The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is pleased to announce that it has selected 26 new grants in the RTR (Research/Training/Regional Events) category of its 2017 General Grants program and with a total support of $460,000.
The 2017 RTR (Research/Training/Regional Events) juror committee brought together Palestinian creative director, programmer, festival producer, and cultural entrepreneur Aser El Saqqa, Egyptian writer, publisher, and co-founder of the Cairo-based independent media company Mada Masr Maha El Nabawi, and Lebanese theatre director and founding member of Zoukak Theatre Company Omar Abi Azar.
Having read and evaluated the projects individually over a month, the jurors met at the AFAC offices over two days and had comprehensive discussions about each project. The 26 projects (8 individuals and 18 institutions) were chosen from 196 applications received in 2017 during AFAC’s open call for applications.
Commenting on the selection, the jury made the following statement::
“We’ve been confronted by a plethora of projects and initiatives that were generous in terms of their output, reach, and accessibility. We were inspired by the applicants' submissions as we found them to be a reflection of the richness and diversity of the Arab demographic existing both in the region and its diaspora. This reality made for a challenging and difficult process for the jury, particularly in the need to shortlist important projects that are rooted in a context that is often void of cultural infrastructure and opportunity.
All the applications have been treated with respect, dignity, and dialectical criticality. Even though the number of applications was over 190 submissions, and despite the socio-political complexity of the context in which many of the application exist, the jury placed an emphasis on applications that presented a high artistic and scientific quality, audience engagement, and accessibility. Whilst most of the projects were highly relevant, some lacked in cohesive methodology, and thus we championed innovation, artistic quality, empowerment, social engagement, accessibility and outreach.
We attempted to make diversified choices, while also selecting some projects due to the high risk context in which they exist, without compromising on the quality. Furthermore we attempted to support sensitive socio-political topics, including women, refugee, and diaspora issues while being keen on challenging exploitative or romantic language, thus choosing projects on artistic merit and potential impact. Lastly, we attempted to support new voices from the region, despite the full knowledge of the risks involved with supporting nascent projects.
We would like to thank AFAC for their ten years of work and their unique ability to become an institutional leader in supporting Arab culture. Their values, mission, and transparent democratic governance made for an inspiring process.”
The next RTR call for submissions opens June 1st, 2018.
To view the 2017 RTR Grantees click here