Laboratory of Arts - First Edition

The Syrian Artist Support Programme is an initiative launched by Ettijahat- Independent Culture directed at Syrian artists and cultural organisations. It 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 to accomplish and develop their creativity through a substantial grant-based programme.

The programme will contribute to enriching all forms of artistic expression, offering a flexible framework that responds to the needs of artists and independent creative initiatives. The grants aim to prevent artists from being forced to seek alternative income and to create a wide support network for Syrian art production. They aim to facilitate collaboration and ground artistic expression in neighbouring countries, in the shadow of the major political, economic, and cultural changes currently being witnessed in Syrian art. This will allow tools to be developed that will broaden the scope of art and artistic exchange, helping to enrich encounters and communication between artists. It will also contribute to the creation of art projects in the host societies where Syrian artists and cultural initiatives have sought refuge.

During the programme’s initial phase in 2015, it will focus on artists and initiatives located in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey, in addition to a programme of grants that will foster the mobility of artists, allowing them to travel internationally.
The programme will be open to applications through an annual open call offering 15 grants for artworks in a range of media. It will gradually encourage artists to produce work in new and distinctive creative forms that utilise those various media, with the opportunity to present their work in the region and internationally. It will also provide a platform to shed light on contemporary Syrian creativity, aimed at audiences throughout the world.

The support programme aims to overcome the difficulties faced by Syrian artists, whether due to a lack of funding, a lack of reliability, or limits imposed by donors. It also works to provide opportunities for emerging artists in many fields to present their work for the first time, in several fields including literature, music, cinema, the performing arts, and visual arts.

The programme focuses on creating opportunities that will enable Syrian artists to build a network of support in their various host countries. This will allow for a higher level of communication between the artist and their host environment, along with the assurance that art can continue to be produced effectively inside Syria, despite the withdrawal of the majority of funders and grants previously based in Syria.


First edition grantees

Bissane Al-Sharif - "Women Memory"

Randa Maddah - "A project of separation"  

Rousl Group - "Douma I Love U"      

Omar Al Jbaai - "The window (Okno)"      

Orwa Almekdad - "Death Flowers"      

For more details about the artists and projects that are supported in the first edition, Please click here.





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