Selat:Links Through the Arts

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The A. M. Qattan Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund have launched ‘SELAT: Links through the Arts’, a grant-making programme in support of cultural initiatives in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. This pioneering programme will run for three years with a budget of € 310,000.

SELAT will promote cultural life in the camps, focusing on emerging artists and new creative practices. The project also aims to strengthen links between the camps’ cultural practitioners and their peers in Lebanon and abroad. The initiative followed a recent survey of cultural organisations and activities in Lebanon’s twelve Palestinian camps.

Grant-giving will target organisations and individuals engaged in cultural activities. A select number of organisations will be invited to propose projects with the potential to contribute to capacity-building amongst the camps’ cultural practitioners, to raise public awareness of and interest in culture and the arts, and to forge links between Lebanese and Palestinian artists and arts institutions. Regarding support for individuals, SELAT will provide grants in support of projects by young Palestinian artists in Lebanon in the fields of visual arts, performing arts and literature.

SELAT will give priority to projects overcoming the barriers resulting from the isolation and socio-economic difficulties in the camps. It will also prioritise initiatives capable of building links with the local Lebanese communities as well as regionally.

The Prince Claus Fund and the A. M. Qattan Foundation will join efforts to leverage additional funds from other resources to expand the scope of the project and ensure its continuity beyond the current three-year programme period.

The Prince Claus Fund, based in the Netherlands, believes that culture is a basic need and an important development incentive. The Fund supports artists, critical thinkers and cultural organisations in spaces where freedom of cultural expression is restricted by conflict, poverty or repression. Annually, the Fund grants eleven Prince Claus Awards to individuals and organisations for their outstanding achievementsin the fields of culture and development. The Fund also provides first aid to cultural heritage sites damaged by man-made or natural disaster.

The A. M. Qattan Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1993 and registered as a charity in the UK. Since its establishment, the Foundation has worked towards the development of culture and education, targeting a variety of social groups, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. It considers the two principal areas of culture and education as central to any long-term and consistent process of human development.