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AFAC Announces Twenty-four New Grantees in Performing Arts

31 Jul, 2018 

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

Art of Transit: Art Interventions in Public Spaces by Mahatat for Contemporary Art

Beyond a certain point movement itself changes by Ghida Hachicho

Breaking Walls Festival by Nüt Dance Company

Dans la Peau (working title) by Sawsan Bou Khaled

Demande d’emploi by Hamza Hamadeh

Embraces by Leish Troupe

Eyelids by Rana Karam

Hip Hop Gees by Amir Sabra

How Can There be a Window Where No Wall Remains? by Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

Just The Two of Us by Khouloud Yasine 

My Heart Is My Guide by Chrystèle Khodr 

OYUNU by Mohamad Al Khansa

Palestine International Theater Festival for Children and Youth - Bethlehem 2020 Edition by Al-Harah Theater

Tarab and Arab Modernity (working title) by Randa Merza 

The Cabaret of Tunis by Rochdi Belgasmi

The Other Side of the Garden by Ossama Halal

The path of the sun or the bare life by Mohamedali Ltaief

Trashion Show by Awrad - Clown Me In

Untitled 14km by Youness Atbane

We are not going back (provisional title) by HEK-MA

Zoukak Sidewalks - The Festival (2018) by Zoukak

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