Kon Ma3a El Fann (which loosely translates in English to Be with Art) is a program launched by Culture Resource in 2016. Arising in response to growing regional needs, and produced in collaboration and consultation with a diversity of Arab and international partners dedicated to protecting the freedoms, rights, and safety of artists and culture producers, including ARtistSafety.net, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Dancing on the Edge, Shubbak Festival, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Racines, Roberto Cimetta Fund, City of Malmo, Onda, IETM, Sudan Film Factory, University of Hildesheim, and Protect Defenders, Kon Ma3a El Fann aims to support the rights of artists and cultural players in the Arab region to live and work in safe environments that guarantee their freedoms of expression and creativity.
Unlike its other programs, Kon Ma3a El Fann is uniquely designed as a platform for action and a package of services. The programme offers a number of initiatives designed to support artists directly and indirectly:
1- Support fund for artists at risk
This fund targets those artists who are currently under direct and immediate risk by virtue of remaining in their country or a neighbouring one. It also supports artists who have been forced to emigrate from this region and who have not resided in a host country outside of this region for more than three years. The fund provides artist residencies, for a period of not more than six months, in an artistic and/or cultural space inside or outside the Arab region in an effort to provide the artist or cultural player with the opportunity to both continue their work in a safe environment and formulate their next steps.
For more information and/or application for the fund, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
2- Regional legal defence network
Spearheaded by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE). in collaboration with Culture Resource, the network works to provide means of legal defence directly to artists and other creative persons, whether through legal counselling or active legal support in lawsuits brought against them in connection with their work. The network also seeks to address laws and decisions that narrow the realm for creativity in the public sphere or that impose general restrictions that are detrimental to the work of artists and creative persons. Part of the work of the network will focus on developing lasting means and methods of legal defence by disseminating culture conducive to the prevalence of the rule of law and respect for rights. Additionally, the network will release yearly reports on the state of freedom of expression in the Arab region.
3- The international network for cultural spaces and artistic residencies
This is a network of organisations dedicated to providing a safe environment in which artists can live and work. It promotes continuous linkage and communications between the member organisations to ensure the best and largest spaces possible for artists at risk or were forced to leave their homes in the last three years. The network also strives to offer a complete working environment for the artists it hosts by enabling artists to familiarise themselves with the public in the host country, helping them to present their works as professionally and powerfully as possible and also to facilitate their access to local media and the networks that influence cultural and creative production. In addition, part of the support will include a series of capacity-building trainings designed to enhance the skills of participants during the transitional period and which include language instruction, the rights and duties of cultural producers in the host country, and network-building in the local arts and cultural scene. The capacities-building trainings are structured to be flexible to the actual and changing needs of artists and, accordingly, is expected to evolve continuously.
This network is currently being established and we will announce its activities shortly.