Open Call: August 31
Deadline: September 9, 5:00 PM (+3 GMT)
The Lebanon Solidarity Fund, jointly managed by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture - AFAC and Culture Resource (Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy), launches an exceptional emergency initiative to support practitioners in the arts and cultural sector in Beirut, who were directly affected by the disaster of the port explosion.
Three weeks have passed since the catastrophe, and the assessment of damages and losses from physical and psychological injuries, destruction of homes and properties, loss of safety and dreams is still in its early stages. In light of the economic and health crises on one hand, and society’s refusal to treat the catastrophe as an accident the effects of which will soon dissipate on the other hand, a return to “normal life” is hingent on attempts that link rebuilding with the accountability of those responsible for the disaster.
While this initiative builds on the efforts launched by Culture Resource and AFAC earlier this year to support artistic and cultural institutions in Lebanon in the face of the strenuous economic situation, and to support practitioners and artists in the Arab region in light of the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the main drive of the present initiative is to preserve some form of cohesion in the sector - in the absence of any role or action by the public sector - that would allow the sector's members to continue to play their vital role in formulating critical discourses, documentation, questioning, challenging the status-quos, casting light on marginalized narratives, and broaching urgent issues with approaches that reshape our relation with the present and the past, and with politics and the public realm.
In its first phase, the support will focus on individuals, including artists, technicians, and practitioners in the cultural and artistic sector who were directly affected by the explosion, whether through injuries, the destruction of their homes, or the loss of their equipment and their workplaces, through grants that range between $2000 and $5000.
Given the limited financial resources, support will be based on specific priorities, reviewed by an independent committee of cultural practitioners. The priorities are as follows:
In conjunction with the launch of this support scheme, the Lebanon Solidarity Fund fundraising campaign continues to mobilize additional resources that enable us to support cultural and artistic institutions and spaces affected by the blast, in addition to a second round of support catered towards individuals if the needs arise.