Culture Resource is pleased to announce the recipients of the fifth round of the Abbara Program. The 17 organizations that have successfully made it through the first stage of the selection process come from ten Arab countries, including Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania.
Abbara was launched in 2011 to support independent cultural organisations and empower them, in a sustainable way, to play pivotal roles in role in the dissemination of the values of freedom and respect for artistic creativity, critical thought and acceptance of differences, in addition to their basic role in the provision of cultural and artistic services to broad sectors of society.
This year, the Abbara Program received more than 240 applications from different organizations from various countries in the Arab region. A committee consisting of members of the Culture Resource’s General Assembly was formed to implement the selection process and oversee the program. The committee included: Reem Gibriel, Visual Artist and Cultural Manager (Libya); Mourad Al Kadiri, Poet and Researcher (Morocco); Awadh Al Hamazani, Film Director and Photographer (Saudi Arabia); Therese Badie, Cultural Manager (Egypt); and Hanan Haj Ali, Cultural Activist, Actress and Trainer (Lebanon). The Abbara committee expressed difficulty in this year’s selection as a result of many of the applicant organizations having exceptional capabilities in carrying out civil society work in spite of the political, cultural and social climates that exist.
The 17 organizations selected have been invited to the first training of the program and which will result in final stage of the selection process. These organizations are:
The Creative Documentary Platform and its Minaa Scheme (Jordan) // The project seeks to offer a creative/experimental approach to audience interaction as a means to promote the production and dissemination of innovative documentaries, and to participate in the growth and development of Arab audiences.
The Theatrical Mobile Workshop (Sudan) // The group involved in this project hopes to rehabilitate university and youth theatre by linking theatre with questions of development and the rights of the least privileged segments of society, such as women. It also seeks to engage with other theatrical experiments especially in the regional environment.
Shift (Yemen) // The aim this project is to alter the perspective of Yemeni society toward the cinema so as to renew public confidence in cinema and encourage the broader society to become receptive to this art once again.
The World of Stories Association (Tunisia) // This association seeks to rehabilitate the art of storytelling and storytellers by stimulating the important role they play in education, art and life. It also seeks to develop children’s fondness for reading through storytelling, inspiring their curiosity and encouraging them to read from an early age.
Ma3azef (Egypt) // An online magazine focused on Arab music and world music that seeks to offer music lovers in the Arab world high-quality critical and analytic material written by individuals with a passionate and profound musical appreciation.
The BuSSy Project (Egypt) // The purpose of this project is to create a space for women and men to speak freely on personal experiences related to taboo issues in society, and to document and present real life stories in theatrical form to different communities in Egypt.
The Khashabi Ensemble (Palestine) // This project seeks to create an independent forum, independent of Israeli government institutions, so as to generate an artistically, intellectually and politically free space. It also hopes to strengthen the channels of communication between art and society.
Filmlab (Palestine) // A non-profit company, Filmlab seeks to enable Palestinian youths to relate their own stories and document their collective memories through cinema.
Collectif Kahraba (Lebanon) // A group of artists and technicians from diverse nationalities and backgrounds came together to create this organisation in order to create and present multimedia works that combine puppetry, visual arts, dance, street art and theatre.
Minwal (Lebanon) // A group that aims to stimulate cultural activity in general and theatre, in particular, outside the Beirut area, in order to help safeguard the right of citizens by ensuring the presence of high quality cultural services.
Salam Ya Sham Culture and Arts Production (Lebanon) // This organisation seeks to support young artists in marginalised areas in the production of their artistic projects and to offer training to different groups of beneficiaries in diverse artistic skills.
Syria Mobile Films Festival (Syria) // This festival seeks to create a unique platform to encourage both professional and amateur filmmakers to produce creative, low-budget works by using mobile phone cameras. As it also offers film screenings, it provides a unique opportunity for the training and empowerment of young filmmakers.
Nawras (Syria) // A group consisting of artists living in Berlin whose aim is to support Syrian artists who are refugees in Germany and help them adapt to their new lives.
ANYA (Morocco) // The aim of this organisation is to support and promote musicians in Morocco, Africa and the Middle East. It organizes the annual Music without Visa festival, the first professional forum for music professional in this region, and also seeks to organise performance tours.
Cinémathèque de Tanger (Morocco) // This association was founded in 2005 in order to serve both art and history through film distribution, the generation of a film archive and the promotion of effective ways to benefit from the archive. In 2007, it moved into the Cinéma Rif, a well-known landmark in Tangiers that was renovated by group of artists, and went on to build its reputation as a unique organisation in Africa and a centre for cinema resources and their dissemination in the Arab world.
L’Atelier de l’Observatoire (Morocco) // An organisation that designs, produces and disseminates art and research projects, l’Observatoire has become a base for the dissemination of contemporary creativity in Morocco and the world.
Teranim Arts Populaire (Mauritania) This non governmental organisation seeks to create the groundwork for the development of culture, the arts and the creative industries, and to enable individuals and groups to participate effectively in cultural life. It also seeks to serve as a professional platform for the dissemination and exchange of ideas, and as a laboratory for practices relevant to the the ongoing evolution of the relationship between culture and sustainable human development.