AFAC closed its 2013 visual arts call on April 2nd and received a total of 171 applications from around the Arab region. After a thorough evaluation by a jury committee that includied Samar Marta from Palestine, Rachid Triqi from Tunisia and Mohamed Djhish from Algeria, 17 projects were selected to receive grants.
The total amount of the grants was 190,000 USD and the new grantees included 14 individuals and 3 institutions from Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Algeria, Syria and Tunisia.
The selected projects featured a wide variety of genres and media such as video art, film, installations, performances and sculpture. Several artists reacted to the general state of turmoil and amnesia caused by wars, disappearances and diasporas by focusing on reviving elements of individual and collective memories such as photographs, documents and abandoned places; one way to reclaim, through art, a common space that is fading into oblivion.
AFAC is currently accepting applications for the categories of Cinema, Music and RTR (Research, Training and Regional Events). Music and RTR applications must be submitted online no later than September 1st, 2013. Cinema Applications must be submitted online no later than August 1st, 2013.
Scroll down for the list of the new Visual Arts grantees
Grantee: Doa Aly (Egypt)
Project: The House of Rumor
A video installation based on words, this projects attempts to synthesize voices and to deconstruct phrases, words and syllables which constitute the every-day expressions of frenzied city-life in Cairo.
Grantee: Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan)
Project: Cassette Sermons
This new body of work builds on Lawrence’s ongoing research of the contemporary political geography of Egypt as it is expressed by the most popular Islamic media form—the cassette sermon.
Grantee: Mohammad Fariji (Morocco)
Project: Casablanca’s Old Aquarium
A temporary art exhibition that highlights the old port of Casablanca, a building of great historical and architectural significance. The project explores the relationship between the Arab artist and his social and natural environment.
Grantee: Najib Hakim (Palestine)
Project: Home Away From Home
Through photography and interviews, the artist explores the questions "What does it mean to be Palestinian in America?” How do Palestinians maintain ties to Palestine while grappling with life in a country where political culture is hostile to their core aspirations and identity? Through various portraits, audiences are brought to hear the voices of US Palestinians as they tell their stories.
Grantee: Ghassan Halawani (Lebanon)
Project: Clean up the living room we've got visitors coming over
This project is a distinct treatment of stories about people missing since the Lebanese Civil War. Its singularity lies in the fact that it is not a documentary that is advocating a certain cause or policy, nor is it a personal testimony. Rather, it uses a visual narrative that weaves together various aspects drawn from the artist’s thirty year of experience in researching, recording and watching the evolution of this circumstance of war.
Grantee: Amira Hanafi (Egypt)
Project: A People's Dictionary of the Revolution
A People’s Dictionary of the Revolution is an artist book project, tracing the experience of the ongoing uprising through changes in the colloquial Egyptian language. It is a document of collective memory, assembled through the spoken voices of diverse Egyptians.
Grantee: Mohammad Al-Hawajiri (Palestine)
Project: The Red Carpet
An ironic critique of the siege on Gaza, this project uses the symbol of ‘the red carpet’ to offer an unlike juxtaposition of reality in Gaza, inaccessible to most people and separated from the rest of the world. The red carpets, an essential feature of official protocol and honor, whether it is rolled out for high government officials or for prominent artists at international art festivals across the world, is here brought into the spaces where the people of Gaza dwell…
Grantee: Rima Djahnine (Algeria)
Project: Disaster… And Time Fades Away
There is a natural original balance to existence. Time passes, without stop or interruption, without sudden changes or surprises. In this project, Memory and Time are together addressed against an ongoing rhythmic background. The sequential processes and consequence of particular events are merely the superficial skins of Time and Memory. A painful occurrence that appears to disturb the surface currents of Time may make us believe that Time has stopped….
Grantee: Ahmad Khouja (Syria)
Project: Whiskey…Lima…Xray: A Web of Signals
Recorded radio transmissions from Zabadani, Syria (2001), containing unedited, coded transmissions, foreign news, music and more are used to visualize the audio in an architectural sound installation.
Grantee: Ayman Alladaa (Palestine)
Project: There, on the Map
A conceptual art project displaying contemporary visual language, and made up of fourteen works that include a mix of photography, collages and graphic design. Each scene is a visual story that draws on imagination, interpretation and fact, and brings together the past and present.
Grantee: Mohamed Elmahdaoui (Morocco)
Project: Central Margins
Seeking to imagine the possibility of a fair and inclusive distribution of architecture, this project is an attempt to transfer the shadows of the biggest buildings in Morocco from their urban contexts out into the rural. The project explores inter-architectural relationship, on one side, and looks into the assumptions that exist around the impact of architecture on other fields of life – social, economic and political – on the other.
Grantee: Mohammad Musallam (Palestine)
Project: Art in public spaces
Seeking to remove art from its conventional setting bringing it into the wider public, this project aims to use waste material and transform them into prominent aesthetic products designed to occupy public spaces in the hopes of inspiring greater public participation and awareness of environmental issues. It pushes artists to go beyond the narcissism of art galleries and find creative expressions through common waste material.
Grantee: Dona Timani (Lebanon)
Project: Entry Denied, a broken chain of visas and passports
A collection of paintings that explore experiences within a set of social and economic contexts. The theme is the restrictions imposed on third country citizens in their pursuit of a better opportunity and life.
Grantee: Ali Tnani (Tunisia)
A multidisciplinary project where the artist uses photography, free-hand drawing, digital design, and installations to describe his personal attitude that allows him to live a nomadic ideal.
Grantee: Bchira Art Center (Tunisia)
Project: Art at My Door
The project aims to bring art to a non-specialized audience and to strengthen links between artists and the wider public. Artists create artworks in front of their doors and encourage the participation of their neighbors. An exhibition will be held to document the results, as well as a round table discussion.
Grantee: Haifa Institute for Arts and Media (Palestine)
Project: Spot Light from Gaza - A Video Arts Workshop
The Haifa Institute for Arts and Media has prepared a series of art workshops for a group of young Palestinian artists to help them develop their visual arts practices, with a focus on video arts, through discussions, training sessions and case studies. The workshop will also produce a collection of films that result from the young artists’ works.
Grantee: Midrar for Contemporary art (Egypt)
Project: Cairo Video Arts Festival
An exhibition and discussion space bringing young artists in Cairo and offering them a platform to share their works with the public. The festival is dedicated to experimental and low-budget video arts created by young artists and will offer open discussions related to contemporary arts practices. Participation will be accessible to all through an international open call.