About the MASARAT grants Programme:

 At a time of significant challenge for artists and the cultural sector globally, the British Council remains committed to supporting the development of diverse and creative expression and mutual cultural exchange between the UK and the rest of the world. 

  • The Masarat Grants programme seeks to respond to the needs of artists and cultural practitioners in Iraq, Jordan Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen, providing financial support to enable continued production and project work in very difficult circumstances.   
  • Masarat aims to strengthen artistic practice through supporting production, training, and showcasing activities. Selected grantees are also given opportunities to build their professional networks and make new connections with the UK and the Arab world. 
  •  Masarat grantees have been awarded grants ranging from 4000 to 10,000 GBP in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. This grant programme is designed to support the professional development of emerging artists, creatives, and cultural practitioners in the region.                                                                                                                                 

 A total of 21 projects have received grants to implement their projects in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen by October 2021. 

 Discover the projects happening in Iraq: 

Crossroads project

The recent years in Iraq have proven to be difficult for young Iraqi artists who are using art as a means of self-expression and a sustainable source of income. 

Through ‘Crossroads’, the Station Foundation for Entrepreneurship aims to build capacities of fresh Iraqi arts graduates to enable them to financially sustain themselves through their passion. The project also aims to revive historic art forms, thus celebrating the national heritage and perpetuating local artistic tradition in contemporary and innovative ways. 

 The project will train different groups of artists in four disciplines: photography, collage, mosaic, and calligraphy. 

We believe that this initiative will allow us to highlight the potential of the creative industries in Iraq, supporting youth in their career paths, and adapting traditional artistic practices to challenge narratives of Iraq.

Ashley Barlow

(The Station Foundation for Entrepreneurship)

Kurdeçîrok magazine

Although Kurmanji is one of the Kurdish languages spoken in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, as well as by millions of Kurds in the diaspora, there are limited platforms for writers to publish their work in their native language.  

Kurdeçîrok magazine managed by Kurdeçîrok arts group, will give writers the opportunity to publish their artwork and will give Kurmanji speakers access to stories translated from other languages into their native language.   

The magazine will be published on a bi-monthly basis, with the first edition coming out in May 2021.

Masarat Grant will give the opportunity for Kurdish writers to publish their stories in kurdecirok magazine

Ronya Lazgen (Kurdeçîrok magazine)

Inclusive workshops in stop motion animation

Using the stop motion animation technique, the Iraqi artist, Safa Al Obaidi, will work with a group of disabled and non-disabled persons to teach them how to build basic models using primary materials in their houses, move them by hand, and finally capture this movement digitally and on film. 

The project aims to build the capacity of young Iraqis to learn a new artistic skill, enabling them to grow their confidence and access new employment opportunities.  The project also seeks to challenge the social stigma faced by people with disabilities and encourage inclusion and equality of opportunity. 

This opportunity is real support for a new and unique project that will contribute in spreading this affordable art in Iraq

 Safa Sami Al Obaidi

Celebrating the Iraqi Marshlands heritage “Power of Water”

Akam Shex Hady, a multi-disciplinary artist from Kurdistan -Iraq, is on a quest to celebrate the Iraqi marshlands, through a multi-sensory performance bringing together sounds, images, videos, and exhibits from the Mesopotamian marshes - an UNESCO Heritage Site since 2016. 

As he puts it, the Iraqi marshlands are far more than a natural site to preserve; they encompass the long historical relationship between human beings and nature. 

Through his project, he plans to celebrate the land, but also the marshlands' people and their identity; centuries of traditions that are dying out just like the fauna that forever left these areas due to human interference with their natural habitat. 

 Giving space to the marshlands people and history and exchanging ideas with other artists, from north to south, will be at the core of our project

 Akam Shex Hadi (Iraqi Artist)

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