Laboratory of Arts: The Syrian Artist Support Programme is a grant-giving 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 of 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 awarded to inspiring artists working in many different sectors, including cinema & animation; theatre; 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 neighbouring countries and Europe. The second edition of MINA, entitled 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, this 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 artistic 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.