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Overview of Partners

The ten partner organisations that received VAFF grants as part of the second round of funding (2019–2021) 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:


General Union of Cultural Centres/ Gaza

جانب من معرض "غزة فن / مقارنات تأملية" ضمن مشروع روابط معاصرة، لمحترف شبابيك.

The General Union of Cultural Centres (GUCC) 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.

Through the “Contemporary Linkages” project, the grant in its first cycle enabled support for artist residences as well as production grants to facilitate artistic production. This led to the production of the “Gaza Art” exhibition, which continued from 27 to 31 July 2019, and that has left a lasting impact on the art scene in the Gaza Strip. The grant is also contributing to essential investment in the talents and capabilities of artists, the production of new multimedia art projects, and the promoting of the sustainability capabilities of both GUCC and Shababeek.

The grant implementation agreemend signed with GUCC aims to support the visual arts programme implemented by the GUCC’s visual arts department, Shababeek for Contemporary Art. The support is going towards 12 production grants and artist residencies, in addition to the organisation of two open studios alongside the residency programme, and a solo exhibition for each artist participating in the production grants programme. The grant also seeks to support the design and implementation of an artistic intervention programme in public spaces and in one or more refugee camps in Gaza. It will also benefit interested artists by organising a monthly programme of encounters and seminars in which ten different practitioners from across the creative spectrum are hosted, in addition to its support for resource-mobilisation for the union.

Project budget: SEK 1,439,899 – equivalent to US$ 151,451

Project period: November 2019-March 2021



Birzeit University/ Faculty of Art, Music and Design

The BA in Contemporary Visual Art in Birzeit University (BZU)’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. The programme has been initiated with ten students. To read more details about the BA Programme, please visit the Programme’s webpage.

The first round of the project focused on providing the Visual Arts and Music building with specialist equipment for the printing lab, with a focus on traditional as well as new technologies in printing, and including etching, digital and 3D printing. The project has also contributed to developing the teaching staff’s technical and teaching capacities through providing 8 of the staff members with opportunities to visit the University of the Arts London, and the University of the Creative Arts in the UK, with the aim of exchanging experiences in pedagogy, organising studios and labs, and printing techniques. The grant has supported a workshop organised by two specialists in Birzeit University and targetted at both students and teaching staff. The project also aims to provide learning and research opportunities through the use and development 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. During the grant period, 5,650 documents have been uploaded to the university’s archive website.

The second round of the grant aims at developing the Visual Arts’ programme in the Faculty of Art, Music and Design through organising a seminar on visual arts education in Palestine, in which all related academic institutions will participate. A number of local artists will be invited to present lectures at the Faculty on several specialisations. The Faculty plans to host two international artist’s residencies that will enrich academic life. Furthermore, the grant also aims to create and enhance opportunities for cooperation with art institutions from the Global South, and with other departments at the university. To increase communications with high schools and to enhance community awareness of the Faculty’s visual arts programme and of the visual arts in general, 15 visits will be organised by faculty students to schools, and another 15 visits by school students to the faculty and the Birzeit University Museum.  Additionally, two exhibitions will be organised: a retrospective exhibition of the late Palestinian artist Tawfiq Abdel Al, entitled “Rhythms of a Different Time”, in collaboration with Birzeit University Museum, and the Degree Show that will feature the works of the first graduates of the faculty. 

Project budget: SEK 1,246,772.34 – equivalent to US$ 131,137.44

Project period: October 2019–February 2021

The Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash/ Jerusalem

The Palestinian Art Court Al Hoash is Palestinian organisation based in Jerusalem, operating in the fields of culture and the visual arts. It was founded in 2004 as an initiative by a group of amateurs who were driven by the need to have a professional body to preserve and protect the visual arts as an essential component of Palestinian cultural identity. Al Hoash aims to increase the level of communication between art and society; to raise awareness and promote adherence to the collective Palestinian visual memory; to support community in advancing creativity and cultural awareness; and to enrich emerging Palestinian artists and expose them to local, regional and international art practices. This is achieved through organising solo and group contemporary art exhibitions and holding exhibitions in public spaces, alongside the permanent exhibition entitled The Empty Collection. Through its visual arts programme, Al Hoash focuses on creating and reviving a collective visual memory, transferring art into public space in its attempt to bridge the gap between art and society through organising workshops and garden dialogues, in addition to working on producing a cultural archive. For more information, visit Al Hoash on Facebook.

The grant aims to support the visual arts programme at Al Hoash, particularly the programme for preserving and digitising the archive of the Al Wasiti Art Centre, as well as Al Hoash’s own archive and publications and any other important archives that will be later added. This phase of the project will be completed in cooperation with the Khazaen Institute in Jerusalem. With the support of the grant, all archival material and publications will be uploaded to a website that will be developed to make this material accessible to interested researchers and artists. The grant will fund visual art research production by commissioning four researchers to produce research on Palestinian art through examining these archives, and publishing their research as articles and/or videos, and/or by other means. The grant will also cover the design and implementation of a public programme to include cultural and art activities, seminars and panel discussions, workshops, lectures and conferences, and an exhibition that will be developed as a result of this research and scholarly work on the above-mentioned archives.

Project budget: SEK 1,331,032 SEK; approximately US$ 140,000

Implementation period: November 2020–July 2021



Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture/ Bethlehem

Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture is the first institution of higher education in Palestine to focus its educational objectives on various cultural and artistic fields. The college was established in 2006, opening with Programmes in Documentary Film Production and Ceramic and Glass Art. At that point, the college only had 22 students. Today, Dar al-Kalima grants BA and diploma degrees in various arts and cultural programmes, including visual arts, film making, graphic design, contemporary arts, interior design, art education, ceramic and glass art and metalworking, in addition to degrees in performing arts such as theatre and drama, music performance, as well as cultural heritage, tourism studies, culinary arts, food service and catering. For more information, please visit Dar al-Kalima University College’s website.

The grant agreement signed with Dar al Kalima College will contribute to the establishment and development of a new educational track specialising in art restoration (oil and acrylic on canvas, icons, and watercolour on paper, for example), the first programme of its kind in Palestine, as part of the BA in Contemporary Arts, and to equipping a specialised lab for painting restoration. These programmes will be pursued after the completion of a study surveying the art restoration expertise available within Palestine and beyond, and determining the resources, equipment and furniture required for the lab. The grant will cover fees for teaching staff, and the expenses of documenting, archiving and restoring the College’s art collection. It will contribute to organising three exhibitions for the students and a degree show in 2020, and enable support for the participation of students in local exhibitions and biennials.

Project budget: SEK 1,176,088.73 – equivalent to US$ 123,702.83

Project period: November 2019–March 2021



Dar Qandeel for Arts and Culture/ Tulkarem

Dar Qandeel is an independent non-profit cultural institution, founded in 2003. It believes in the importance of embracing new talent, and developing the performing arts as a contribution to revitalising cultural life. Dar Qandeel fulfills its vision through organising cultural and community activities and programmes, and the presenting and teaching of visual and audio arts in a non-academic, contemporary and experimental style. To know more, please visit Dar Qandeel’s page on Facebook.  

The grant seeks to support the establishment and implementation of a visual arts programme at Dar Qandeel for Arts and Culture, as well as support its institutional development and the sustainability of its programmes. This will be achieved through covering the basic administrative, operational and developmental costs, and the activities of the visual arts programme – which includes 15 small production grants, a visual art education programme for children, a capacity-building programme for visual artists in the Tulkarem area, the hosting of ten art events throughout the duration of the project and four artist residencies, as well as funding a series of technical workshops in video art and photography, and several community art projects. The grant also aims to support Dar Qandeel’s resource development programme.  

Project budget: SEK 1,323,308 SEK; approximately US$ 139,187.57

Implementation period: October 2019–February 2021



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. Sakiya was inaugurated as a new art space that integrates the visual arts, farming, archiving and the production of knowledge, through a residency programme that was created and is considered the first of its kind in Palestine. The project is situated on a 16,000m2 plot of land in the village of Ein Qiniya. The first cycle of the grant contributed to renovating one of two buildings on the project site, both of which date back to 1917. To learn more about this initiative, please visit Sakiya’s Facebook page and website.

The first cycle of the grant enabled Sakiya to host ten local and international artists, including Samia Halabi, Yara Bamieh, Dina Amro, Shada Safadi, and the two researchers Yara Sharif and Natasha Arouri. Sakiya’s residency programme also hosted Michael Schramm, Agnus Cameron and Gary Zhexi Zhang during the preparation period of the final exhibition. Sakiya has also completed the restoration of the first old house on site to host artists-in-residence. It further finalised the research and implementation phase of the environmental survey of the land, and began work on the pedestrian path leading to the site as well as the renovation of stone terraces surrounding the house. The project concluded with the exhibition “Between the Qaiqab and the Ballut”, which attracted nearly 600 visitors from within and outside the village of Ein Qinya. The exhibition also included a symposium entitled “Rewilding Pedagogy”, and some spontaneous performances from the village.

VAFF, in its second round, provided support to Sakiya once again for experimental knowledge production and sharing. Sakiya will contribute to the visual arts scene in Palestine with ten new art projects, including three artist residencies and seven projects that will draw their themes and media from Sakiya's location in Ein Qinya. These projects will bring together artists, researchers, artisans and/or farmers to produce artistic interventions in different plots around Sakiya’s site, including the road leading to it. In addition, VAFF will support exploration walks that will be organised by Sakiya; these will include four rounds and dialogues on the site that will delve into various topics. The grant will support the organisation of a final exhibition and the publishing of a book to feature Sakiya’s activities during the period of the grant. The grant will also contribute to covering the main administrative and operational expenses and the resource development programme.

Project budget: SEK 1,439,899 – equivalent to US$ 151,451

Project period: November 2019–March 2021



The Palestinian Museum/ Birzeit

The Palestinian Museum is an independent institution dedicated to supporting an open and dynamic Palestinian culture nationally and internationally. The Museum presents and engages with new perspectives on Palestinian history, society and culture. It also offers spaces for creative ventures, educational programmes and innovative research. The Museum focuses on promoting Palestinian culture in the Arab world and internationally, creating the environment for free and innovative intellectual and creative endeavour, advocating for the use of cultural tools for educational purposes, strengthening a sense of unifying national identity, and fostering a culture of dialogue. For more information, please visit the Museum’s website

The grant for the Palestinian Museum will contribute to establishing a Curatorial Department, as well as capacity building for the museum team that is involved and for other professionals working in the arts scene in general. It will also support the production of commissioned artworks for the museum’s forthcoming exhibition entitled “Palestinian Shores”, and the design and implementation of public educational programmes inspired by this exhibition and by the “Printed in Jerusalem” exhibition. The grant will also be used to organise tours of the two exhibitions for pupils from 35 public schools, as well as designing and providing a training programme for a number of teachers from different schools, building on their skills and providing them with educational guides and tools that can be applied in the classroom.

Project budget: SEK 1,337,049 – equivalent to US$ 140,633

Project period: October 2019–February 2021



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 grant seeks to build on the achievements of the first round grant of VAFF, which included the development of the Centre’s institutional structure, the management and implementation of artistic and cultural programmes and projects, as well as increasing the community outreach. The Centre was also able to develop its financial and administrative manuals and strategies, and work on enhancing its infrastructure, from the maintenance of electricity, water and communication networks to obtaining up to 100 pieces of audiovisual equipment. VAFF also aimed to support the Centre’s artistic programme, which included hosting five encounters with around 50 artists, researchers and cultural practitioners. It further organised the exhibitions “Debt” and “Violence, Fast and Slow”, and a solo exhibition by artist Dina al-Mimi. Other activities included four law-focused workshops and four educational sessions within the “De-School Palestine” workshop, and the “Loop” series which organised three screenings of video art films by three different artists. Additionally, the Centre has provided small production grants for seven artists and offered opportunities for design production for four artists. During the implementation period of the artistic programme, Sakakini Centre hosted 11,937 visitors (6,616 women; 5,321 men). Moreover, the grant has enabled the Centre to develop sustainability and resource development measures, including the Backbone Program, the La Shop Initiative, electronic donation capabilities, income-generating activities and workshops, all of which have contributed to the Centre’s revenues from the beginning of 2018 until the end of the project implementation period.

In its second round, the grant will support the implementation of three exhibitions as well as visual and social interventions. KSCC will provide production grants to a number of artists, and support cultural and collective research projects, including seminars and workshops in the field of the visual arts, with a total of seven workshops. The grant will also support the resource development programme that was supported through the first round of VAFF, through contributing to the fees of the resource development officer, supporting the Backbone programme and the La Shop initiative by providing grants to designers, and the implementing of a local and international fundraising campaign to rehabilitate the Centre to make it accessible for people with disabilities. The grant will also cover the main administrative and operating expenses.

Project budget: SEK 1,439,899 – equivalent to US$ 151,451

Project period: October 2019–February 2021



Gaza Association for Culture and Arts (GACA) and Eltiqa Group

The Eltiqa Group is an initiative launched in Gaza in 2002. It was founded by a group of young visual artists in Gaza to revive a young art movement through advancing initiatives and creating art opportunities, by looking for and nurturing artistic talents through organising art education courses and involving as many artists as possible through workshops and collective exhibitions. The Eltiqa Group also focuses on cultural and artistic exchanges by exhibiting Palestinian artworks internationally and creating a link between Palestine and the world through networking with other art collectives and institutions. This is achieved using the available resources and funds.

The Eltiqa Group operates through the Gaza Association for Culture and Arts (GACA), which serves as the administrative and financial umbrella for the implementation of the project. GACA is a registered non-profit, non-governmental organisation, focusing on highlighting the role of culture in establishing social structures and creating a future vision consistent with the art and cultural scenes and all their implications. It also works towards advancing the potential and capabilities of the Association, to play an influential role in society in the fields of art and culture, thus contributing to community building, enhancing the skills and capabilities of cultural and art workers, and supporting the organisation of their cultural work.  

VAFF’s grant to the visual arts project implemented by Eltiqa Group, under the umbrella of GACA, will support the delivery of three trainings in the field of visual arts, as well as 12 production grants and artist residencies at cultural centres in the north and south of the Gaza Strip. Exhibitions will be organised to present the artworks of artists participating in the various opportunities of this programme. Additionally, the grant will support research studies that tackle different topics in the visual arts in Gaza, and the costs of setting up exhibition space and a production and training lab at Eltiqa’s headquarters, and reviewing and developing the financial and administrative manuals for GACA.

Project budget: SEK 1,302,510 – equivalent to US$137,000

Project period: March 2020–July 2021



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 first cycle of the grant resulted in reactivating the Forum’s activities in Ramallah, in developing a new art education curriculum and implementing five training courses on visual arts with the participation of 342 children. The grant further supported the institutional structure of the Forum and opportunities for financial stability, which have led to several local and international partnerships including a grant from the Swiss Drosos Foundation that will support the Forum and its activities for the next three years.

The second round of the grant aims to support the visual arts programme and the institutional development and sustainability programme at VAF through covering essential administrative and running costs. It also aims to contribute to VAF’s resource development programme and its focus on the visual art education programme, including uplifting the quality of education, defining VAF’s educational vision, and implementing five educational courses for children and the interested public during the implementation period. The grant will help promote the Forum’s activities through organising 15 creative workshops in schools, 15 art activities aimed at children, 20 visits by children and students, as well as holding five discussions between parents, instructors and artists to encourage the registration of new students.

Project budget: SEK 1,439,899 – equivalent to US$ 151,451.80

Project period: October 2019–February 2021