Tunisian foundation backs research for artists’ projects

But eight recipients are not required to create a finished work

by GARETH HARRIS

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Women’s Rights to Public Space
A Silent Revolution in the Square of Fawwar Refugee Camp, Sandi Hilal. Photo: Campus in Camps.

The Kamel Lazaar Foundation, a Tunisian non-profit organisation that supports cultural initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East, has announced its latest round of annual research grants for cultural projects. “This initiative provides practitioners with an online platform to showcase their creative research,” the organisers say.

The foundation belongs to the eponymous philanthropic Tunisian who set up Geneva-based Swicorp, which provides financial services to the Middle East and North Africa.

This year’s recipients include the Palestine-based architectural studio Daar, which is developing a project based on “the politics of public space and gender in Palestine”. The Beirut-based artist Tania El Khoury will “develop the idea of public performance to interrogate state violence in the Middle East”, the organisers add.

Algerian artist Oussama Tabti, the Palestinian artist duo Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, the Lebanese Mounira Al Solh, the Anglo-Pakistani Shezad Dawood, and the Tunisian Fakhri El Ghezal are the other recipients.

The works created do not automatically enter the foundation’s collection. “There is no requirement for the artists to produce a final work out of the budget. The grant that is given to them is to facilitate research rather than production. The progress and development of that research is what is documented online,” a foundation spokeswoman says.

In some cases, the projects may develop into works or publications, she adds. The Berlin-based art collective Slavs and Tatars produced a book, for instance, while the Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal designed an app on the back of his foundation-funded research.

source : http://www.theartnewspaper.com

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