Meet AFAC’s 2021 Training and Regional Events Grantees
10 Nov 2021

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC is pleased to announce the selection of twenty-four projects from ten Arab countries as part of its 2021 Training and Regional Events Grants Program.

Following a halt of the program in 2020 due to the global mobility restrictions, the Training and Regional Events Grants Program was reinstated in 2021.

The Training and Regional Events call opened on June 1 and closed on August 16, 2021, with 146 applications received from fifteen Arab countries, including Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania and Yemen. Furthermore, applications from institutions registered abroad (11 non-Arab countries including Argentina, Belgium and Greece) were received.

The 2021 jury committee comprised Egyptian cultural consultant Dalia Daoud; Moroccan visual artist Hicham Bouzid; and Palestinian cultural manager and consultant Fatin Farhat. The three jurors convened over two days to discuss the projects and select the grants recipients.

Following the selection of the 24 projects, the jurors issued the statement below:
“The AFAC Training and Regional Events committee for 2021 edition met in Beirut (except for one member who joined online) and had an interesting, and enriching time discussing the diverse submitted projects. Despite the highly complex situation from which each organization and/or individual operates, the eagerness of implementing creative projects all over the region is nevertheless stronger.
This year, we reviewed a high number of applications from different countries in the Arab region and beyond, also establishing connections and promoting Arab culture in Europe and the Americas through international festivals. Several are submitted from outside the capitals and/or targeting underserved target groups and communities and/or using arts as a tool for psychosocial support.
Applications are balancing between virtual and in-person events and collaborations, and in conventional and alternative venues. Disciplines and approaches varied, but they were clearly responding to the social, political, and economic situation they are embedded in. Especially for music and dance, the applications focused more on processes, promotion and technical aspects and less on production. Practitioners from the Arab region are noticeably adopting and, using Podcasts as a tool to share stories and narratives that most of the times, don’t have a space to be expressed. New initiatives that focus on artists’ livelihood and well-being are also emerging.
The Jury felt the creative momentum of applicants. A new generation of activities and of cultural stakeholders is on the rise, covering different aspects of the creative process and linking the proposed projects to either personal or social stories. The sense of community is common, reflecting the need of peers to gather again after a long period of isolation due to Covid restrictions.”

Among the selected grantees, 4 are previous recipients of AFAC grants, while 20 are receiving support from AFAC for the first time; 3 are female artists versus 5 male artists, 15 are institutions and one is a collective; 23 of the supported projects are based in the Arab region.

The 24 projects selected by the jurors
Arabic Letter Lab by Omar Al-Zo’bi (Jordan)
Appartements Investis by Sanaa Zaghoud (Morocco)
Khamsina by Mahdi Mohamed Mahdi Youssef Sayed Ahmed (Egypt)
Alkaf wa Aldof by Ahmed Omar (Egypt)
Alley of Puppets by Buthaina Dirar Abu Bnadura (Jordan)
Labo-Dance by Wajdi Gagui (Morocco)
Talking Groups for Consciousness Raising by Hagar Ahmed Mohieldein Elmoghazi (Egypt)
Sala Doc by Hatim Jarir (Morocco)
Palestine Cinema Days by Filmlab Palestine (Palestine)
Aflamuna 2022 by Beirut DC (Lebanon)
Notah (Syrian Music Archive) by Douzan Art and Culture (Turkey/Syria)
YPAT Theatre Workshop for Actors and Technicians by Yazan (Lebanon)
A Reflection of Time and Space: A Curated Archive of Queer Art in SWANA by Haven for Artists (Lebanon)
Festival of Choreographic Premieres by Al Badil (Tunisia)
Nerdo Animation Bootcamp 2 by Nerdo (Yemen)
Beit Sarmada by Sarmada Association (Lebanon)
Ashtar International Youth Theatre Festival by Ashtar for Theatre Productions and Training (Palestine)
Fikra Designer in Residency 2021 by Fikra (United Arab Emirates)
Crossroads by La Chambre Claire (Algeria)
Resources Mobilisation Digithon MENA - RMD MENA by CFW – Culture Funding Watch (Tunisia)
Project Bedrock by Beirut Contemporary Ballet (Lebanon)
Words and Beyond by Takween Cultural Club (Yemen)
Arab Origami Festival 3 by Arab Origami Center (Egypt)
Music Entrepreneurship Program by Jafra Music Productions (Palestine)

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