Create: A Space to Explore Arts and Social Change - Home Edition | Results

Create is a programme by Ettijahat – Independent Culture and the British Council which seeks to increase the capacity of artists to contribute to the development of stronger, more cohesive communities through the design and delivery of community arts initiatives that focus on experience and artistic quality. Create supports individuals and initiatives to build new skills, grow their experience, and network with creative practitioners interested in the relationship between arts and community practices. Create Syria is open to all Syrian artists residing in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Europe.

Under the title of Home Edition, this third edition of Create will enable artists to develop their technical and artistic skills in community settings through Idea Development Support. This is a new path of support that gives the opportunity for ten artists or creative practitioners to grow their experience and understanding of arts and social change. This strand provides a space for research and practical experimentation to those seeking to develop more mature creative proposals. The support package includes the following components:

  • An online participatory platform for idea sharing and mentorship from local and international experts
  • A package of financial support of up to $6,000 for ten artists to develop ideas and test them experimentally
  • Local and international peer to peer networking opportunities


Results of Home Edition

Iyas Shahin - IWLab | Architectural Theatre: An Open Platform

This project consists of an open-source interactive workshop, bringing together architecture, theatre and photography, and monitoring the social and  help the environment of Damascus city which is struggling with a pandemic and an inflation on the one hand, and precautionary measures and thriftiness on the other hand. This has put the city in a state of cross-sectoral lockdown where residents are attempting to either leave or cope.

The workshop prompts participants to look at the city and society from a different lens, as a theatre beyond stereotypical settings, where the search for new means of documentation and expression is ongoing at a critical stage of reconstruction, amidst a pandemic and a state of inflation. This aims to expand the participants’ knowledge and vision, raise architectural and community awareness, and put together a creative scenario of the city, beyond the barren mechanisms of planning and management.


Doaa Hamadeh – Voice Up | The Alternative Picture

This project aims to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills, encouraging people to promote their own individual identities and express them through arts, within a safe environment which celebrates differences and calls for social cohesion. In this safe environment, young individuals from rural areas will learn and work alongside one another to differentiate between facts and opinions, practice engaging in constructive discussions, learn about their fundamental rights and prioritize their causes, before writing the script, shooting the scenes, and making the necessary audio recordings, in order to showcase their visions in short youth-to-youth movies, tackling issues from their own reality.


Dalal Zalghana – Open Art Space | Paper and Imagination

This project employs different mediums of visual arts, such as painting, paper molding and videography and seeks to incorporate them in other types of art, including paper doll techniques and shadow play theatre, in cooperation with a group of artists. The project aims to capitalize on different modern art techniques, in order to establish a new vision for understanding and interacting with artwork. It gives a group of youngsters and children from different backgrounds a voice of their own, by encouraging them to use the arts as a means and a tool to express themselves, and to rely on imagination, playing and experimentation as a method to learn, discover oneself and engage in discussions with others. This is achieved by recreating paintings and artwork in sketches and scenes that express their story.


Raghed Aazqoul | If I were here

This project consists of a workshop targeting architects and children and aiming at promoting the concept of theatre and its importance in understanding the place and coping with surroundings.

“If I were here, what would I do?” represents the project’s fundamental idea. As a matter of fact, every architect must ask themselves this question before attempting to design any project, no matter the purpose. They must live and put themselves in the place in order to come up with the perfect design. The project also seeks to promote the concept of place amongst children from a young age, in order for the child to become part of a place where they can integrate and interact, thus asserting their role in building a successful future.


Sawsan Nourallah | WOW Channel

WOW Channel is a YouTube channel which teaches children and teenagers in the diaspora the Arabic language through painting, music, short movies, storytelling, and other forms of art. The channel responds to the massive need to draw children and teenagers’ attention to the Arabic Language again and to get them to fall in love with it, targeting those who were born in the diaspora or emigrated at young ages in particular. The channel teaches the Arabic alphabet through short songs that stimulate the imagination and children’s intellect and curiosity. Each song tells the story of one alphabet letter.


Firas Hatem & Haneen Albaini | The Road to Happiness

The Road to Happiness is an online series of educational and artistic videos with a comic twist, based on the story collection “The Shams Twins – The Road to Happiness”.

The series consists of illustrated videos, along with live and interactive videos that bring the concept of interactive theatre to electronic and social media platforms. It establishes a bond between The Shams Twins and the audience, and delivers joint products that include stories, drawings, etc.

The project targets different members of the family, through several psychological and social concepts, including non-violence and playing. It utilizes different art techniques such as storytelling and the art of clowning, in addition to scientific approaches in Physics and Chemistry, with the help of specialists and based on specialized references.


Kadar Saeed Ahmi | Music Speaks Louder than War. Our Children Can Play Too

It is a local social project which seeks to mitigate the psychological stresses of the full lockdown, given the current health circumstances. It also attempts to establish a healthy space which helps overcome these stresses by acquiring new skills, while sparing children the psychological effects of war and the ensuing desire to actively participate in the fighting. The project intends to develop instrument playing skills among children through teaching courses, in order to form the core of a local children’s orchestra in the city of Hassaka.


Maan Hamza Rafe | The Simple Methodology: The Reality of the Action, the Essence of the Act

The Simple Methodology: The Reality of the Action, the Essence of the Act is an applied research on actor training following a simple methodology which intends to integrate a number of performance and sound techniques in acting, in a simplified scientific and progressive way.

The project aims to boost amateur actors’ confidence in their personal experiences, as well as offer them guidance on how to utilize these experiences in building their character whether on the artistic level, or on the personal level in society and in their daily life, away from acting. The project also attempts to promote knowledge and artistic experience among amateur actors, in societies that take interest in professional-grade performances, which helps raise the artistic level of amateur shows to the professional level and disseminate them further. It also seeks to identify new talent in these societies through training.


Mohannad Nasser | Music for Everyone

Music for Everyone is a scientific, social, and psychological music project which looks into presenting and tackling music subjects for everyone, in order to shed light on the essence of music and its relationship with different aspects of daily life, such as music and the child, music and fetal development, the relationship between music and the fauna and flora, psychological health, the body, and other aspects of society. The project intends to develop visual and readable digital content, including videos, articles, and research, in the aim of sharing it with the Arab-speaking public.


Walid Shlash | Reopening the Zaki Cordello House for Arts and Culture

The aim of this initiative is to reopen the Zaki Cordello House for Arts and Culture, as an interactive space with the local community, which helps develop young talents in Syria and capitalize on the existing experience outside the country. The preparation phase involves holding regular workshops for girls and boys, tackling all aspects of arts, including theatre, puppet shows, photography, painting, and music, in order to put together an artistic show for the reopening of The Zaki Cordello House for Arts and Culture, which will take place in spring 2021.

The Zaki Cordello House for Arts and Culture is an initiative by surviving Syrian artists, in cooperation with Al-Harah Theatre, along with local artists from northern Syria. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold due to the intensified shelling of the city of Saraqib at the time.


The jury panel was composed of:

Diana El Jeiroudi is a Syrian filmmaker, scriptwriter, and producer. She is the founder of DOX BOX, the first documentary film festival in Syria, which later turned into a Berlin-based association to support documentary filmmaking. Diana has won a number of awards and participated in several jury panels. She is currently a member in three film academies in Asia, Germany, and the U.S.

Sameh Halawani is an Egyptian cultural consultant, technical and executive supervisor, and researcher. He co-founded the Gudran Association for Art and Development, which he previously managed. Halawani takes interest in the relationship between arts and communities and the mutual impact they leave on one another. He established a number of multi-purpose modern artistic areas targeting different artistic fields in Alexandria, including Wekalet Bahna, El Cabina, and El Dokan.

Samar Dudin specializes in the integration of drama and arts as means for education. She is the Regional Director and Head of Programs at Ruwwad Al Tanmeya “The Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development”, a non-profit organization for empowering the youth and communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt. Samar took part in launching several development initiatives and spaces in local communities in Jordan. 


For more information or any other inquiries, please contact the program’s team on:

To download the FAQs, please click on the file below. 

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