Private Retreats and Public Summons
Mophradat’s new venue in Athens is a space that aims to provide room and respite for individuals, collectives, and organizations from the Arab world who are championing progressive narratives and values. A home for an expanded community, it is working toward establishing itself as an exceptional model for gathering and transmission.
To start this adventure, we are launching “Private Retreats and Public Summons,” a two-year program that uses different formats and registers, including collective retreats / thematic residencies, seminars, workshops, festivals, and more. The setting balances the formality of professional or institutional work with the intimacy of conversations between friends and of moments of seclusion. How the space is used and how people come together within it will emphasize organizing tools and protocols, and operate on a basis that is relational rather than transactional.
The overarching theme for our programs in 2021 is “mother,” expanding on ideas from our recent book Why Call It Labor? On Motherhood and Art Work. This term opens up various forms of research on topics related to the gendering of communication (mother tongues), ways in which relationships are organized (motherhood), and how we deal with each other and our environment (mother land, mother nature, mother earth). Mophradat is organizing a series of virtual—and, optimistically, physical—gatherings and residencies to bring together peers who share a desire to reflect and invent together around these concerns.
At Home With the Kids
We are delighted to announce the two arts practitioners whose families will be participating in “At Home With the Kids,” a summer retreat for artists and their families to live together, where artists can work and children can play, in an experiment in communal living:
Alia Mossallam is a cultural historian, writer and pedagogue interested in intimate and lyrical expressions of the lesser known struggles behind pivotal moments in world-history. She is currently writing a book about the Aswan High Dam, through the musical and visual archiving practices of its builders, and the Nubian communities displaced by it. Some of her articles can be found in Jadaliyya, Ma3azef, Bidayat and Mada Masr. As well as research-based playwriting with Laila Soliman and Hassan el-Geretly, she has written a long form nonfiction piece, Rawi, about birthing, published by 60pages. Alia is an experimental pedagogue teaching in history workshops (Ihky ya Tarikh, 2015–2016), youth centers, and universities alike, mainly between Cairo and Berlin.
Louna bent Abdelmoula Sbou is a queer Afro-Arab cultural entrepreneur, curator and consultant focusing on intersectional, queer*feminist, diasporic and neurodiverse approaches, especially from the SWANA region and Japan. Since 2002, Louna has engaged with sociopolitical themes and decolonial practices through the curation of antidisciplinary mediums of arts. She has co-founded be’kech and Oyoun, a 3500-square-meter cultural epicenter in Berlin, serving as CEO and artistic director. She is a mother of two, vegan since 1991 and radically passionate about chess.
In cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung.