Introducing AFAC’s 2022 Visual Arts Grantees
11 Aug 2022

AFAC is pleased to announce the selection of 18 projects to be supported through this year’s Visual Arts grant program.

The projects were selected from a pool of 224 applicants by a jury composed of Jordanian curator and cultural producer Toleen Touq, Tunisian visual artist Malek Gnaoui, and Syrian architect and art historian Khaled Malas, who met over the course of two days to evaluate the applications submitted to the program.

AFAC’s Visual Arts program aims to support exhibition work, visual arts, book publications as well as art production. The projects selected for this year’s cycle include artists and institutions from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, Canada, and Germany.

In their jury statement, Touq, Gnaoui and Malas highlighted the revival of tactility, techniques and traditions in the projects selected, as well as their clearly expressed intimacies.

Read their full statement below:

“We would like to thank all applicants of the 2022 AFAC Visual Arts grant program for the effort and dedication most present in their applications. We recognized a wide range of projects from across the Arab region that touched on pertinent issues of the day including ongoing political strife, economic crises, ecological destruction, and associated displacements. Most projects found novel means to weave together narratives of the personal, political, and the public in profoundly moving ways.
As a jury, composing our final list of grantees was particularly difficult this year. Our selection affirmed your insistence on survival, a revival of tactility, techniques and traditions, and clearly expressed intimacies toward the landscapes from which the projects arise. We were taken by the poetry in your engagement, whether with nature, community, or the archive, and the near omnipresence of the artist’s body in the production of imagery. Those same images are often pushed to captivating and oft surprising levels, whether through the mediums of photography, video, film, or installation, taking necessary risks formally and conceptually, often blurring boundaries across our expectations as viewers vis-a-vis particular mediums and/or of genres.
Congratulations to all winners! We look forward to witnessing your projects develop in the coming months and years. We wish the best to all artists and institutions whose applications were unfortunately not selected this year, most of which deserve support if conditions permitted. We would be the first to admit the complexity and subjectivity of our own preferences and choices as a jury. To all future applicants of the AFAC Visual Arts grant program, we offer much encouragement and a few words of advice: embrace clarity and cohesion, show more samples of your ongoing research and past work, and be more bold in your position as artists; giving yourself and others the possibility to explore, imagine, and dream.”

The 18 projects selected by the jurors