Accomplices, formerly known as the Informal Meeting, brings together artists, writers, and curators from the Arab world to discuss questions and concerns about the present and future of their field and practices. Held annually in a remote location, it aims at being an intimate situation that provokes common language, sparks possibilities for invention, or simply a necessary assurance that distinct conversations pour into and feed a common pool of ideas and aspirations. The guest list of twenty or so participants centers on artists, writers, and curators who are active in art projects distinct from their individual practices, and are part of the Arab world’s emerging generation of art practitioners. Accomplices is an opportunity for conversation rather than presentation, and attendance is therefore limited to each event’s invited guest list.
2018 San Sebastian/Donostia
In 2018 Accomplices was held in San Sebastian/Donostia, Spain, in collaboration with Tabakalera, from January 26 to 27. Loosely themed around the question of “Where is the audience?”, the meeting asked participants to grapple with questions about their ideal audience, about how their practice might change were the internet to disappear, about encounters with physical objects, and about sharing their work with family and childhood friends.
Nouha Ben Yebdri
Mary Jirmanus Saba
Ma’n Abu Taleb
In 2016 Accomplices was held on Buyukuda Island, 90 minutes by ferry from Istanbul, from January 29 till February 1. Under the theme of “affinities”, it asked the participants to reflect on questions regarding the processes and results of collaboration, the role of language in practice and perception, the status of insider versus outsider, and survival in a possible future without the art world.
Parallel to the meeting, SALT and Mophradat presented two public events at SALT Galata: a performance entitled Stones Gods People (Notes for an Opera) by Joe Namy (January 28, 2016) and an evening of readings by Mirene Arsanios and Malak Helmy (February 2, 2016).
Ghalya Saadawi wrote a story on the meeting that we published on our online Library and you can read here.
Salma Abdel Salam
Samir El Kordy
Accomplices was held in January 2015 at STUK Kunstencentrum in Leuven, a historic student town that’s a 20-minute train ride away from Brussels. Gathered around the subject of a “Final Vocabulary”, each participant reacted to one or more of three questions on words, vocabulary and languages: abstract or actual, real or invented.
We later published a book of essays from participants to the meeting. You can read an excerpt and get a copy here.
Mounira Al Solh
Brian Kuan Wood
2011 to 2006 Informal Meeting
Prior to 2015, the Informal Meeting was conceived as a biennial gathering that brought together independent cultural spaces and programmers in the Arab world with the aim of establishing regional networks. The event acted as a forum for the discussion of practical issues and challenges including space management, organizational structure, audience diversification, funding, communication strategies, and legal frameworks.
The Informal Meeting was hosted at La Friche la Belle de Mai in Marseille, with the support of L’Institut Français Marseille-Provence 2013.
Issam Bou Khaled
May Ahmad al-Ibrashy
Ahmed El Attar
Aïcha El Beloui
Christophe De Keyser
Selwa Abou El Aazm
Hanan Kassab Hassan
Informal Meeting was hosted in partnership with the Jesuits Cultural Center in Alexandria.
Dina Abu Hamdan
Abdallah Al Machnouk
Nadia Al Issa
Mike Van Gran
Khalil Amr Chraïbi
Nicolette du Plessis
Victoria Holt Takamine
Isabel Juárez Espinoza
Abed Al Joubeh (Moti)
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash
Sally Abu Baker
Mohamed Habib Bel Hedi
Informal Meeting was hosted in Alexandria at the Jesuits Cultural Center with the support of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue Between Cultures, the European Cultural Foundation, and Ford Foundation.
Nicky du Plessis
Khadija El Bennaoui
Informal Meeting was hosted in Tangier with the collaboration of Cinematheque de Tanger, the EU Delegation in Damascus, Ford Foundation, and IETM.
Townhouse Gallery (Egypt)
The Garage Theatre (Egypt)
El Genaina – Al Mawred Al Thaqafy
Windows Theatre (Palestine)
Al Sawy Cultural Center (Egypt)
Contemporary Image Collective (Egypt)
Makan Egyptian Centre for Culture and Art (Egypt)
Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (Egypt)
Zico House (Lebanon)
Ashkal Alwan (Lebanon)
SHAMS – the Lebanese cooperative for Youth in Theatre and Cinema (Lebanon)
Beirut Arts Center (Lebanon)
Beirut D.C. (Lebanon)
Cinémathèque de Tanger (Morocco)
Makan, Masrah al Balad (Jordan)
El Teatro (Palestine)
Ness El Fen (Tunisia)
Al Hamra (Syria)