The Team

Karim Kattan, Programs Associate, karim [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Jerusalem, Karim Kattan is a writer and researcher. He holds a doctoral degree in comparative literature from Paris Nanterre University. He was one of the co-founders and directors of el-Atlal, an arts and writing residency in the oasis of Jericho (Palestine). His most recent books include a collection of short stories, Préliminaires pour un verger futur (2017), and a novel, Le Palais des deux collines (2021), which were both published by the Tunis-based Éditions Elyzad. He writes in French and English.

 

Krystel Khoury, Programs & Grants Associate, krystel [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Beirut, Krystel Khoury has since 2006 been working as a cultural consultant and coordinator for organizations in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, France, and Germany, for which she coordinates and implements projects engaging artists from the Arab world and Europe. Originally trained as a dancer, Krystel holds a masters in Performing Arts from Université de Lyon and earned a PhD in anthropology of dance and intercultural dynamics from Auvergne Université in 2014. Her research focuses on embodied knowledge and political discourses, dance education, artistic processes, and anthropological theories. Her latest contributions include Theater Against Borders (Arts Mdpi, 2018) and Dancing In The Waiting Room (ASA 18, Oxford University). She is also the editor of Lullabies from the Worlds of Islam (Al Ayn museum, 2018) and com(.)com (2019). Since 2019, she has been the head professor of ISAC, Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, in Brussels.

 

Mai Abu ElDahab, Director, mai [at] mophradat [dot] org

Raised and educated in Cairo, Mai Abu ElDahab is a contemporary art curator who has been living in Brussels since 2007. Her curatorial projects have been concerned with “how we work” as much as with “what we do.” Before joining as director of Mophradat in fall 2014, she was most recently co-curator of the 8th Liverpool Biennial, and from 2007 to 2012, she was director of Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp. She has edited and co-edited several publications including These are the Tools of the Present (2017), Final Vocabulary (2016), Circular Facts (2011), The Agreement by Hassan Khan (2011), all from Sternberg Press. She has also commissioned two records, Both Sides of the Curtain by The Dwarfs of East Agouza (with Unrock, 2017) and Behave Like an Audience by Concert (with Sternberg Press, 2013).

 

Maisan Hamdan, Artist Liaison, maisan [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Isifya village, Mount Carmel, Palestine, Maisan is a writer, cook, and activist. She studied media and communications at Emek Yezrael College and Arabic language and literature and East Asian Studies at the University of Haifa. A co-founder and project coordinator of “Urfod [Refuse], Your people will protect you”, a movement against the compulsory military service for Palestinian Druze youth. She is engaged in writing articles and literary texts, which includes documentation and recording. She worked as a coach at Ahel Foundation for community organizing and accompanied many political and social campaigns in Palestine. Based in Berlin since 2017, she has worked as an artistic mediator in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and is a co-founder and organizer of SAOT Festival in Berlin. Her writings appear in Assafir, Fus-ha, Jeem, Khatt30, Kohl, Qadita, Raseef 22, Romman, and The Markaz Review.

 

Mare Spanoudaki, Production Coordinator, mare [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Athens, Mare Spanoudaki is a researcher and curator who works in broad arenas that relate to social movements, communality, and exhibition studies. She is actively involved with the production and organization of cultural events, and has curated community projects and contemporary art exhibitions in Greece, the UK and Germany, both online and offline. She has also been a fellow of the Start – Create Cultural Change program (2017-2018) and received the Artworks Curatorial Award from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Artist Fellowship Program (2019-2020). Since 2017, she has been co-managing the initiative This is not a feminist project.

 

Nicky Tsianti, Administrator & Development Coordinator, nicky [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Athens, Nicky Tsianti develops and implements programs and initiatives at the intersection of arts, culture, and development for nonprofits, NGOs, and civil society organizations. Amongst them have been Cambodian Living Arts (Cambodia), Al Hayat Center for Civil Society Development (Jordan), and Cultural Canvas Thailand (Thailand). She also produces the projects of Kaimera Productions, a live arts company based between Paris and New York, which creates original performances with communities across the globe. Nicky is one half of a Paris- and Los Angeles-based creative studio working between sculpture, design, and architecture. She was previously a core member of the founding executive team of the Athens Biennale in Greece, overseeing production and operations from its establishment through its fourth edition. She is a trained classical pianist with an academic background in theater and museum studies.

 

Yasmine Haj, Editorial Coordinator & Translator, yasmine [at] mophradat [dot] org

Born in Nazareth, Yasmine Haj is a writer, editor, and translator. She holds a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Toronto. She is one of the co-founders of Dalaala, a translation collective of literature, art, cinema, and critique. She is also one of the co-editors of Mïtra Magazine, a multilingual review of arts and literature. Her writings and translations appear in Assafir, Assafir Al Arabi, Asymptote Journal, Best American Experimental Writing (BAX), Romman Magazine, Specimen Magazine, and Turning Point Books.

 

Former team members are Alberto García del Castillo, Amal Khalaf, Carl Cappelle, Doreen Toutikian, Habiba Effat, Jenifer Evans, Lauren Wetmore, Marie-Nour Héchaimé, Nadia Cherif, and Reem Shilleh.

 

Collaborators

Sarah Gephart (MGMT), Graphic Design

Arthur Haegeman, Web development

Heheh, Arabic logotype

De kleine prins not for profit accounting, Accountant

Régis Cazin, Auditor

 

The Board

Amal Khalaf is a curator and artist and currently Director of Programmes at Cubitt and Civic Curator at the Serpentine Galleries. Here and in other contexts she has developed residencies, exhibitions and collaborative research projects at the intersection of art and social justice and recently launched Support Structures for Support Structures, a fellowship and grant programme for artists working in the field of community practice and spatial politics. She is a founding member of artist collective GCC and is also a trustee for film cooperative not/nowhere, London and Art Night, London. Recent projects include Radio Ballads (2019-22), an exhibition and research project in London and Sensing the Planet (2021) a gathering of musicians, artists and climate activists in Dartington, Devon. In 2018 she co-curated an international arts and social justice conference called Rights to the City in London and in 2016 she co-directed the 10th edition of the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai.

Hammad Nasar is a curator and writer. He is senior research fellow at the Paul Mellon Center (Yale University), where he co-leads the London, Asia project. He is also senior research fellow at University of the Arts, London. He co-founded the London-based arts organization Green Cardamom (2004–12), and was head of research and programs at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012–16). He was the executive director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London (2018-19).

Hendrik De Smedt developed his professional career as a freelance actor, theater-maker, and production manager in the international field of performing arts, having completed a master’s degree in drama at the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound (RITCS) in Brussels, . In 2009, he started A Two Dogs Company, the structure supporting the artist Kris Verdonck. He was for five years the managing director and production manager of the company. In 2015 he became interim director of Het Theater Festival Vlaanderen, the annual Flemish festival of performing arts. In June 2016 he graduated from the Vlerick Business School in Gent with an Executive MBA. He is  currently director of the Drama Department at the RITCS.

Nadia Cherif is invested in helping funders, civil society organizations, and social entrepreneurs enhance their skills and resources, and foster locally-driven development. Qualified as a lawyer in France and specialized in European Union law, Nadia worked at the European Commission on EU External Aid Policy in Tunis and Brussels, and since 2011, has collaborated with various human rights and cultural organizations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, including Mophradat. She regularly shares her analysis and insights on the region’s funding environment at conferences and through publications, and has designed tailormade funding schemes to help funders innovate how they support their communities.

Suzanne Cotter is director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. She studied art history at the University of Melbourne, the École du Louvre, Paris, and the Courtauld Institute, London. Director of Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne du Grand-Duc Jean from 2018 through 2021, she served as Director of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea — Fundaçao de Serralves between 2013 and 2018, and between 2010 and 2012 as curator for the Abu Dhabi Project at Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Senior curator and deputy director at Modern Art Oxford from 2002 to 2009, Suzanne was exhibition curator at the Hayward Gallery, London from 1999 until 2002. She was, with Rasha Salti, curator of the 10th Sharjah Biennial in 2011.

Walid Raad (board president) is an artist and an associate professor of art at Cooper Union, New York. Raad’s works to date consist of mixed-media installations, performance, video, photography, and literary essays. Recent works include The Atlas Group, a 15-year project starting in 1989 about Lebanon’s contemporary history, with emphasis on the wars of 1975 to 1991. Raad’s works have been shown at Documenta 11 (Kassel), Venice Biennale, Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Homeworks (Beirut), amongst other international venues. He is a member of the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut/New York).

 

The General Assembly

Carin Kuoni is director/chief curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, where she also teaches. From 1998 to 2003, she was director of exhibitions at Independent Curators International (ICI), and from 1992 to 1997 director of the Swiss Institute, New York City. A founding member of the artists’ collective REPOhistory, she has curated numerous transdisciplinary exhibitions and edited several publications. She has been a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship, directed SITAC XII: Arte, justamente in Mexico City in 2015, and is a Travel Companion for the 57th Carnegie International.

Helena Kritis is a freelance curator and film programmer. She is a member of the short film selection committee for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). Between 2008 and 2019 she was in charge of the visual and audiovisual arts program of Beursschouwburg. She is a board member of Courtisane Festival in Ghent, the cinephile online reflection platform sabzian.be in Belgium, and the Brussels-based artist-run production and distribution platform Elephy. She has a seat on the funding committee for visual arts of the Flemish Government of Belgium and she recently joined the acquisition committee for the collection of the Flemish Parliament of Belgium.

Jananne Al-Ani is a London-based Iraqi-born artist. She studied fine art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and graduated with an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art, both in London. She is currently a senior research fellow at the University of the Arts London. Exhibiting widely both nationally and internationally, her recent work explores the impact of photography, flight, and the technologies of modern warfare on the representation of contested landscapes.

Matthias Lilienthal has been the director of the theater company Münchner Kammerspiele in Munich since the 2015/16 season. He was head dramaturg at Volksbühne Berlin from 1992 to 1999. In 2002 he was program director for the festival Theater der Welt in Bonn, Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Duisburg, and then again in 2014 in Mannheim. From 2003 to 2012 he was artistic director and manager of the theater and performance space HAU in Berlin, and from September 2012,  lectured as resident professor for ten months at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut.

Sophie Nys is a Belgian artist that brings conceptual and minimalistic artistic strategies to their logical and formal limits, while maintaining their poetic eloquence as subjects derived from the everyday. Her art’s sparseness produces an ambiguous atmosphere, in which meaning emerges slowly but surely and opens up new spaces for reflection, narration and resistance. She studied at Sint-Lukas Ghent and finished a post-graduate programme at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. She recently presented her work in exhibitions at WIELS, Brussels; La Salle de bains, Lyon; KIOSK, Ghent; Fondazione Prada, Venice; Kunsthalle, Wien; CRAC Alsace, Altkirch; Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; She currently lives and works in Belgium.

Former members of Mophradat’s General Assembly are Adila Laidi-Hanieh, Khalil Benkirane, Rachida Ait-Ali, Reem Fadda, Res Bosshart, and Vasif Kortun.