The number of grantees for the foundation’s Production Programme has been increased to 10 in response to the coronavirus crisis
As part of its biannual Production Programme, Sharjah Art Foundation will provide funding to 10 artists in order for them to produce new works.
A total of $200,000 (Dh734,000) will be distributed to the 2020 grantees: Jumana Emil Abboud and Noor Abuarafeh, both from Palestine; Mohamed Abdelkarim from Egypt; Basma al-Sharif from Kuwait; Abdessamad El Montassir from Morocco; Kooken Ergun from Turkey; Moad Musbahi from Libya; Philip Rizk from Cyprus; as well as artist collective Pak Khawateen Painting Club from Pakistan; and cinema collective Subversive Film, which was established in London and Ramallah.
Candidates applied with their proposed projects through an open call, and were then selected by an international jury. While the foundation had initially intended to select two to six proposals for the programme, it decided to increase the number to 10 this March in response to the coronavirus crisis and its economic impact on artists.
For the 2020 edition, the jury included art historian Iftikhar Dadi from the US, curators Lara Khaldi from Palestine and Agustin Perez Rubio from Spain.
Now in its 7th cycle, the Production Programme seeks to encourage art production in the Menasa region. Its previous grant cycles have resulted in projects that have travelled to prestigious institutions and artistic events around the world.
These include a multimedia installation by Pakistani artist and 2010 grantee Bani Abidi titled Death at a 30 Degree Angle, commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and premiered at Documenta 13 in 2012. Sean Gullette, a 2012 grantee, presented his film Traitors at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, and 2016 grantee Khaled Sabsabi’s five-channel video installation Bring the Silence was included in the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018.
Sharjah Art Foundation offers various grants for artists and cultural practitioners, including its Short Film Production Grant for filmmakers, which will award $30,000 (Dh110,000) to selected filmmakers this year. Its Focal Point Publishing Grant, the open call for which typically takes place in summer, invites writers, artists and independent publishing houses to submit proposals for writing projects.
In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on artists and those in creative industries, institutions such as the Jameel Arts Centre and Warehouse421 have created grant programmes to ensure that artistic production can continue in the region.
The UAE’s Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development has also launched a relief programme for freelancers and SMEs in the creative fields, which includes artists and filmmakers.