Creative writing residencies in Belgium
These bespoke residencies in Brussels for creative writers from the Arab world last for six weeks, in 2018 or 2019, and provide an opportunity to focus on a specific writing project. Depending on the interests and needs of each writer, residencies may involve events such as readings or workshops in partnership with arts institutions in Flanders, and trips within the country. The residents for this edition were selected from a pool of 280 applicants by an advisory committee of Hicham Bustany (writer, JO), Iman Mersal (poet, EG/CA), and Azza Shaaban (writer, EG). This program is supported by Flemish Authorities.
After studying at UC Berkeley, Iraqi-American poet and performer Noor Al-Samarrai (b. 1992) was a Fulbright Creative Arts Grantee in Amman, where she studied oud with Omar Abbad, taught creative writing at the University of Jordan, and collected oral histories with Iraqis about life and love in mid-20th-century Baghdad for a book on the city’s psychogeography. Her poetry collection El Cerrito was published by Inside the Castle Press in 2018.
Egyptian writer and journalist Amira Hassan El-Dosoki (b. 1985) studied mass communications at Ain Shams University in Cairo and worked for several Arab newspapers, including Al-Dostour, Al-Masry Al-Youm, and Al-Haya, before becoming a freelance writer for online newspapers. She has published two books of short stories, Bs ya Yousef (2013) and Tango Medan Al-Giza (2015), and her novel Al-Clouormy was published by Dar Merit. She was the recipient of the Sawiris Cultural Award in 2013.
Palestinian-British writer Ma’an Abu Taleb (b. 1981) is the founding editor of Arabic-language online music magazine MA3AZEF. His boxing-themed debut novel All The Battles was published in Arabic in 2016, and an English edition, translated by Robin Moger, was published in the fall of 2017. Ma’an holds an MA in philosophy and contemporary critical theory.
CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
CCA is Glasgow’s hub for the arts with a year-round program of cutting-edge exhibitions, film, music, literature, spoken word, festivals, Gaelic and performance. Residents may use CCA’s Creative Labs room for screenings, workshops and critiques, and CCA provides marketing and technical support for these events. They are welcome to use CCA’s equipment, including its dance floor, projectors, sound kit and lights to experiment on their own, and may open the doors to the public at the end of the residency and discuss or share their activity. CCA staff also offer feedback on work when invited to do so.
Taha Belal is completing a three-month residency at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, starting July 2018. Belal (b. 1984) is an artist and co-manager/director of Acto Trade in Cairo, Egypt. His artwork often consists of a destructive formal investigation of the language and images exchanged in daily life, and he is currently experimenting with conflating his day job with his art practice through sculpture.
During his stay in Scotland, Belal will also be generously hosted by Cove Park and Hospitalfield for different parts of the residency.
WIELS | Contemporary Art Centre
The WIELS Residency Program is an international laboratory for emerging artists from all over the world. Located in a unique modernist building in Brussels, WIELS provides a framework for artists to pursue their practice and engage in current debates and research that examine the potentials of contemporary artistic production. WIELS provides its residents with a working studio (+/- 45m2) and a mentoring program for six months. During each residency, an optional public presentation or introduction of the work is organized.
Hiba Farhat will complete a six-month residency at WIELS | Contemporary Art Centre starting in July 2018. Farhat (b. 1987) is an artist and filmmaker from Lebanon. Her research and artwork tackles issues pertaining to fractured cultural, social, historical, and political contexts within an experimental framework. She has studied in Beirut, Tokyo and Chicago.
Due to circumstances outside the partners’ scope of responsibility, this residency is no longer taking place.