Sharjah Art Foundation has shortlisted 10 artists, duos and collectives for its 2022 Production Grant. In this 8th cycle of the Foundation’s biannual Production Grant, a total of 200,000 USD will be distributed to provide core funding and professional support for the realisation of the grantees’ proposed projects.
Selected from an international open call, the 2022 awardees are:
Abdul Halik Azeez, Nadir Boumouch & Soumeya Ait Ahmed, Nadim Choufi, Mbali Dhlamini & Phumulani Ntuli (Preempt Group), Inas Halabi, Asmaa Jama & Gouled Ahmed, Zahra Malkani, Paribartana Mohanty, Aarti Sunder and Mila Turajlić. The 2022 awardees were selected by Nada Raza (Curator) and Ala Younis (Artist, Researcher and Curator).
One of the Foundation’s core initiatives, the Production Grant broadens the possibilities for the making of art by offering funding as well as professional and developmental support to regional and international artists. Through a biannual open call, art practitioners are invited to propose projects that inspire, inquire, investigate and give rise to meaningful collective experiences. Awardees work closely with the Foundation to develop, produce and present their projects, which span a wide range of media, including sculpture, artist’s books, mixed media, installation and performance.
Past Production Grant cycles have made significant contributions to the rise in artistic activity throughout the region and beyond, enabling artists to realise ambitious projects of a scale and complexity that would have been challenging to achieve without this support. Many of the resulting projects have been presented by organisations around the world, contributing to increased visibility and awareness of the grantees’ practices. Examples include 2010 grantees CAMP and Bani Abidi whose projects premiered at dOCUMENTA (13); 2012 grantee Sean Gullette whose film Traitors premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival; Lindsay Seers’ Nowhere Less Now presented in London by Artangel and now part of the Artangel Collection at Tate; 2014 grantee Jumana Manna’s film A Magical Substance Flows into Me, which premiered as part of her solo exhibition at London’s Chisenhale Gallery in 2015; 2016 grantee Khaled Sabsabi’s Bring the Silence, included in the 21st Biennale of Sydney; and 2018 grantee Mounira Al Solh whose work Freedom is a Habit I am Trying to Learn was avant-premiered at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2019.
Originally launched alongside Sharjah Biennial 9 in 2009, the Production Grants are among a growing number of year-round opportunities and programmes offered by Sharjah Art Foundation to support artists and art practitioners in the production and development of new creative work, including curatorial residencies and grants for the creation of short films and publishing projects. The Production Grant has been offered biannually since 2010, following the first cycle in 2009 that received over 500 submissions, from which 28 projects were selected for production and presentation in the Biennial.
About the 2022 Production Grant Awardees
Abdul Halik Azeez
b. 1985, Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka
Lives and works in Colombo
Abdul Halik Azeez’s work reflects on technologies of power as mediated through contemporary culture, narratives of progress, lived experiences and media.
Nadir Bouhmouch & Soumeya Ait Ahmed
Bouhmouch was born in 1990, Casablanca; Ait Ahmed was born in 1992, Casablanca.
Both live and work in Marrakech.
Nadir Bouhmouch and Soumeya Ait Ahmed’s collaboration is based on their sense of urgency towards rapidly eroding ancestral, artistic, social and ecological practices and knowledge.
b. 1994, Abu Dhabi
Lives and works in Beirut
Nadim Choufi’s work focuses on the material histories and futures of innovation, their social and political driving forces, and the visual and literary practices that surround them.
Preempt Group – Mbali Dhlamini & Phumulani Ntuli
Ntuli was born in 1986, Johannesburg; Dhlamini was born in 1990, South Africa.
Both live and work in Johannesburg.
Facilitated by Phumulani Ntuli and Mbali Dhlamini, Preempt Group came together as a collective in 2018 to explore the possibilities of analogue, hybrid and transmedia. The collective examines the intersection between colonial archives and open-source technologies through performance, film and workshops.
b. 1988, Palestine
Lives and works between Palestine and the Netherlands.
Inas Halabi works primarily with film to explore how social and political conditions of the past are inextricably linked to the present and the impact that overlooked or suppressed histories have on contemporary life.
Asmaa Jama & Gouled Ahmed
Born in 1998 in Aalborg, Denmark, Jama lives and works in Bristol.
Ahmed was born in 1992 in Djibouti and lives and works in Addis Ababa.
Since 2021, Asmaa Jama, an artist and poet, and Gouled Ahmed, a costume designer and stylist, have been evolving a collaborative practice that encompasses photography, costume design, styling, poetry and painting.
b. 1986, Karachi
Lives and works in Karachi
Zahra Malkani’s research-based practice spans multiple media, including sound, video and the web. She explores the politics of development, infrastructure and militarism in Pakistan through the lens of dissident ecological knowledges and traditions of environmental resistance.
b. 1982, Odisha, India
Lives and works in New Delhi
Paribartana Mohanty examines how technologies of algorithmic networks, digitalisation, data mining, access and surveillance are shaping public perception about ‘natural’ calamity, and how new government policies are changing the rural landscapes in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.
b. 1987, India
Lives and works in India
Encompassing drawing, video, performance and writing, Aarti Sunder’s research and practice lie at the crossroads of digital humanities and contemporary art.
b. 1979, Belgrade
Lives and works between Belgrade and Paris
Mila Turajlić is a filmmaker and visual artist whose documentary works draw on a combination of oral histories, documentary archives, fiction films and found footage to fabricate a new reflexive language that confronts memory and ruins with the disappearing narratives of history.
About the Production Grant Jury
b. 1974, Kuwait City
Lives and works in Amman
Using objects, film and printed matter, artist, researcher and curator Younis often seeks instances where historical and political events collapse into personal ones. Her work looks also into how the archive plays on predilections and how its lacunas and mishaps manipulate the imagination.
b. 1977, Karachi
Lives and works in Dubai
Nada Raza is a curator and researcher whose work focuses on contemporary art from Southwest Asia.
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. The Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region, and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. It was named UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture for 1998 and the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019.
Alyazeyah Al Marri