Laboratory of Arts / Artists Support Program – 6th 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:

  • Cinema and Animation
  • Theatre, Dance, and Performance Art
  • Creative Writing
  • Visual Arts, including Fine Arts, Installations, and Graphic Design
  • Music

The programme is aimed at artists and existing initiatives in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey, as well as countries of refuge and exile in Europe; responding to the developments of the cultural landscape and the current locations of artists. This will be achieved through the provision of 15 grants, each up to the value of $10000.


Sixth edition grantees

Cinema and Animation

Reham Kassar (Until)

A film documenting the life of Reham, a Syrian student studying at the Berlin University of the Arts. When she is forced out of her room because she could not pay the rent, Reham marches on a journey to find a place to live. She moves from place to place and meets different people. Her circumstances become harder as the money she has diminishes and those close to her are unable to help. With every new place she visits and every character she meets, she discovers a part of herself she never knew before.

Warsheh Group (Born in a Coffin)

A feature-length documentary film that tells the story of a father who turns a pickup truck that he uses for selling gas cylinders into a radio station which tours Binnish neighborhoods with his child. The camera monitors changes in the community as it transitions from demanding freedom and a civilian state with all its inscribed slogans into extremism after the domination of al-Qaeda and ISIS. The film ultimately introduced to the city over three years of family life and changes.

Yanal Mansour (Captain Maher)

A feature-length documentary film about Captain Maher, a firefighter who, through a personal voluntary initiative, enters public schools to lecture on what he calls "public safety", where students are taught a range of ways to survive potential mistakes due to war or environmental disasters. The film also highlights the structure and functioning of the educational system in Syrian schools.


Visual Arts

Rahaf Demashqi (Golden Paths)

A visual installation that addresses the idea of ​​abandoning a place, or being forced to leave it, in search of a better life. The work seeks to document what immigrants experience in their country of exile and to appreciate the culture and richness they bring to the host communities. Using gilded paper, Golden Paths is the technique in representing the experiences of some migrants who are not settled yet or who are looking for identity and belonging in their exile. 

Omar Malas (Raven Eye)

A visual book containing images of daily life in Damascus accompanied by a narrative text. The book aims to fly as free as possible over and within the city with a camera that captures pictures from the perspective of the city’s ravens. The ravens are scattered in the city and the artist feels that they are watching us on a daily basis from different angles; hence, he believes that they can provide a different and strange view of reality.

Hiba Alansari (Dragée)

An art installation and performance that explores the relationship of the artist with the concept of nothingness and tracing vacuum with sharp and smooth tools similar to the way it moves geographically. The work is based on a set of elements: a porcelain coating, a metal stirring machine, ropes, and the human body. The artwork begins with a kinetic performance and then the elements are left in place as an installation in the vacuum. The work depends on the sounds of impact, and on movement. The work seeks to create a balance between noise and silence in an interaction created by the body and its emotions with the help of forces of traction, lifting, and impact.


Creative Writing

Ayham Alsahli (Scenarios of Tony’s Story)

A fiction work that tells the story of a Syrian-Palestinian young man living in Mar Elias camp in Beirut. He observes his lonely old neighbor and imagines the reasons why he lives alone. The text attempts to present a different view of the marginal reality of the Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. It seeks to understand the Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian self through a closed community, i.e. the camp, especially since the situation is almost the same in terms of a forced asylum where the only difference is related to the time of asylum and displacement.

Joan Teter (Turn Back to the Flag)

A documentary narrative prose on military service in Syria from 2010 to early 2012. The book is divided into two parts. The first part includes methods of conscription through scenes witnessed by the author himself. The second part contains narrative prose on the hierarchy experienced by Syrians during military service with details of the barracks and places of service in terms of relations between soldiers from different Syrian areas and the memories that continue to exist for long periods of time.

Feras Almassarani (Unfamiliar Passage)

A fiction work that tackles the character of Nabih Wardan, a pigeon breeder who spends most of his time on the roof in one of the Syrian cities. The novel introduces Nabih's vast world and its peculiar customs and traditions. He and his friend later discover an unusual passage that leads to a different time dimension in the same place. The new time dimension has different characteristics, where pigeons talk and communicate with people. War takes Nabih away from this unusual passage and changes his living conditions as he enters a spiritual and practical experience and marches on a journey to reach the passage again.

Alaa Rashidi (The Mirror's Seductions between Music and Tales)

A fictional collection of five stories that derive their fictional tales from the history of musical art that stretches from thousands of years BC to the present day. The author read the history of music throughout the different stages of human civilization and devised fictional stories inspired by this history and the diverse phases experienced by this art. The fictional collection employs the art of music to address current political, social, cultural, and economic issues.

The above two projects received the grant equally.


Theater and Performing Arts

Hoor Malas (Resonator)

A kinetic performance that features the choreographer Hoor Malas and director Mayar Alexani. The performance looks into the topography of the area responsible for memory function in the human brain and the damage it suffers as a result of Alzheimer’s. The work investigates the knowledge system that allows humans to identify their own selves, the people around them and the roles they play and exposes how this system could collapse.

Sara Eltaweel (Nowhere)

A theatrical performance based on improvisation as actors tell their own stories. The idea emerged during a free improvisation workshop with 17 actors supervised by director Jamal Choucair. The workshop resulted in the main idea that focused on migration as a general concept that brought together various topics that are intertwined with each other and are related to the impact of what has happened in Syria at all levels, including love, loss, despair, and futility.

Alaa Addin Alem (Sinking)

A theatrical performance based on the story of a Syrian father and son who end up in contrasting positions as a result of the Syrian situation, which increases the radical contradictions between the two characters. Pushed by the pressure of the situation in Syria and the successive defeat, the father wanders through Europe, where he finds his stability and last resort. The son is searching for a paradise that is missing among the wreckage of his hopes for change and freedom. He seeks to uncover the meaning of his life, which is full of futility. The two, the son and the father, rotate in an inescapable orbit.

Fares Alzahaby (Rebellious Plays)

A project that seeks to publish a book that includes a translation of four theatrical texts from Arabic to French, making them available for performance in French theaters.The project is a step to introduce French readers and viewers to the Syrian reality and modern theatrical experiences post-2011 and the asylum seeker crisis. It is also an important step in presenting Syrian theater written in its original language to the European public.

The above two projects received the grant equally.



Basilius Alawad (Beyond Memories)

An album that seeks to present a new musical work characterized by its oriental character and maqams, which uses the templates of classical music composition. The artist believes in the ability of these templates to contain and demonstrate musical ideas in a smooth and easy manner regardless of the identity of the listener. He hopes that this album will contribute to the spreading of Arabic music in the European community.

Ronahi Almamo (Mulia Al-Banat)

A lyrical-poetry album by Syrian Kurdish singer Ronahi Al-Mamo and Syrian Arab poet Adnan Al-Odeh. It aims to present new Syrian songs in both Arabic and Kurdish. In their music composition, the songs are based on eastern maqams and simple folk tunes associated with the daily life of the inhabitants of the Euphrates and northeastern Syria and their cultural and ethnic diversity. It also aims to rekindle the spirit of hope in the people of this region after the damage caused by three years of living under ISIS control. The album seeks to spread the spirit of tolerance and to emphasize the need for coexistence between the different components.

Mevan Younes (Ether)

An album featuring new Buzuq compositions. It seeks to find a new resonance of the instrument through different string control and to use this new resonance in building a harmonic structure of the compositions through dialogue with piano, contrabass, and percussion. The use of extended techniques appropriate to this harmony brings the album closer to contemporary art. The album is a new added value to the Buzuq and the oriental music in general.


Jury Committees:

Cinema and Animation: Rasha Salti (Canada), Orwa Nyrabia (Syria), Hala Galal (Egypt)

Visual Arts: Buthayna Ali (Syria), Tarek Abou Elfetouh (Egypt), Hrair Sarkissian (Syria)

Creative Writing: Iskandar Habache (Lebanon), Samar Yazbek (Syria), Maram Massri (Syria)

Theater and Performing Arts: Zeyneb Farhat (Tunisia), Omar Abu Saada (Syria), Yassir Abdallatif (Sudan)

Music: Charif Sehnaoui (Lebanon), Shafi Badreddin (Syria), Ghalia Benali (Tunisia)


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


To read the Frequently Asked Questions about the program, please click on the file below:

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