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Parallel Sphere Grantees Announcement

We are pleased to announce the selected projects for Parallel Sphere grant, that was launched in June 2020.

Parallel Sphere call was launched in response to the Covid-19 limitations on the cultural sector in the Arab region. It was directed to innovative art projects and new formats of producing, connecting and experimenting with art. 

We received 160 applications across all disciplines, and 9 projects from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, and United Arab Emirates were selected. 

Selected projects:

“Arabic Book Cover Design Digital Archive” by Mahmoud Elhosseiny (Egypt)

A digital archive for Arabic book cover designs with good digital quality. The material will be available to be used, for free, for educational, research, analytical purposes as well as an inspiration for scholars, students, teachers, design practitioners, historians, and the interested public. The project aims to link the past to the present, with a clear history of the development of books covers’ designs.  

“Citerne.live” by Maqamat (Lebanon)

An online interdisciplinary digital space designed to serve as an artistic ‘safe hub’, and to propose a live streaming program of cultural events. It aims to provide a ‘cultural framework’ for creative thought online and to build a wider coalition of artists, cultural organizations, and festivals. ‘A voice for culture’, reflecting its innovative values as well as values of cooperation, commonality, locality, equality, solidarity, and transnational approach. 

“Co-Rooms: Notes on Collaboration” by Engy Mohsen Sarhan (Egypt)

A curatorial proposal that invites participants from different artistic disciplines, yet all working under the umbrella of collective practices, to produce text-based works about the notion of collaboration itself. Through their personal accounts and reflections, they will engage critically with the consequences of the different perceptions of collaborative work, shared labour, and how to work through the emerging struggles that might materialize while working with others. 

“National Song” by Yara Mekkawy & Salah Badis (Egypt / Algeria)

A music research project that focuses on the music scenes in Egypt and Algeria, after the 1952’s revolution in Egypt, and the 1962’s revolution in Algeria. The two artists will be documenting the first 10 years after both revolutions through the music scenes in both countries, which were focused on the National songs, and how the political situation was reflected in the music song’s histories. 

“Quality Music Recording & Production at Home for Musicians” by Essam El-Saharty (Egypt)

A series workshops to help musicians gain the required knowledge and practice to produce and record their work at home, with good quality and on low budget equipment, so that they can continue to communicate with their audience and practice their artistic creativity professionally during the COVID 19 period and beyond. 

“Sadah”,by Gabrielle Camuset (Morocco)

A platform and research space that offers new channels for dissemination of current artistic commitments and actively participates in promoting artistic projects to a wider audience, through a podcast of series of interviews with artists and cultural practitioners in the Arab region. “Sadah” is initiated in collaboration with Moroccan artists and practitioners and plans to expand the project beyond the MENA region in its second phase. 

 “Something is Looming Upon Us” by Studio Mobius (UAE)

A longterm project that aims to assemble an inclusive design history curriculum to study neglected regional resources & stimulate discussions amongst educators about how the discipline of Graphic Design materialized in Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region. 

“Transmitting Voices” by Polyfon Festival Basel (Algeria/ Switzerland)

The first of three intertwined projects connecting Swiss and Algerian, experimental, electronic, and traditional musicians, artists, and the Polyfon Festival BaselThe project aims to create a digital forum connecting Swiss and Algerian musicians, inviting them to explore the sonority of their surroundings. 

“With Doors Closed, Artists Go Viral #2” by Medrar for Contemporary Art (Egypt)

The second phase of an online live multidisciplinary and interactive performances program, that aims to virtually connect those interested in visual and performing arts, moving beyond the idea that audiences and artists should gather in physical spaces to enjoy art. The project seeks to facilitate opportunities for sustainable artistic creation, promote cultural exchange between Egyptian and foreign artists, and bring a new enriching perspective to arts practices, by interconnecting artistic practices and digital culture.