Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS) grants up to four Southeast Asian candidates a three-month fellowship to work with one or more audio-visual collections located in the network’s Southeast Asian partner institutions. Successful applicants will commence their research in the first quarter of 2024, starting in February or March depending on the arrangement with the host institution.

1. Eligibility

The fellow can be an artist, curator, activist, scholar, or other stakeholders of the sonic repertoire they intend to consult for research, artistic, performance, curational, ritual, or private purposes. Profile:

  1. National AND resident of Southeast Asia. The applicant’s address must be in SEA during the application process, as well as the time of the fellowship. SEA nationals living or studying abroad are automatically disqualified.
  2. The archive of choice should be in a different city than the researcher’s home institution or place of residence. Applicants cannot apply for an institution that is in the same city as their residence. (Acceptable options: from Manila doing research in Hanoi, or a Resident of Jogjakarta doing research in Jakarta.)
  3. Early or mid-career artist, curator, activist, scholar, or other stakeholder of the sound archives. DeCoSEAS will prioritize applicants from equity-seeking groups.
  4. Someone who is passionate about sound recordings and enthusiastic about delving deeper into (colonial) archives. 
  5. Good communication skills in English 
  6. Linguistic and cultural familiarity with Southeast Asian sound recordings 

2. Choices of archives to work with

Selected candidates will carry out their research at their institution of choice.
List of host institutions: 

3. Stipend and support

The fellow will receive a stipend of 1,000 EUR monthly for a maximum of three months. The stipend is intended to cover the fellow’s accommodation, local commute, and daily living expenses throughout their fellowship stay. In addition, the grant will cover costs for a round-trip flight, health and travel insurance for the duration of the Fellowship, and the visa process (if needed).  

4. Types of support provided during Fellowship

All archives have varying degrees of organization and accessibility. DeCoSEAS can provide support by:

  • Endorsing fellows to archival institutions 
  • Facilitating communication with archivists and archival staff 
  • Facilitating getting access to the archival materials 
  • Providing artistic, academic, or professional advice through DeCoSEAS’ host partners
  • Providing a desk in one of the partner institutions 

Whereas DeCoSEAS supports fellows in getting access to the materials, acquiring this access might remain difficult, time-consuming, or bureaucratic. DeCoSEAS suggests the following options to deal with these hurdles:

  • Access might become easier when prospective fellows know what kind of materials they need (sound recordings or correspondence from specific eras, organizations or persons, photographs from particular objects or peoples, etc.) and for what aims. Applicants are encouraged to indicate this in their proposal. 
  • DeCoSEAS can help determine topics, areas of focus, approaches, and archival collections. Feel free to raise questions or requests for suggestions and guidance in the proposal.

5. What we expect from the fellow

  1. Give a public presentation of their project. 
    The presentation can be a report of their process, a short excerpt of the project, etc. This presentation can be in any format. The date can be determined in coordination with your host institution. Fellows are expected to have two presentations: A mid-fellowship presentation and a Final Presentation.
  2. Report problems encountered during archival research.
    Fellows are requested to keep a log of the hurdles they encounter when accessing the archival materials they need. These hurdles can encompass bureaucratic policies, language barriers, curatorial, academic, and other logistical issues. DeCoSEAS will use the fellows’ regular briefing to formulate recommendations for improving access to these and other heritage institutions.
    Fellows are requested to share their findings with peers at one or more of the host institutions during talks, events, and workshops for academic and curatorial audiences as well as the broader public. The fellow is expected to provide a final report on these issues at the end of the Fellowship. This report will be on the DeCoSEAS website.
  3. Contribute to the contextualization of the (colonial) archival materials.
    These contributions can take the form of assisting in the transcription, translation, providing descriptions, and data enhancement of the archival documents. These contributions will be made in consultation with the project partner(s) and host institution(s)

DeCoSEAS incorporates the fellows’ research outputs in the project’s publications and outreach projects in 2024.

Application Procedure

Application Requirements

All applications must be submitted as one PDF file by 12:00NN CET on Monday, 20 November 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The application must be completed in English and must adhere to the word limits. Do not supply material other than that specifically requested in the application.
The name of the pdf file must follow the format: “Family Name_DeCoSEAS Fellowship 2024”.
This fellowship is intended for individual candidates. Group proposals are automatically disqualified.

Candidates can apply by completing the application form consisting of the following:

  1. An 800-1,000 word proposal indicating specific reasons for visiting one of the above-mentioned audio-visual archives or collections of choice (for instance, the request for specific archival material or indexes). Please provide a short description of the proposed output (book, article, artwork, digital curation, film, event, political action, repatriation, etc.). Explain how your project fits into the DeCoSEAS agenda and motivate the value of your research (See the guidelines).
  2. proposed timetable of the project goals. Provide a work plan to show the progress of the work that is planned during the fellowship. This timetable can be preliminary. Once accepted, the fellow can work with DeCoSEAS staff to finalize the plan.
  3. biographical CV indicating the fellow’s background as a scholar, artist, curator, archivist, cultural diplomat, activist, community member, or stakeholder of the audio material to be accessed. Early career applicants are prioritized.

An online info session is scheduled on 10 November, 09:00-10:30 CET. During this video call, potential applicants can address their specific questions to DeCoSEAS staff.
Please fill out the form to sign up for the online information session.

Application Criteria

Criteria for the selection of proposals encompass

  • Applicant must be a national and residing in Southeast Asia. Applicants studying abroad will be disqualified.
  • The project’s feasibility: can it be realized with three months of archival research?
  • The project’s value and contribution: The project matches the needs of the host institution and is aligned with the mission and vision of DeCoSEAS.
  • The linguistic and cultural familiarity of the fellow with the recorded materials. 
  • The output proposed by the fellow. This can range from a scholarly publication and a work of art to an event, a digital exhibition, a film, a political action, or a repatriation initiative. The output must contribute to DeCoSEAS’ agenda.

Application deadline

The application deadline is 12:00NN CET on Monday 20 November 2023.  
Successful applicants will be notified by the end of December 2022. 

An online info session is scheduled on 9 November, 09:00-11:00 CET. During this video call, applicants can address their specific questions to DeCoSEAS staff. Please email the DeCoSEAS project coordinator, Layan Nijem, at if you want to attend this info session.

Application Documents

Download the Visiting Fellowship 2024 Guideline
Download the Visiting Fellowship 2024 Application Form

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