A diary is a very personal thing. Those who keep a diary want to save and preserve something – they document both special and everyday occurrences to remember them. Thus, diaries reflect a kind of private contemporary history. We asked artists who benefited from residencies in recent years or just returned from residencies or currently work in studios of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport abroad provide us with texts and pictures to give us an insight into their personal day-to-day work – to outline what they do, where their thoughts wander and how they are doing in a foreign environment.

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The artists also write about practical things worth knowing about residencies abroad and about things future residents can prepare for and look forward to. As a rule, such notes are not shared readily. We are pleased that we are allowed to publish these private documentations here. They differ widely, but all of them are uncensored originals. Some artists deliberately decided not to participate in the AWAY diary – a refusal we fully accept. For others, our request to get an insight into their foreign residency experience may have provided the inspiration for starting to write it down in the first place.

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