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AFAC Announces 19 New Grantees in Performing Arts

02 Aug, 2017 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture –AFAC is happy to announce the selection of 19 new projects as part of its 2017 Performing Arts grants program.


The 2017 Performing Arts jury committee, which met at the AFAC offices in Beirut on July 20 and 21, brought together playwright, novelist, and editor Driss Ksikes (Morocco), actress, playwright and theater director Hanane Hajj Ali (Lebanon) and theatre director and playwright Laila Soliman (Egypt).


The open call for The Performing Arts category was launched on February 1st, 2017 and closed on May 1st, 2017. Nineteen projects were selected to receive a total of $285,000. Commenting on this year’s selected projects, the jury stated that:


Projects submitted in this round of the performing arts category highlight three fundamental issues: first, the impact of globalization of cultural initiatives and political crises on creative works. This is manifested in the need to translate and internationalize existing works, as well as the need for assertiveness by artists in exile or those living with internal political conditions that inhibit and hinder production, to face difficulties with determination and defiance;  second, the humble emergence of collective projects and greater tendencies toward individual projects. In parallel, there is a dedicated capacity from artists to delve deeper into preliminary research and gradually develop projects in stages, as well as having the audacity to combine creative realms;  third, the predominance of projects from the Mashreq and the scarcity of applications from the greater Maghreb region, despite the existence of a creative movement in those countries. Also in purely statistical terms, more projects were submitted by male artists in comparison to females.   


It is clear through the projects we chose to support, on the basis of their quality and effectiveness, that there is:

  • A commitment to artists that in the past have proved themselves and who are still insisting on developing their tools and work methods.
  • An emergence of new and promising experiences seeking unprecedented paths in terms of vision, shape and substance.
  • A clear trend to develop creative ways through preparatory workshops and international exchanges, with ensuing challenges related to the ability to translate local imaginary into a work of art that is open to the world. 
  • An ability of artists to keep up with modern methods and techniques while also inventing a new language to communicate with the public in a flexible and convenient manner. 
  • An emergence of four common themes that express what is brewing inside artists’ minds here and now, and those are: the themes of memory, the relationship with place (including border-related challenges), alienation and anxiety, and conflict between civilization and nature.


We were happy to sense a serious desire among performing artists in renewing working methods to get closer to current challenges; their collective urge to develop approaches and tools; as well as their knack to interact with the outside world.


It is necessary to highlight that AFAC is aware of the need to find more effective ways to attract underrepresented regions, such as the Greater Maghreb and Sudan.


We must also point out that what we felt through our work as jury members is the eagerness of AFAC to capture key concerns raised by the artists and its earnest desire to understand and to engage in dialogue on how to address their needs.


The Wining Projects

A Universe Not Made For Us by Yalda Younes
Advancing Lepidosiren by Yara Boustany
Arab Voices: Stories of Palestine by Aliya Khalidi
Artistic Exchange KOON Theatre Group - DOX - Dancing on the Edge by Dancing on the Edge
Borders by Khawla Ibraheem
Diaries of a City We Don’t Recognize by Mohamad Alrashi
I-Heart by Sabrine El Hossamy
No System by Wassim Sharqi
Nora by Wessam Talhouq
Rufaa 46 by Husam Hilali
Short Memory by Wahid Ajmi
Temporary Title by Mounzer Baalbaki and Sarmad Louis
Terra Nullius by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre
The House by Caroline Hatem
The Nature Child by Pierre Geagea
The Unfinished Work of Kevork Kasarian by Fadi Toufiq
Untold Trauma by Abdallah Daif
Usefulness by Alaa Addin Al Alem
Women-89 by Aisha Ibrahim

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