Arab Arts Focus (AAF) was created out of a need to shed light on the works being produced within the region. In an area which is rich in culture and brimming with talented artists who are searching for the right opportunities or platforms to showcase their work, we aim to support the new alternative representations of the Arab contemporary arts scene.
We believe that arts and culture act as a vehicle for resistance and change. The arts are humanity’s way of asserting the right to freedom through enabling individual expression. Perhaps equally important, art can encourage non-reductive discourses and discount negative stereotypes – in this case pertaining to the Arab world. Art opens the door to mutual understanding at a time when it is most needed.
Through the AAF, we allow artists to improve their visibility among other communities, locally and internationally, illustrating their multi-dimensional talents and enriching the mainstream art scene with diversity and inclusivity.
The AAF operates on three main tiers: Firstly, organizing Arab performing arts showcases. This involves creating space in events such as the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) in Cairo, which has featured AAF performances in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and has hosted programmers from all over the world. Internationally, AAF has showcased performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, the Festival D’Avignon OFF in 2018, and most recently in 2021 AAF put on a showcase at the Théatre Jean Vilar in Vitry-sur-Seine,reaching new and substantial audiences, and opening up avenues for discussion and exchange. These 6 showcases were also produced by AAF.
The second tier of operations is producing works for established Arab artists around the world in collaboration with international festivals and theaters. AAF has co-produced 7 shows as well as participating in the 2018 edition of CINARS in Montreal, as well as the 2019 and 2020 showcases for the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).