Syrian Entity for arts and culture News:

Artists Support Programme- Laboratory Of Arts/4th Edition

About The Programme

The Artist Support Programme - Laboratory Of Arts is a programme being launched by Ettijahat- Independent Culture, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. It directs its focus at artists and cultural organisations, and seeks to create a supportive and free environment for creative practices, responding to new possibilities as they emerge. It also aims to empower artists and organisations, enabling them to accomplish and develop their creativity through a substantial grants scheme, within the following artistic formats:

o   Cinema and Animation

o   Theatre, Dance, and Performance Art

o   Creative Writing

o   Visual Arts, including Fine Arts, Installations, and Graphic Design

o   Music

The programme is aimed at artists and existing initiatives in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, as well as countries of refuge and exile in Europe; responding to the developments of the Syrian cultural landscape and the current locations of artists. This edition, on the occasion of Ettijahat's fifth anniversary, and due to the large number of applications received last year, the Laboratory of Arts programme is doubling the number of annual grants to 20. The value of each is up to 5000 USD.


Fourth edition grantees

Cinema and Animation

Ibraheem Ramadan - Double Vision

A documentary film that depicts a completion of the road map of Syria-Lebanon Rally, which was initiated in 1974 and later suspended due to war. The film uses different media, including animation and materials filmed between 2008 and 2011 on a parallel track to that of the rally. The map is completed when both tracks meet in the northern region of Afrin, where the two separate times overlap: everything on the road, including the army, war participants and diners' owners, join the rally team.


Issa Khoder - Where is My Friend?

A short documentary film that narrates the story of Issa al-Khadr's journey back to a Da'ash prison where he was detained for three years in Rural Aleppo. He seeks to find his friend who spent six months with him in the crowded cell.


Lina Alabed - Ibraheem

A documentary film about the director's journey to reconcile with her family's story and affiliations. She tries to understand her father's choices and the influence they had on the way his family members make their choices today.

Her father, Ibrahim al-Abd, was a secret member of the Palestinian Revolutionary Council. In 1987, the director was six years old when her father left on a regular mission but never returned. She grew up in a home dominated by silence with her mother Najat, who made the decision to raise her five children in Damascus.


Wael Kadlo - Road to Home A documentary film through which the director seeks to analyze (family / civil) wars, and how we use ourselves as a tool of punishment and revenge against one another. The film is a family journey to find the courage to face difficult reality, and to discover possible ways towards reconciliation away from "destruction".


Visual Arts

Boushra Moustafa - Doors

An installation that highlights the plight of the current Syrian generation (the generation of war) under current countless difficulties and its relentless attempts to find a wider space for its ambitions by striving to open doors to a fairer future. It is a journey in search of a future that currently seems vague and an attempt to cross into safety. The project presents a vision of twelve real doors (brought from war-affected residential areas) that are vertically placed on a circular base, in the middle of which is a sculpture of a man trying to cross an endless crossing. The installation is accompanied by sound effects and lighting.


Mohamad Khayata - To Be Continued

A conceptual art project consisting of fifteen installations. The project addresses a number of themes including demographic change, hatred, migration, and conflicts in our convergent societies. These themes will be outlined in a variety of ways and will pose a number of questions and solutions to their essential problems. The project includes organizing a mobile participatory exhibition, which will create a space for community participation since the installations will be displayed in different public and private facilities.


Sami Ajouri - Between War and Peace

An oil painting project. It includes a collection of 10-15 paintings addressing the human image between war and peace. At the end of the project, the paintings will form a coherent artwork that will be presented at an art exhibition.


Shada Safadi - Bounce-back

A multimedia art project that includes video and engraving on plexiglass. It is a mural of transparent plexiglass and small-scale engraving work. Plexiglass pieces are engraved and folded in various forms using heat. The work addresses the geography of the occupied Syrian Golan, its political reality, and the consequent repercussions on the daily lives of individuals and groups. The videos, which depict natural scenes from the Golan, are displayed on engraved surfaces as an attempt to change the stereotypical map of this current geography.


Creative Writing

Odai Alzoubi - The Book of Wisdom and Naivety

A collection of spatially and temporally varied short stories. The collection seeks to pose a number of questions on wisdom and naiveté: Are they two contradictory qualities? Or do they complement each other? And how?

Sometimes it seems like the naive cannot be wise; but the opposite is true: wisdom needs naiveté, in the sense that we need to believe in our ability to change the world, and to trust those around us. In our daily lives, in philosophy, at times of war and exile, one cannot but ask, "Do the naïve alone pay the price of the evil surrounding us?" The collection includes multiple models of this ambiguous relationship between wisdom and naivety.


Rita Bariche - Kitchen Stories

A book project which aims to discover various Syrian flavors and dishes through a journey into the collective memory of Syrians and their cities and villages as expressed by stories narrated by members of "Ghorba (Alienation) Kitchen". The stories are collected and documented in a book presented in an interesting artistic form that combines objective documentation and personal experiences. It is a collective work that includes testimonies by Syrians residing in different countries. The project is carried out by a group of Syrian writers, artists and publishers in Syria and abroad, and will be a seed for future works and translations awaited by the readers and those interested.


Saleem Albeik - Charlotte, Rima and Melanie

A novel project about Karim, a Syrian-Palestinian young man from Homs camp, who arrived in France several years ago. He is originally from Haifa, the city his grandfather left in the year of the Palestinian exodus.

In Paris, he starts a relationship with Charlotte, who introduces him –through her friend Melanie– to Rima, who has just come from Haifa after she received an art residency grant. Karim's relationships with the three girls overlap: Charlotte is interested in Palestine and Syria because she essentially cares for Karim. Melanie is indifferent to everything. And there’s Rima, who has endless discussions with Karim about the meaning of the city to which they both belong – each in their special way – and about his desire to return to it. A desire that interferes with another more dire desire to return to Homs camp. On the other hand, Rima aims to leave Haifa permanently and stay in Paris.


Samah Hakawati - Between Two Rivers

A collection of short stories addressing the lives of women living between two rivers: Syria and one of the countries of asylum. The collection explores small details of these two lives without comparing them. It depicts the experience of identity, asylum, acculturation, cultural shock, nostalgia, separation, and all aspects of the influence war had on the lives of these women, whose stories are only a reflection of another aspect of war and asylum.

The tales are about many rivers and women who did – or are still trying to – cross these rivers or who may have kept their souls locked behind such rivers. It does not matter who that woman is as much as the fact that she finds herself in a story and smiles.


Theater and Performing Arts

Aram Wahhoud - Fat Haki/Gibberish

Three interactive puppet shows. "Zakaria al-Mkarkak/ Zakaria the Messy" is a character whose roots extend to the so-called Arab Renaissance. All he does is talk about the glory of Arab thought and how this glory reached its peak. Now, it is time to talk about physical renaissance. Zakaria is a writer and poet who is full of youthful spirit, and is suffering from an eternal cough. The character of Zakaria is an interactive puppet made of newspapers and animated by a person. The animator and the puppet share the same feet, but have a separate upper body. This separation is caused by the intellectual-physical separation. Zakaria always appears in the least expected places to recite poems from his collection of poems "Fat Haki".


Lojain Alaranji - Solitude

A monodrama theater script about a 50-year-old Syrian woman (female / worker / politician). She is single, (a spinster according to society) who has chosen to engage in ideological work in her youth, believing that this way will save her from the vanity of traditional female destiny. The script draws a picture of many women's experiences in politics, and reveals details of partisan work and the nature of its members. The script introduces the world of women and their suffering.


Sari Almustafa - Injection/ The Game

A theater project that simulates a social and human reality. It poses questions and themes that draw on our relationships and their implications by highlighting the influence of power on the one hand, and love and concepts –such as giving, sacrifice and loss– on the other. After becoming deformed and sexually impotent due to injury caused by a mortar shell that killed his son, the husband (Karam) invents a game, where he puts his wife (Abeer, a doctor) and her lover (Bahaa, a young actor) under investigation and punishment. A subsequent state of disclosure and clarity is revealed announcing the conspiracy of the wife and her lover against the exhausted husband who is a victim of successive losses.


Suzan Ali - Arabic Eyeliner

A monodrama theater project that simulates intense sensory moments lived by a girl who experienced loss after the death of her entire family in an explosion. The girl lives alone and begins to communicate with the objects and furniture around her. She has a sensory emotional memory characterized by fear of the present and longing to the past. The girl humanizes these silent objects to the extent of considering them human beings of flesh and blood. The script clarifies a state of identification to the extent of humanizing objects and transforming them into sensitive speaking lives that share the person's isolation and decisions.



Faddoul Saad - Lost

An Oud Quartet album that presents a dialogue between four Ouds to express the Syrian reality from the beginning of war until now, through projecting past events on music. The Oud Quartet frees oriental music from monophony and introduces it in a new style, i.e. polyphony, so that the listener can enjoy the sound of an individual Oud woven with many melodies from the other three Ouds. While at other times, the sounds of the four Ouds come as a consistent, collective harmony.


Hassan Ali - Rural Cosmos

A musical album that is based on the idea of ​​merging musical and rhythmic elements of Syrian popular music into jazz music –especially the work of French violinist and musician Jean-Luc Ponty, who adopts space and science fiction as the core theme of his work. The album draws on similarities and great convergence between these two types of music, which are geographically and culturally entire separate.


Milad Khawam - To the West

A project to compose and record a musical album about the stories of those who crossed the road between the East and the West, including the project owner's story. The project presents oriental trumpet music and illustrates the presence of this instrument in German and electronic music as well.


Omar Jammoul - Syrian Composers’ Work on the Classical Guitar

A project to produce and record a full program of classical guitar music by Syrian composers. This program will be performed in concerts in and outside of Spain. The program consists of three sections: Section I: Guitar rendered music composed by the Syrian musician Dia al-Sukkar. Section II: Original guitar music composed by the Syrian guitarist Mazen Saleh. Section III: Music composed by the project owner.


The fourth editions jury included:

Film and animation: Joude Gorani (Syria), Muhammad Nasser Sardi (Tunisia), Tamer al-Saeed (Egypt)

Visual arts: Ali Kaf (Syria), Omran Younes (Syria), Sirine Fattouh (Lebanon)

Creative writing: Fawaz Haddad (Syria), Hassan Dawoud (Lebanon), Larissa Bender (Germany)

Theatre and performance arts: Nabil Aswad (Syria), Tania Khoury (Lebanon), Taoufik al-Jebali (Tunisia)

Music: Dima Orsho (Syria), Jasser Haj Youssef (Tunisia), Reem Talhami (Palestine)


Ettijahat-Independent Culture will collaborate with Mamdouh Adwan Publishing House for a second year. The publishing house will publish literary works supported in the creative writing category.


To  read the FAQs and Ettijahat grant guide, please click on the files below:

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