Deadline: June 15, 2023
Self Organizations is a program that aims to provoke inventive ways of working together and collaborating. The program offers support to projects where different arts practitioners take the initiative and join forces to define a mutual resource or interest that’s important for their work, and propose how to share or develop it. The overall purpose of the program is to incite productive conversations, encourage the development of bespoke protocols for collaboration, and push for new art experiences to take place. Ultimately, through different experiments with self-organization, the value of collective sharing and generosity amongst arts communities may show itself to be more relevant than funds and structures. You can find a link to some suggested readings on the subject of self organizing that we have come across at the end of this call.
The program will involve a diversity of participants working according to the specific guidelines below in order to try different formats and methodologies. It will also require from the participants to participate in an online workshop that aims to provide useful tools to support them in navigating organizational disagreements.
The program supports projects by informal groups or collectives across three different categories as follows:
- Informal Co-ops: Rather than replicating the same individual remedy for needs that are common, this program supports imaginative practical solutions for a mutual concern of a group. A minimum of four practitioners need to take the initiative to come together and identify a resource that they can share for a period of six months to one year, which can help them develop their own work. Examples include, but are not limited to, a shared work studio, a music PA system, a video editing suite, a 3D printer, or hiring an assistant for the group. It is necessary that all the collaborators are involved from the start, and articulate their need of this specific resource for their own practice. Participants are not expected or required to collaborate on an art project together. A maximum budget of US$6,000 will be available to cover the cost of this shared resource lasting no more than one year.
- Topical Assemblies: This program supports access to specialized intellectual or vocational knowledge where formal structures or public platforms for such learning are lacking. This category is for a group that wishes to come together and organize a collective discussion such as a seminar or workshop, on a specialized topic of their interest. Depending on the needs, this can be online or in-person, with or without invited guest speaker/s. However, it must have a committed group of at least four people to develop it together. The assembly can be public or limited to the group. A maximum budget of US$2000 will be available for activities that can take place over the course of six months.
- Your Ideas: We are also open to ideas that we have not considered and fall under the notion of self-organization and working together. We are keeping this category open to hear from potential participants on what they want to initiate as part of this program. The proposal must be made by at least three collaborators, and the budgets will be determined by the specificity of the proposal but should not exceed US$4,000. For the proposals supported in this category, the timeframe will be agreed upon based on the proposal’s specific needs.
Specific Eligibility Criteria
In addition to complying with the general eligibility criteria that you can read here, please note the following:
- Arts practitioners from all disciplines and stages of their careers are welcome to apply.
- Priority will be given to proposals taking place within the Arab world.
- Institutions, registered associations or companies, are not eligible to apply.
- Already existing projects are not eligible to apply.
Mophradat’s team in collaboration with two external advisors will evaluate the applications based on how they align with the objective of the program.
Please be aware that our advisory committee always reflects a diversity of fields, gender identity, and geographical knowledge.
- All applicants, whether selected or not, receive a response to their applications by mid-July, 2023.
- Shortlisted participants will be invited for an online conversation to elaborate on their application before a final selection is made.
- Due to the high volume of applications and the confidentiality of the selection process, Mophradat cannot provide individual feedback explaining the reason an application was not selected.
- Upon selection, an agreement will be signed between the recipient and Mophradat.
- Project participants will be asked to commit to participate in a reporting interview at the end of their project to let us know what happened, help us understand their experience of the project, and how it fulfilled (or not) the overall objective of the program.
- Project participants will be asked to commit to participate during the running program period to one to two online workshops that aim to provide useful tools to support them in navigating organizational conflicts.
In order to prepare your application, you may already check out the questions here.
You can only apply by filling in online form here.
Any material sent by email will not be considered.
For some tools for working together and insights on collaborating, you can read our publication Read the Room #3: Self Organizations: Tips & Tricks for Working Together by Daniel O’Connell, Jenifer Evans, & Krystel Khoury, 2022 here. This collaborative booklet is based on interviews with previous participants in the program and their experiences that may benefit future self organizers.
We are also sharing with you some other the references we came across regarding self organizing practices in different contexts and fields, and some are useful examples. This is not an exhaustive bibliography but is meant to provide some entry points on the subject. You can find them here.
You can read the frequently asked questions about this program here.
The first edition of this program was launched as part of our project “Distinct Voices”, which is partially supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.
The second edition of this program was implemented with the support of Mophradat’s institutional partners, and with additional support provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Flemish Government.
This edition of Self Organizations is implemented as part of the project “Future Acts”, which is partially supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.