Winners of Artists in Residence 2024 in Villa Romana, Florence

International Guest Artists 2024: Charly Bechaimont and Lila Loisse


A cooperation between the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and Villa Romana in Florence.

Villa Romana and ERIAC are pleased to announce the winners of their joint artist-in-residency program for 2024, following successful collaborations since 2020.

Villa Romana is a place of contemporary artistic production and international cultural exchange. Founded in 1905 by artists and patrons, it still operates as a non-profit association. Every year it hosts four Villa Romana award winners (this year: Monai De Paula Antunes, Ruben D’Hèrs, Tuli Mekondjo, Sergio Zevallos), as well as international guest artists. With its program of workshops, exhibitions, and a wide range of public events, Villa Romana strives to promote interaction between artists and the public, to engage and support different local communities and promote practices of sustainable togetherness and ecological imagination. The current program launched by Elena Agudio last year unfolds under the title: A House For Mending, Troubling, Repairing. For more information, please see: www.villaromana.org and follow the Instagram account

The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) continues to unite forces with the Villa Romana residency program to offer two residencies to contemporary artists of Roma heritage. This exciting initiative draws upon a commitment of both institutions to offer a unique opportunity for Roma artists and marks a significant step in the recognition of the importance of their contemporary art practice today. Moreover, the program has become an important platform to showcase emerging talents throughout the years. Through this cooperation, Villa Romana and ERIAC offer each artist a grant and hospitality in Villa Romana for a period of one month.


ERIAC and Villa Romana received 24 eligible applications for 2024. The jury meeting took place online via the Zoom platform on 2 May 2024 with the participation of:

  • Elena Agudio (art historian and curator, director of Villa Romana)
  • Daniel Baker (artist, curator of FUTUROMA at the 2019 Venice Biennale)
  • Robert Gabris (artist, former Villa Romana resident)
  • Timea Junghaus (curator, art historian, executive director of ERIAC)
  • Maria Lind (curator, writer, educator, and Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in Moscow)

The jury established a protocol for the eligibility and selection of the residency awardees, based on the following criteria:
– at the stage of their artistic career, the selected artists can attain the most benefit from the residency in Florence;
– they have submitted portfolios that demonstrate outstanding and mature artistic oeuvres;
– they apply cutting-edge, timely and relevant research methodologies;
– they have a solid commitment to further enhancement in technique;
– their application suggests a capacity for development of their artistic expression.

The jury has made the following decision:
The jury decided unanimously that the two residencies in 2024 shall go to Charly Bechaimont and Lila Loisse


Charly Bechaimont

Charly Bechaimont, born in 1991 at Saint-Dié-Des-Vosges, France, is a graduate of the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Reims and winner of the Prix Prisme 2022. Based in the Grand-Est region of France, his work is largely transdisciplinary. His practice is mainly autobiographical, taking as its starting point his belonging to the travelling community, but also his homosexuality and the conditions under which these two identities cohabit or, on the contrary, repel each other. By invoking dirt, violence, the caravan or even the figure of the clown, he articulates essentializing clichés to better turn their meaning around and render their stigmatizing character inoperative. In his performances, his body is always at the center. He mistreats it, makes it suffer, in order to show the domination over flesh to which many of his identities are subjected. As for his plastic vocabulary, it’s often made up of waste materials and toxic elements (lead, cigarette butts, used oil, etc.).


Politique de l’accident: deux hommes
faisant l’amour 2024, Caravan, dimensions variables.
Photo @Eva Djen, courtesy of the artist

Untilted, 2022, Jeans, liquid tar, leaded cigarette butts.
Photo @Victor Gorin, courtesy of the artist


“The work of Charly Bechaimont is immediate, frontal, it is presented as an emergency. The artist avoids chitchat, easy gestures and composes a work that is both direct, striking, but full of respect and tenderness for his people, the community of travellers. Largely autobiographical, his work approaches objects as something organic (…), they evoke the wear and tear of life (…). Emerging from himself, this artist weaves a tender and striking work; a social defector, he questions the path taken and moves forward with the feeling that it is necessary to create urgently”.
Sophie Hasslauer, curator of the exhibition MÂCHEFERS, Solo show at Fecit Art Center, 2022


Lila Loisse

Lila Loisse (2000), is a Belgian artist with Sinti Manouche and Moroccan heritage living and working in London. She holds a Foundation and Bachelor’s diploma from the Arts University Bournemouth, Master’s at the Royal College of Art in Contemporary Art practice and is currently pursuing her second Master at Royal College of Art in a Master of Research.

In her work, she addresses traumas and taboos associated with her family’s past as well as her own cultural background and identity. She deals with questions such as mental health, intergenerational trauma, and collective memory These themes are explored through installations, videos, and sculptures in a wide range of media, such as hay, wood, metal, and 3D animations. She works a lot with archives and artefacts from her grandparents of Sinté origin.



Penaa Menge Tchi, still from the film (2023), approx. 13 min. Courtesy of the artist

O baro Dével, installation view (2023), wood, UV prints on acrylic sheets, LED lights, with dimensions of 180x90cm and 100x60cm. Courtesy of the artist


“Lila Loisse’s body of work reveals a deep connection to her family’s history, particularly her grandparents’ experiences during World War II. As a member of the Sinté community, Lila aims to shed light on the intergenerational trauma resulting from the genocide against her people. Through her art, often in the form of memorials, she honors her grandparents’ memory using materials rich in personal significance, such as hay symbolizing both hardship and ancestral joy. Lila’s profound commitment to preserving her community’s history and amplifying its voice, combined with her excellent visual artistic skills in picture, movement, and installation, make her an outstanding candidate for the residency”.
Robert Gabris, Jury, former artist in residence at Villa Romana


Former Villa Romana Residents, International Guest Artists who participated in the program:

2023 – Erik Tollas 

2022 – Dariya Kanti and Luna De Rosa

2021 – L’uboš Kotlar and Norbert Oláh

2020 – Robert Gabris and Małgorzata Mirga-Tas





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