While the current situation in our region is that of a dire humanitarian crisis that is worsened by the expansion of war, conflict and extremism, we remain steadfast in promoting arts and culture and lobbying for long-term support for artists of the region in the absence of public funding.
Despite this invaluable contribution by the artists to uncover hidden narratives, discover forgotten pasts and recover a sense of collectiveness, their resources remain very limited. Institutions such as AFAC and many others are working alone, with little means, and striving to secure sustainability. Without this sustainability, they operate with vulnerability, depriving these artists from the support they deserve.
And art is playing a primary role in this generalized conflict situation: It is providing us unusual and complex perspectives on situations prone to oversimplification. It is offering us solutions and alternative narratives that go beyond stereotypes and the sensationalism of mainstream media.
We continue to make the case for engagement and intervention, not through politics but rather through arts and culture. There is a way to engage today, and to make a difference. We invite you to invest into such work for a better future for all of us, and the future generations.
Dr. Ghassan Salamé, January 2016