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Exceptional Production AwardS for Arab artists

Cultural Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) announces a one-time initiative to fund the production of original works of art by Arab artists in any field, that are to be created in response to or in the context of the current wave of revolutionary activity and popular uprising in the Arab region.

Multiple grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to support original projects in film, theater, music, literature and visual arts, and projects will be selected for support by an independent regional jury of experts in the field of arts and culture. Applications will be solicited through an open call and will be accepted from artists in any Arab country. This initiative seeks to address the lack of financial resources facing many independent artists in the Arab region, especially during a time of political, social, and economic disruption. Equally important, it will also facilitate the creation of new artworks that are timely and relevant, that represent a diversity of regional voices and viewpoints, and that will document and form part of the historical record of this unprecedented time.

Winners and Projects summary

Music:
1. Amal Mathlothy (Tunisia):
Project: music album “my free word”
Production of an album that contains a number of songs encouraging the revolution, supporting resistance and enduring fear, despite the long way to obtain freedom. The songs will honor the many years of struggle against Arab dictators.2. Rami Issam( Egypt):
Project: music album “Al Midan”Production of an album of songs by Rami Issam criticizing the Mubarak era and reflecting on the demands of the Egyptian revolution before and after the former president stepped down.  The music album will be distributed for free to a wide range of audiences from all sorts of backgrounds, reaching as many people as possible.3. Badiaa Bohrezy (Tunisia):
Project: production of music album
The project distills the ancient and contemporary idea of identity without any complexity or artificial fusion. The album contains poems for Fadwa Tukan and Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi. 

Theatre:
1. Leila Solaiman (Egypt):
Project: “28 Lessons of the revolution”
The Arabic alphabet is used as a structure to create 28 small separated or linked shows. Each letter of the alphabet will be the inspiration for each display, taking different forms such as photographs, videos, dances, dialogues, monologues, pieces of music or an interactive experience.  Each performance will allow performers and audience to have a look at themselves through their alphabet characters, and reflect on how the revolution changed their meaning.  The 28 letters of the alphabet will represent 28 lessons on the revolution.

 

2. Noura Amin (Egypt):
Project: Production of two opposing monodrama performances

The project presents opposite directions within the Egyptian society. First, the direction of the youth who protested in the revolution and were subjected to repression, imprisonment and beating, and the other is those who are co-opting the revolution and using it for their own benefit.

Literature:
1. Najla Allam (Egypt):
Project: a novel entitled “Out to daylight”
This novel is an attempt to understand the human journey, from the perspective of great and awful events, since the creation of Adam. It is a review on the causes, reasons and results which remain forever. The novel focuses on events from the past, based on the present events and predicts the future, interspersed with dreams about humanity and the Egyptian Revolution.
2. Ghada Khalifa (Egypt):
Project: Crystal Spring
The project is a poetry book with some paintings. The featured artworks are not an explanatory illustration but  are a parallel visual experience, which combined with the poems, accomplish the required visual impact instead of being scattered within the pages of the book. Poems are based on the self experiences and relationship between persons and surroundings, under the transformations of a society.

Visual Art
1. Magdy Mustafa (Egypt):
Project: Cairo – a mental scene (audio and video installation)
This project has a social and political dimensions in a physiological– geographic context, an attempt to understand the city as a radical ever-changing façade, based on the changing environment of the profound scenes and the unavoidable memories, which moves through this urban space.  The goal is to encourage “arousal and questioning”. It is very difficult to link the surrounding sounds or people, or streets and neighborhoods. The knowledge plays a key role here in the imposition of the state revolutionary Assembly – which any person can be an essential part of.

2. Heba Khalifa (Egyptian):
Project: Tahrir Square – the Story of a Country (Photography Exhibition)
The exhibition will monitor the changes of the square from being a place which contains a fountain where people gather (since the Emergency law, such gatherings and activities were banned), to becoming  just a crossing for pedestrians and traffic, to the square becoming a symbol of freedom .The exhibition will feature a combination of photographs and paintings which reflect some of the changes that have occurred within the city.

Video:
1. Hala Galal (Egyptian):
Project: production of the documentary film “Lift Your Head, You Are Egyptian”

The director uses the story of the death of her sister during the Egyptian revolution as a trigger to investigate corruption in healthcare institutions in Egypt and how it became like all other national institutions in terms of bureaucracy and inability to perform its normal functions.
Going through personal and public realms, with different stories inside the Egyptian society, the film will reveal the secret banned history of Egypt, based on oppression and fear, starting from Abdel Nasser to Mubarak era.

2. Abdullah Ali Al Ghali (Libya):
Project: a documentary film production

The film is a geographic and historical journey. The geographic is where the director travels from Cairo to Tripoli, where his family lives, and ending the trip on the west mountain, the last point on the Libyan-Tunisian border where the director’s father ‘s hometown and tribe are located. From this perspective the director re-discovers his homeland while following the rebels to Tripoli.  On the historical range, he shows the struggle of a large number of Libyans against the regime of Gaddafi forty years ago, a part still unknown to some and to the director himself, as his father refused to participate in the Libyan war against Chad as a military officer escaping to Egypt where he remained silent about all that. The film is an attempt to recollect lost histories and to strengthen his relationship with his father and his homeland.

3. Iman Al-Najjar (Egypt):
Project: developing a screenplay for the feature film “Moments of Suicide”
A story of four characters in internal conflict to make decisions that will shape their lives. A non fictional fifth character represents the voice of reason that emerges during the real life events in Egypt, as the narrator of the revolution events and an eyewitness. The film focuses on the crucial moments and fatal decisions which seem to be suicidal, because it means the end of life defined by each of the characters.

4. Fawzi Saleh (Egypt):
Project: producing the documentary film “Waiting for the Working Class”

The film presents the director’s personal vision of the Egyptian revolution, where he sees popular revolutions as always involving two overlapping battles happening simultaneously.  The first is the democratic one, led by the bourgeois but which includes the middle and working class as well as the poor and landless. Their objective is to overthrow the political power and make changes in the government system.  The second is the economic battle, waged by the working class and social laborers against the wealthy in order to achieve justice and equality, as this battle may threatens the economic and social system.

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