Application deadline: October 1, 2018, 12pm
To celebrate and remember John Berger, artist, writer, poet and critic, the A.M. Qattan Foundation is proud to launch the Qattan Residency: Ways of Traveling 2019–2020.
The theme of Ways of Traveling emerges from a rich history of Arab travelers and scholars who traveled and wrote about the richness and differences (yet similarities) of the cultures they encountered. Travelers such as Ibn Battuta, Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, Muhammad Al-Idrisi, Ahmad Ibn Majid and others used their narratives to enrich their own cultures and explore new often critical ideas about identity, communality and individualism.
The Arab world has a long history of internal mobility and cultural exchange; and contemporary cultural practices continue to produce alternative and critical knowledge in defiance of the political stagnation and extremism associated with border disputes. Ways of Traveling seeks to honour John Berger’s legacy by improving our understanding of the relationships between the political and the aesthetic in all its forms. It aims to produce new insights and observations about politics, society, nature and culture in order to reimagine a region where time and space collapse, allowing people to come closer to each other; mountains, deserts and seas to converge; cultures to fuse; and souls to journey beyond their territorial entrapment.
The project juxtaposes historical travel literature and the ideologies behind it with the contemporary crisis of disconnection and immobility in the region. It is thus an attempt to harness cultural practices to connect people and geographies.
The Residency Programme consists of three interrelated parts: Critical Research and Writing, Qattan Studio, and Culture in Motion. Each of these opportunities provides a setting within which artists, curators, academics, writers, scientists and educators may engage in ongoing discussions and debates that examine the historical, social and intellectual conditions of cultural production. The programme also encourages theoretical and critical studies of the practices, institutions and discourses that constitute the field of culture.
All residents are required to contribute with a public presentation about their work or ongoing projects. These presentations will provide an opportunity to compare projects and experiences, and exchange notes on the diverse conditions of cultural production and their contextual relevance. The first phase of the Residency Programme 2019, offers three seasonal opportunities, each for a duration of between 1–2 months:
Critical Research and Writing: January–March 2019
Qattan Studio: April–September 2019
Culture in Motion: October–December 2019