Grants for Artists 2018

Husam Abu Salem (Palestine) for the research and production phase of Li, the Swing, a project exploring the manipulation of collective memory through urban design. Li, the Swing takes as a starting point the installation by the Palestinian Authority and the EU of a playground at the entrance of Ramallah, a site where violent Israeli-Palestinian clashes occurred during the two Intifadas. Combining sarcasm, comedy, tragedy, and intellectuality, the project also attempts to highlight the potentiality of heritagization and the importance of documenting, tracing, and narrating today’s events.

Laith Alareanat (Jordan) for the post-production of 555, a feature documentary about the student protests in 2014 at the Amman Campus of the University of Jordan, in reaction to the administration’s decision to increase student fees. The documentary reflects on the inner and external conflicts the students went through during this period.

Nidal Aldibs (Syria) for the post-production of his feature documentary Home There… Cinema Here…, juxtaposing the memories and images of his home in Damascus with his journey with cultural activists in Cairo reclaiming the renovation of an old cinema theatre. The documentary reflects on the social and artistic ruptures that happened during the 2011 revolution in Egypt.

Chimurenga (South Africa) to produce a new edition of their library in collaboration with the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo, retracing significant moments of pan-African presence in Egypt through the “Office for African Liberation Movements” (1950–75). The Chimurenga Library will investigate the relationships, forms, and histories of north/sub-Saharan Africa and pan-Africanism/pan-Arabism divides exploring the ways this political and cultural geography has been continuously challenged.

Hoda Kamel (Egypt) to write a novel investigating the life of Labiba Ahmed, one of the pioneering figures of the women’s emancipation movement in Egypt, and founder of the feminist magazine Al-Nahda Al-Nasawiya (1921–39), and the trans-generational traces she has left on the author.

Massala Dance Company (Morocco) to organize hip-hop dance residencies and workshops in Casablanca and Meknès in order to share and transmit their dance skills to youth and students, and support the growth of local dance communities.

Nadia Mounier (Egypt) to take part in a residency at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig where she will be working on her research-based project I Will Defend Myself, which revolves around visual public representations of women in advertisements, archives, magazines, and consumer products.

Petra Serhal (Lebanon) for her research-based project on both the bodies of dancers trained in classical ballet and those of military fighters trained in camps. The outcome of the project will include a dance-video that draws on archival material and interviews with dancers in Lebanon.

The projects were selected from over 190 applications from across the Arab world and elsewhere, by a committee that comprised Mustafa Abu Sneineh (Palestinian poet and journalist, Jerusalem/London), Karima Boudou (French-Moroccan art historian and curator, Rotterdam), Hans Bryssinck (Belgian artist and co-founder of SPIN, Brussels/Mexico City), Jasmina Metwaly (Egyptian-Polish artist and filmmaker, Berlin/Cairo), and Mohanad Yaqubi (Moroccan-Palestinian filmmaker and producer, Brussels/Ramallah).

Locale (Sudan), a women-led collective, to produce a touring public program and exhibition of official and personal archives in multiple media to raise awareness around ownership of Sudanese visual culture and the reclamation of its histories and narratives.

Mouaad el Salem (Tunisia/Belgium) to produce a collaborative documentary film presenting a portrait from inside one of Tunisia’s marginalized communities to multiply its stories, interrogate its realities, and go beyond eccentric preconceived images.

Tareq Rantisi (Palestine) to undertake ethnomusicological research into Kuwaiti traditional sawt and bahri music, and to create an accessible online repository of the various Arab percussion sounds and forms, leading to the production of a Kuwaiti experimental jazz album.

Louly Seif (Egypt) to collaboratively produce a performative video based on the lives of three lifelong female friends born in Cairo in the early 1950s, which explores enclaves of intimacy, friendship, and sensuality in their past lives, at present, and in a potential future.

Noor Abed (Palestine) in collaboration with Mark Lotfy (Egypt) for the post-production of an experimental film investigating preparations for war against terrorism, which has become the most urgent ideological national goal in the Arab region, questioning its embodiment in daily human performativity.

Makhzin (Lebanon/Egypt/USA) for the publication of its issue “Dictationship” which, through interviews in Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon, addresses language as a symptom of broader (economic, social, and historical) governing forces, and explores how literature offers grounds to reconfigure these forces.

The projects were selected from over 165 applications from across the Arab world and elsewhere, by a committee that comprised Antonia Alampi (artistic co-director of S A V V Y Contemporary, curator at Extra City Antwerp, and co-founder of Future Climates), Samah Hijawi (Jordanian visual artist living in Brussels), Christopher-Fares Koehler (German-Jordanian dramaturg at Maxim Gorki Theater and translator, living in Berlin), and Natasha Soobramanien (British writer living in Brussels).