The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC is happy to announce the selection of 24 new projects as part of its 2018 Performing Arts grants program.
The 2018 Performing Arts jury committee brought together actress and performer Hala Omran (Syria), Professor of Performance Studies at Abdelmalek Essaadi University Khalid Amine (Morocco) and playwright and theatre director Bashar Murkus (Palestine).
AFAC received 147 applications (compared to 100 applications in 2017) out of which 72% were submitted by individuals (26% female artists and 46% male artists) and 28% by institutions. Applications were distributed among Lebanon (24%), Syria (19%), Palestine (16%), Egypt (13%), Morocco (8%), Tunisia (7%), Jordan (3%), Kuwait (1%),Yemen (1%), in addition to applications submitted by in stitutions in Europe and the US.
The process of evaluation happened in two stages: a pre-selection of around 85 projects was made by a committee of readers and a final selection by the jury committee.
After two days of meetings and discussions, the jury selected 24 projects (15 individuals and 9 institutions) to receive a total of $ 300,000 in grants. The selected projects hail from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, France, and USA.
Commenting on the reviewed applications and selected projects, the jury stated:
“We are honored by this opportunity to review such a diversified number of artistic projects, which in turn enrich the Arab art scene and reflect the desire of Arab artists to express themselves through the performing arts.
It was a real pleasure to dive into these projects, which are eager to explore broad experimental horizons, in parallel with the current transformations in the Arab region.
During the evaluation process, we noticed a real preoccupation with the revocation of boundaries between the cultures of performance. There was a clear inclination towards moving away from scripts, in an attempt to challenge the established authority, including that of the dramatic text, thereby transforming the actor into a performer and the viewer into a witness.
The proposed projects suggest a new presence for the Arab body through a visual dramaturgy that focuses on research and documentation, on memory and its reconstruction.
Our reading of the projects reveals that language fails at times to convey the voice of the Arab artist. This can be interpreted as a kind of escape from oral expression towards different forms of expression that derive their vocabulary from new media and from the performer’s body in particular.
After studying the projects thoroughly and evaluating them individually, we discussed them collectively and selected the projects that strive to go beyond the closed frame of the individual self and adopt a direction of performing arts that leaves a real impact on society here and now. Quality and innovation were central to this selection.
Moreover, we made sure to give a particular attention to young artists who are working on their first projects, as we believe that the Arab artistic scene is in continuous need of new and effective Arab voices.”
The Winning Projects
alkhubz al mor by Nuzha El Hakawati Theatre
Another Kind of Death by Joyce Raie
apocalypse by Wael Ali