AFAC’s 2022 Creative and Critical Writings grantees announced
01 Aug 2022

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC is pleased to announce the 27 projects that have been selected by the 2022 jury committee to receive support through the fifth iteration of AFAC’s Creative and Critical Writings program.

This year’s jury — composed of Algerian poetesse Lamis Saidi, Egyptian writer and editor Mohammad Rabei, and Palestinian novelist and researcher Raji Bathish — met over the course of two days to evaluate the 195 applications submitted to the program.

In their jury statement, Saidi, Rabei, and Bathish highlighted the range of writerly forms that the grantees took up, noting the use of multimedia and visual material to enrich the textural offerings that spanned from poetry to theater to critical research. Further, many of the projects, the jury noted, adopted a feminist or gender focus, while others looked at socio-political contexts ravaged by war without losing their aesthetic mission.

Read the full statement below:

"We, members of the AFAC Creative and Critical Writings jury panel, are pleased to have had the opportunity to assess the proposals submitted for this year’s grant cycle, which flew in from all around the Arab region. We were pleased to see the diversity of the projects proposed, from all kinds of creative writing – poetry, theater, fiction stories, comics, music, and critical research on arts, literature, and their histories – to creative projects targeting children. We noted the aesthetic and intellectual focus on feminist and gender issues in many of the proposals, the quantity of projects that adopt a multimedia approach, and the creative material provided through visuals. We also observed the hue of wars and political conflict in the background of a considerable number of proposals submitted from tension and conflict-laden areas, a thematic focus that nonetheless did not overshadow the aesthetic merit of those projects, as the majority of applicants are still markedly invested in the cultural and human aspect of their work first and foremost.
The process of selecting the projects was not easy. We spent long hours reading and dissecting each proposal. Throughout the selection process, we focused on the following criteria: 1) The quality of supporting materials along with the artistic and aesthetic value of the project; 2) an attention to creative initiatives with intellectual and aesthetic values submitted from countries where cultural infrastructures are faltering; 3) an obvious reflection of the applicants’ passion and investment in the projects; 4) a personal biography that showcases sufficient experience and the seriousness required to execute the creative work.
Based on our assessment of the submitted proposals, we are keen to share several recommendations that will help future applicants in the upcoming cycles:
- Write the grant proposal in a concise and structured manner and avoid repetition and information that does not serve the main idea behind the project.
- Provide an accurate, balanced budget for the project to support its feasibility on the ground.
- Edit and proofread creative texts before submission, specifically with regards to poetry, fiction, and theater projects.
- Avoid jargon and unnecessarily long descriptions that fall out of context and are irrelevant or exhibit a clear contrast with the supporting documents provided.
Finally, we would like to express our joy with the creative energies and aesthetic innovation coming out of our Arab region, despite the current circumstances we are going through. We wish the grantees of this year the best of luck.

The 27 projects selected by the jurors: