7th OCTOBER 2016, 18H00-19H30
The Roberto Cimetta Fund, Onda - the French Office For Contemporary Performing Arts Circulation, the Syndeac and the Arab World Institute invite you to a Tribune for artists in exile on Friday 7th October 2016, from 18h00 to 19h30 at the Arab World Institute in Paris.
This event will encourage more awareness about the current situation of Arab artists and cultural operators in exile particularly amongst their French and European counterparts, in order to favour understanding, exchange and engagement.
Well-known artists and cultural operators in exile or representing the artistic and cultural world in Arab countries, will contribute to the debate: Fadi Yazigi, Syrian visual artist and sculptor, Hanan Kassab Hassan, Syrian professor and cultural operator, Sana Yazigi, Syrian cultural activist, Hala Omran and May Skaf, both Syrian actresses.
Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute will open the debate, which will be moderated by Ferdinand Richard, Chair of the Roberto Cimetta Fund.
Fadi Yazigi’s art is a testimony to the power and conviction of a whole generation of artists living and still working in Syria. Fadi constantly experiments with new materials and techniques and his work ranges from painting to sculpture to reliefs. His sculptures depict people as under-developed creatures or half-human beasts emerging from a half-monster, half-human world that is constantly fluctuating between the two. His work has been shown in individual and collective exhibitions in the Arab world, in Europe, in the USA and in China. In April 2016, his individual exhibition entitled “Sourced From Mother Earth” was presented at the Art Paris Art Fair.
Hanan Kassab Hassan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Roberto Cimetta Fund. Renowned theatre expert, Professor at IESAV-University Saint Joseph, Lebanon, formerly professor at the University of Damascus, Hanan was Dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts of Damascus, General Secretary of Damascus Arab Capital of Culture 2008 and the General Director of the Opera of Damascus, Syria.
Sana Yazigi is the founder of the website which aims to archive all the intellectual and artistic expressions produced since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011 until today. This website is a rare and precious example of how to preserve contemporary artistic expression and intangible cultural heritage from the danger of being wiped out and forgotten.
Hala Omran trained as an actress at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts of Damascus. During her career she has worked with Syrian and French-Arab directors such as Ossama Mohammed in his film Sacrifices (official selection Cannes 2002) or Yousry Nasrallah in his film The Gate of Sun (official selection Cannes 2004). Hala is a poet and also promotes the diversity of Syrian and Arabic culture through songs and translations of major works by Syrian poets or young playwrights in exile.
May Skaf is a Syrian actress and television star in her country. Founder of “Teatro”, workshops for young Syrian artists in Damascus, May is a fervent defender of independence for the arts in her country. She stayed in Syria at the beginning of the revolution and was an opponent to the regime before deciding to leave for Jordan and has only recently arrived in France. At the beginning of the revolution she and many artists and intellectuals wrote a declaration to ask that the siege of Deraa cease (in 2011). May was taken prisoner then released and was imprisoned many times after that. The media, particularly in the West, have often relayed her outspoken words.
Launched as a civil society initiative in 1998, the Roberto Cimetta Fund, aims to receive and regrant funding so as to facilitate mobility of individual artists and cultural operators throughout the Euro-Arab geographical zone. To date, the Fund has provided over 1500 travel grants. In addition to this central activity, RCF runs two other funds: Tamteen, a fund to support the rooting and consolidation of small artistic and cultural teams and initiatives in the geographical Arab zone, and Fil Manfa, a new emergency fund, launched in October 2016 supporting host organisations for artists and cultural operators in exile near the conflict zones.
Onda - Office national de diffusion artistique (the French office for contemporary performing arts circulation) is a non-profit organisation funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communication that promotes the dissemination within France of performing arts works that are consistent with a process of contemporary artistic creation concerned with the renewal of forms, and stimulates exchanges in the field of live performance in Europe and internationally. Its scope of intervention covers all disciplines, whether stemming from theatre, dance, music, circus, puppetry, public space, whether these works are created in France or abroad, and whether they are aimed at adults or children.
The National Syndicate of Artistic and Cultural Companies (SYNDEAC) represents more than 400 members performing and visual arts companies. Under the leadership of its president and the National Council, which are elected every two years, the union operates in three fields: trade union life, artistic and cultural development through public policy and the professional chamber.
The Arab World Institute was designed to create some strong and durable cultural ties while cultivating constructive dialogue between the Arab World, France, and Europe. This cross-disciplinary space is the ideal place for the development of cultural projects, in collaboration with institutions, creators and thinkers from the Arab world.
Free entrance.
Registration required. To register please contact the RCF.
Doors open at: 17h30
Angie Cotte, Roberto Cimetta Fund
tel. : 00 33 1 45 26 33 74, email :,
Press contact
Philippe Boulet
tel. : 00 33 682 28 00 47, email:
Arab World Institute
1, rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard, Place Mohammed-V 75005 Paris
tel.: 00 33 1 40 51 38 38
Performing arts, Visual arts


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