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Overview of Partners

The eight partner organisations that received VAFF grants as part of the first round of funding (2017–2019) submitted ambitious proposals, with high variations reflected in their applications. While some mainly targeted young artists and aimed to provide production grants and residency opportunities, others proposed to design and develop educational and training programmes or to develop their organisation’s infrastructure and create new experiences. Some organisations proposed to focus on archives in connection with the production of innovative, research-based arts. In order to enhance their chances of sustainability, all the applicant organisations sought to develop their institutional and artistic capacities through the VAFF grants. More information on the partner organisations and their projects is provided below: 

1. Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art/ Jerusalem

Al Ma’mal is a non-profit organisation based in a former tile factory in New Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem serving its surrounding community, their guests and the city’s visitors through a programme of exhibitions, live music and workshops. Al-Ma’mal serves as an advocate for contemporary art and a catalyst for the realisation of art projects in Jerusalemthrough its main programmes: The Artists’ Residency, the Jerusalem Show, the Public Outreach Programme, and the Contemporary Art Museum – Palestine (CAMP). Since 1998, Al Ma’mal has been a hub for art, cultural vibrancy and learning while building bridges with the world and honouring Jerusalem’s own enduring qualities as a complex, culturally rich, ageless city. More information on Al-Ma’mal can be found on their website.

The “Supporting and Promoting Art and Culture in Palestine” project aims to enhance Al-Ma’mal’s support to artists in producing art projects, residencies and exhibitions. It also enhances Al-Ma’mal’s outreach to a wider audience in Jerusalem and Palestine.


Project budget: SEK 1,500,673 – equivalent to US$171,153

Project period: January 2018-June 2019

From the opening of 'The Mundane' by Mohamed S. Khalil at Al-Ma'mal. Photo credit: Al-Ma’mal archive

2. Birzeit University (BZU)/ Faculty of Art, Music and Design

The BA in Contemporary Visual Art in Birzeit University’s Faculty of Art, Music and Design is an interdisciplinary programme that provides a unique learning opportunity for students in drawing, painting, sculpture, 3D, installation, photography, video, film, sound, performance and social intervention, as well as historical and theoretical studies. The programme will be taught by prominent local and international visiting lecturers and artists, and through their different perspectives on contemporary art practices a comprehensive educational experience will be provided. Until all teaching staff are appointed, the programme has been initiated with ten students. The building that will house the art and music programmes is expected to be inaugurated in April 2019. To read more details about the BA Programme, please visit the Programme’s webpage.

Students of the Bachelor’s Programme in Contemporary Visual Arts. Photo credit: Birzeit University

The “Visual Art, Development and Capacity Building for BZU and Faculty of Art, Music and Design” project will focus on developing the teaching and technical capacities of the Contemporary Visual Art BA Programme. It will provide the Samir Aweidah Visual Arts and Music building with specialist equipment for the printing lab, with a focus on traditional as well as new technologies in printing, including lithography, etching, screen printing, digital printing on materials (wood, plastic, fabrics, paper), and 3D printing. The project will also contribute to developing BZU teaching staff’s technical and teaching capacities in partnerships with international universities. In addition, the project aims to provide learning and research opportunities through use of the BZU archives and art collections, making them available to artists and art students as a basis for research and the creation of new knowledge.


Project budget: SEK 1,728,809 – equivalent to US$197,172

Project period: January 2017–June 2019


3. Dar Jacir Art Collective/ Bethlehem

This grant is implemented under the umbrella of the Palestine Studies Institute-IPS/Ramallah

The Dar Jacir art collective is a local, grassroots and artist-run community initiative. It is comprised of visionary and leader of the project; Yusuf Jacir, artists Emily Jacir, filmmaker Anne Marie Jacir, organiser; Janne Jacir and financial controller; Suliman Jacir. Through community funding, the collective has finalised the renovation of the 127-year-old Jacir family home in Bethlehem and turned it into a public space for art production, learning and research.

The VAFF grant will support Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in its establishment and programming phases. This will include a series of art exhibitions, workshops, master classes and seminars, and will provide residency opportunities to local and international artists, intellectuals, musicians and filmmakers. Through this project, part of the Jacir family’s Ottoman archives will also be mapped and digitised so that they will be available for researchers and artists. For more information on Dar Jacir, please visit their Facebook page.


Project budget: SEK 2,241,903 – equivalent to US$255,691

Project period: January 2018–July 2019


4. General Union of Cultural Centres (GUCC)/ Gaza

The General Union of Cultural Centres was established in 1997 in Gaza, with a membership of 52 cultural organisations and centres. The cultural department of the Union is led by “Shababeek Studio for Contemporary Art”, a visual arts collective established in 2009 in Gaza. The collective aims to encourage artists to produce contemporary art works through video, photography and installation.  For more information, please visit the Union’s website and Shababeek’s website.

From ‘Jakar’ exhibition by Ruqaia Al-Lulu at Shababeek Studio in Gaza. Photo credit: Shababeek Studio’s archive

The Shababeek collective will supervise the artistic implementation of the “Contemporary Linkages" project, the importance of which lies in its response to the needs of Gaza-based artists. Through specialist supervision, the project will organise a series of training courses, starting with conceptualisation, development, research and experimentation, and leading to a coherent art proposal. A follow-up training course will cover art practices, such as sculpture and printing, that will be implemented in collaboration with Arab and foreign artists. Through an open call process, the project also offers residency opportunities and production grants to artists from across the Gaza Strip.


Project budget: SEK 1,855,961 – equivalent to US$211,674

Project period: January 2018–July 2019


5. The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre (KSCC)/ Ramallah

The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre (KSCC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of culture and the arts among all people within Palestinian society. KSCC values diversity, inclusivity, creativity, self-expression and freedom of expression. It is a hub for dialogue with new audiences, for nurturing new talent and creating cultural dialogue within Palestinian society and beyond. KSCC was founded in 1996 and is located in Ramallah in a restored traditional mansion. To know more about the Centre, please visit their Facebook page.

The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre’s building. Photo credit: KSCC’s archive

Infrastructure, as a Cultural Project” aims to improve the quality of the Centre’s activities, fostering its ability to attract wider audiences and implementing a resource mobilisation programme in order to strengthen the Centre’s institutional capacities and its sustainability. Besides renovating the Centre’s infrastructure, the grant will also support the implementation of the visual art programme, the development of its strategic plan and its financial and administrative systems.


Project budget: SEK 1,881,331 – equivalent to US$214,567

Project period: December 2017–May 2019


6. Sakiya Art/Science/Agriculture/ Ein Qiniya

Sakiya is a community-based art initiative co-founded by architect and curator Sahar Qawasmi and the artist and filmmaker Nida Sinnokrot. Through this grant, Sakiya will be inaugurated as a new art space that will integrate the visual arts, farming, archiving and the production of knowledge. A residency programme will also be created – the first of its kind in Palestine.

The project is situated on a 16,000m2 plot of land owned by the Zalatimu family in the village of Ein Qiniya. The grant will contribute to renovating one of two buildings on the project site, both of which date back to 1917. The grant will also support the sustainability of Sakiya by enhancing its resource mobilisation programme, the development of its strategic plan, and administrative and financial manuals. To learn more about this initiative, please visit Sakiya’s Facebook page and website.


Project budget: SEK 2,236,095 – equivalent to US$255,029

Project period: January 2018–July 2019

One of the two buildings on Sakiya’s site. Photo credit: Sakiya’s archive


7. Tamer Institute for Community Education/ Ramallah

The Tamer Institute is a non-profit organisation established in 1989 that aims to design and implement locally specific pedagogy in response to the urgent needs within the Palestinian community. The Tamer Institute upholds the right to a high-quality education, to the exploration of identity, to freedom of expression and access to information. In the Tamer Institute’s publications, a high focus on the quality of the artistic and visual elements is evident. For more details, please visit Tamer’s website.

From the illustration workshop led by the Argentinian artist Isol. Photo credit: Tamer Institute for Community Education

The “Palestinian Art Tales” project aspires to raise cultural awareness and knowledge of the visual arts among children and young people in Palestine. Through the grant, the Tamer Institute will produce and promote high quality children’s stories based on the lives of a number of prominent artists in Palestinian art history. It will also translate and publish a book for children on the history of art. The project also aims to build capacities and provide training in children’s book illustration.


Project budget: SEK 1,464,071 – equivalent to US$166,979

Project period: October 2017-April 2019


8. Visual Arts Forum (VAF)/Ramallah

The Visual Arts Forum (VAF) is a non-profit organisation established in 2002, specialising in visual arts education and development. It seeks to create spaces of free expression through art and to enable talented youth. The forum launched its Visual Arts Education programme in 2003, after the second Intifada, as a pioneering initiative to teach children visual arts. Please visit the Forum’s Facebook page and website for more information

The Visual Arts Forum’s “Visual Arts Education Programme” aims to relaunch the Forum’s activities in Ramallah and to develop its institutional capacities and sustainability. The programme intends to further develop the Forum’s art education curriculum, in addition to implementing specialised training for trainers on pedagogical methods related to the existing curriculum. It will also develop the Forum’s overall strategy and its financial and administrative policies, as well as contribute to producing and implementing a fundraising plan to ensure sustainability.


Project budget: SEK 1,418,319 – equivalent to US$161,760

Project period: October 2017-April 2019

From the graduation exhibition of the third and fourth training courses implemented by the Visual Arts Forum (VAF). Photo credit: VAF archive.