Farah Aksoy, Programs Coordinator, farah [at] mophradat [dot] org
Born in Istanbul, Farah Aksoy is a curator and researcher. Her research interests include modern and contemporary art particularly from Turkey and the Arab world, transnational modernism studies, and cultural politics within WANA. She completed her master’s degree in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, and her combined undergraduate degree in Visual Arts and Art Theory and Criticism from Sabancı University in 2013. Previously, she was a programmer at SALT in Istanbul, where she produced research-based exhibitions, screenings, and publications.
Felipe Steinberg, Production Coordinator, felipe [at] mophradat [dot] org
Born and raised in Campinas, Brazil, Felipe works as an artist, researcher, and cultural producer. Since 2014, he has lived in the United States, Palestine, Germany, and Greece. He also participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York (2019), The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2016-2018), and the Raw Material Company in Dakar (2019). His research focuses on the meanings created around events – how the act of re-telling shapes past events as much as the creation of events forges new ways of telling. Felipe’s work has been featured in various venues, including the Museu Oscar Niemeyer (Curitiba), the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah), the Anthology Film Archives (New York), and the Visual Arts Center (Austin). He is a co-founder of ACCA, Art and Culture in Contexts of Authoritarianisms, a working group that studies, discusses, and articulates collective and individual responses to contexts of authoritarianism, with a special focus on Brazil. Recently, Felipe worked as a lumbung program coordinator (Public Program) at documenta fifteen.
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.
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, Karim Kattan, Lauren Wetmore, Mare Spanoudaki, Marie-Nour Héchaimé, Nadia Cherif, and Reem Shilleh.
Sarah Gephart (MGMT), Graphic Design
Arthur Haegeman, Web development
Heheh, Arabic logotype
De kleine prins not for profit accounting, Accountant
Régis Cazin, Auditor
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 (board president) 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, as Board member of the International Council of Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art (CIMAM) since 2017, and as curator for the Abu Dhabi Project at Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation between 2010 and 2012. 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 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 chief curator at WIELS Centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels. She was previously a member of the experimental 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 at the multidisciplinary arts centre Beursschouwburg in Brussels.
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.