French NGO helps propel young Arab artists onto global stage| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 03:25 GMT

French NGO helps propel young Arab artists onto global stage

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — Helping young emerging artists reach international visibility is the purpose of French NGO Friends of the Arab World Institute (SAIMA)'s Prize for Arab contemporary creation.

Working alongside Paris-based Arab World Institute (AWI), the prize's third edition has launched its calls for submissions, which will close on September 15.

A non-profit association, SAIMA helps promote awareness and understanding of Arab culture in all its diversity by offering emerging artists from the 22 countries of the Arab League a 5,000 euro grant (JD4,300), a SAIMA statement said.

The creation grant allows artists whose work has not yet been exhibited to produce an unpublished work which will be presented at an exhibition held at the AWI museum in the French capital.

'SAIMA created that prize to support and promote young artists from the Arab world by increasing their international visibility,' Leila Shahid, president of SAIMA, said in an e-mail sent to The Jordan Times.

Following the exhibition, the work will integrate the permanent collections of the museum, offering the young artist a perennial visibility in the French city.

'This is a long-term commitment, as the work of the winning artists integrates the collections on a permanent basis,' SAIMA president added.

Open to candidates younger than 40 years old from all MENA countries including Jordan, the prize includes disciplines such as painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video and art installations.

'The ambition of the prize is also to show the Arab world in its contemporaneity, through the singular look of a generation of young artists,' Shahid said.

This year's edition focuses on the theme of the Suez Canal, calling on artists to submit art proposals related to the historical developments of the canal, from the time of the Pharaoh to the 21st century.

'The 2018 theme 'Suez Canal' deals with several ideas about the history of the canal and its contemporary issues. This urban project has been at the centre of major commercial, political, strategic and technical issues,' SAIMA said in a statement.

Inaugurated in 1869 at the junction of three continents, the Suez Canal connects the maritime routes between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and has served as a strategic geopolitical location for the Arab countries.

'The canal generated the birth of cities in the middle of the desert, and remains today one of the most edifying symbols of North-South relations and Arab nationalism,' the statement added.

'The saga of the Suez Canal. From the time of the Pharaoh to the 21st century', will be held at AWI museum from March 26 to August 5, 2018.

'For more than 20 years, SAIMA has partnered with AWI through their citizens' project, which brings together the civil societies of the Arab League and France. With this prize, we celebrate the 30 years of strengthened ties between the Arab world and France,' Shahid stated.

Launched in 2016 under the theme 'Ecology and Sustainable Development in Arab Towns', the prize's first edition was awarded to Moroccan painter Sliman Islmaili Alaoui.

In 2017, Algerian photographer Fethi Sahraoui's series "Mercy Island" received the prize, as part of "The Islamic treasures in Africa. From Timbuktu to Zanzibar" collective exhibition, which focused on the idea of 'Sahara Desert as Circulation Space'.

Candidates' proposals will be judged on their quality, creativity and budget feasibility, the statement concluded.


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