, our partner universities, and beyond. Every participant receives 44 mentoring hours during the year (equivalent to one contact hour a week during the semester).
  • Workshops & training:
    Four intensive workshops and classes on artistic research methods, application strategies for PhD programmes, and presentation skills (14 days in total), as well as a one-week summer residency.
  • Junior Research Group (JRG): 
    PEERS participants
    are part of the JRG, together with PhD students of the department. The JRG offers innovative collaboration formats, practice-led research and ongoing peer-to-peer-learning.
  • International exchange:
    The PEERS programme collaborates with 3rd Cycle Programmes at Amsterdam University of the Arts and UdK Berlin, as well as with partner institutions of the PhD Programme
    (in Graz, Potsdam-Babelsberg, and Stockholm). Exchange is fostered by joint events during the year that are open to PEERS participants. 
  • Individual development:
    An individual financial plan will be devised with every participant at the beginning of the programme. Participants are each awarded a personal budget of up to CHF 3’000. This amount can be used to cover research trips, equipment, books, conference or festival participation, as well as other activities and measures serving to develop one’s research plan. We also cover participants’ travel expenses to Zurich and their accommodation costs.

The programme also provides access to ZHdK’s infrastructure (desks, studios, labs, IT and technical equipment, libraries, internal further education, support by the ZHdK Grants Office and the Institute for the Performing Arts and Film, IPF).

Current PEERS 2022/2023

Lawrence Agbetsise, a filmmaker, editor and a contemporary artist from Ghana. He is concerned with the exploration of transdisciplinary approach to expand the spectrum of dynamic storytelling as an alternative means of tackling existing challenges socially, culturally and politically through art. He has been invited to prestigious Film programmes and often works with stories in relation to Africa and the world to entertain, educate and promote social change.

Sam Crane, a British actor known for his critically acclaimed performances at the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, in The West End and on Broadway. He is also a prolific screen actor and has appeared in many successful television shows. As his alter ego Rustic Mascara, he attracted over 50 thousand views to his radical attempts to perform Shakespeare inside GTA online and had his films shown at contemporary art and film festivals worldwide. Currently, he is making a BFI funded documentary about this work and has been longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2022.

Meloe Gennai, a poet who grew up among Black women who were activists, artists, writers and scholars. Having had access to their thoughts and libraries at a very young age, Meloe built their mixed-race trans non-binary self with a strong sense of belonging and consciousness. They graduated in Law, Literature and History and worked as a legalist and activist; and it is through a combination of circumstances that Meloe has become an artist. Their art practice explores embodied narratives through poems, moving images and performance.

Anouk Hoogendorn, an artist and writer, who studied Fine Arts and Writing at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam, with a practice that is theoretical, textual, and visual. Main interests include radical pedagogies from a process philosophical approach and the act of fabulative writing in the (visual) arts. The practice always has an important collaborative and experimental orientation to it.

Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolau, a filmmaker with a background in literature, philosophy and sociology, working in the field of cinematic sensory ethnography. He experiments with new film formats and languages through practice and teaching, directing creative non-fiction films and teaching audiovisual research methods at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ).

Ginan Seidl, an artist and filmmaker who creates video installations, feature-length and short (hybrid) documentary and experimental films. Ginan studied fine arts in Halle (Saale), Berlin and Mexico City, she participated in the Professional Media Master Class and the Master Class Lab of Werkleitz e.V. in 2012 and 2016.  Also she is part of the film art collective FILZ.

PEERS 2021/2022

Alexandre Achour, a choreographer and performer in the contemporary independent dance scene. With his research, Alxandre is interested in examining dance and its tremendous diversity and approach to public, with the aim to create a pluricultural landscape of local dance practices.

Andrew Champlin, a contemporary performer, choreographer, and ballet researcher based in Berlin. For his artistic research, Andrew seeks to create a compendium of ballet technique, which takes shape in a digitally interactive manual of critical pedagogy.

Setareh Fatehi, a Teheran and Amsterdam based choreographer, working with dance as a socialising practice and gaze as a choreographic tool. In her current research, Setareh works with Parallax as an ability to see two or more images at once, to provoke a feeling of absence or confusion in what is actually present.

Rahel Kesselring, a scenographer and cultural scientist working in various constellations in the context of performance, theatre and installation. Rahel’s research project is a search for the autonomy, self-efficacy, vulnerability and resilience of environments, landscapes and territories.

Hendrik Quast, a queer performance artist who works within different contexts of the performing and visual arts, and as author and director of radio plays. Hendrik‘s research-project is dedicated to chronic, invisible diseases and their relationship to humorous representations in contemporary performing arts and society.

Tabea Rothfuchs, a scenographer who has been creating media scenographies and interactive installations for dance, performance and musical theatre productions internationally for over ten years. Her artistic research focuses on the topic of chronic pain, based on an artistic residency in a pain clinic as well as conversations with chronic pain patients.

Our six PEERS in their summer residency at the Alpenhof in Appezell.
Hendrik, Tabea, Andrew and his dog, Rahel, Setareh (remote) and Alexandre as well as the head of the 3rd Cycle Yvonne Schmidt.

Call for Applications 2023/24

The Call for Applications for 2023/24 is currently taking place. For more information on the call please check out the official document. The application deadline is the 30. September 2022 at 17:00 (CEST).

The PEERS programme is going into its third cohort and we are looking for five mid-career artists with profound artistic practice in theatre, dance, performance or film.

If you have any further questions, please e-mail

In case you have concerns regarding accessibility in the course of the application procedure, please contact us in time.

The PEERS Call for applications is launched every year in Summer. The first cohort of the PEERS programme started March 2021.

Activities Schedule 2023/24:

 02. – 04. March 2023 Kick-off Event

 14. – 15. April 2023 Starter Workshop

16. – 17. June 2023 (tbc) Activities with the Pre-Doc-Programme Fine Arts

10. – 14. July 2023 Summer Residency

04. – 08. September 2023 Module “Research Strategies” 

02. – 04. November 2023 Workshop “How to write a PhD application”

Early February 2024 Sharing (2-3 days)

Activities Schedule 2022/23:

01. October 2021 5pm (GMT+2) Deadline Call for Applications

03.–05. March 2022 Kick-off Event

08.–09. April 2022 Starter Workshop

17. –18. June 2022 (tbc) activities with the PreDoc-programme Fine Arts

11.–15. July 2022 Summer residency

12.–16. September 2022 Module «Research Strategies»

03.–05. November 2022 Workshop «How to write a PhD application»

February 2023 Sharing (2-3 days)

Individual meetings will be scheduled personally throughout the year.

In addition: Regular Junior Research Group Meetings (dates to be established with the group)
*All dates are preliminary and may be subject to change. Due to Covid-19, events might take place in a virtual or hybrid format.

Current Mentors

  • Khairani Barokka
  • Henry Bell
  • Mareike Bernien
  • Philip Cartelli
  • Sher Doruff
  • Emily Gallier
  • Nicola Genovese
  • Jyoti Mistry
  • Liselott Mariett Olsson
  • Mark Oosterveen
  • Christien Reeh-Peters
  • Ilse van Rijn
  • Barak adé Solei

 Bio Mentors 2022 (in progress)