This program, initiated in the spring of 2021, is aiming to create a protocol that can provide a framework for cultural institutions to deal with allegations of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as develop tools to make art spaces and event sites unwelcoming to predatory behaviour and rape culture. The geographical focus of the retreat is regional, and primarily takes into account the experiences of Arab women artists in their home cities and elsewhere. As a starting point, Mophradat invited over 250 women artists it has supported in the last five years to share their experiences of sexual violence within arts communities, creating a much-needed space for these practitioners to speak freely about their stories, collectively delineate the structural and systemic issues they face, and articulate their needs from cultural institutions and communities alike. In doing so, Mophradat aims to redistribute the power dynamic in how these issues are dealt with by giving space for these artists and cultural practitioners themselves to take the lead in informing the discourse on sexual violence and develop mechanisms to combat the issues that threaten their practices and lives in a way that is specific to and effective within their particular contexts.

The program was developed in collaboration with Habiba Effat and Salma El Tarzi, workshop facilitation was done by Bekriah Mawasi and Mona Benyamin for Jordan and Palestine, Marina Samir and Nana Abuelsoud for Egypt, Azza Chaabouni and Anissa Troudi for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and Nur Turkmani and Lujain Jo for Lebanon. Further advice and recommendation were contributed by a taskforce comprising Adam HajYahia, Azza Chaabouni, Maya El Ammar, and Noha Elostaz.

A protocol is in development for publishing in summer 2022.

You can read Mophradat’s 28 June, 2022 statement titled “Questions towards dis-enabling violence in our spaces” here.

Realized in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung.

Disenabling Spaces was part of the project “Distinct Voices” which was partially funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, and realized in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung.