Laboratory of Arts: The Syrian Artist Support Programme 

© Hubert Amiel

Laboratory of Arts: The Syrian Artist Support Programme is a grant scheme enabling and empowering Syrian artists and cultural organisations in the Arab region and Europe. The project is realized by the NGO Ettijahat – Independent Culture.

Many artists have been forced to leave their home country Syria due to state repressions, persecution and war. Laboratory of Arts provides those artists and collectives with the financial backing to allow them to realise their creative ambitions. By supporting displaced artists, the programme offers possibilities for social dialogue and progressive thinking.

Since starting in 2014, 82 grants have been given to inspiring artists working in many different sectors, including cinema & animation; theater; dance & performing arts; creative writing; visual arts including plastic arts, installations and graphic design; and music.

Moreover, participants are given the opportunity to showcase their work through Ettijahat’s international Syrian arts platform MINA: Artistic Ports & Passages. MINA is an art forum aiming to celebrate the work of Syrian artists in neighboring countries, and EuropeThe second edition of MINA under the title The restraints of Language and Geography was supposed to take place in the French city of Bordeaux between 2-5 April 2020. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the edition had to be postponed. The next edition of MINA is scheduled to take place in Beirut in November 2021.  

Ettijahat – Independent Culture’s work is focused on Supporting Art Production and Promotion which comes as a response to Ettijahat’s objective to contribute to the activation of the Syrian art movement and to enable artistic production in all creative fields. 

In its 2020 edition, Laboratory of Arts is supporting 16 projects across five artistic and literary categories to produce four arts performances, including theatre, dance, musical theatre, two music albums, three films and three visual projects. The program will also support the publication of four literary projects, in cooperation with Mamdouh Adwan Publishing House. Six art projects will be implemented in Syria and four in neighbouring countries (Lebanon and Turkey), while the remaining six will be rolled-out by artists residing in Europe (Germany, France and Austria).