The Xabaca International Network was born with the aim of promoting the artistic creation of Arab women as a source of social transformation and defence of human rights, thereby breaking down stereotypes.

Novact, Al Fanar and Jiwar, together with CasaÁrabe and IEMed, have developed this project, which both counters censorship and supports the female Arab artists, for the following reasons:

  1. The participation of these women in the world of art often brings about a social transformation which puts into question the status quo. This means that often this work is considered a threat to the authorities which in turn causes an infringement on the women’s basic human rights and their freedom of expression.
  2. The fact that they are both women and artists means they face a series of greater challenges than they would do if they were male artists. As a result, their public and political role is limited, as is the distribution, exhibition and defence of their work.

This Network intends to launch a defence and visualisation mechanism at a local and international level which works in the following two fields:

  • The creation of pieces of work which highlight the importance of aspects such as the freedom of expression and the creative freedom of the female Arab artists.
  • To launch an international network with territorial nodes formed of organisations which defend and fight for human rights in Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon and Catalonia, among other countries.

The project offered a scholarship to 4 female artists (in the end 5) working in various disciplines from Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Palestine. The countries were chosen because of their representation in the Arab world and for their cultural and artistic importance.

The eventual winners were:

Farah Ben Mansour (Tunisia)
Haya Zaatry (Palestine)

Fatima Mortada (Lebanon)

Houda Lakhdar i Sofia Aissaoui (Morocco)

The calendar of Xabaca’s activities:

16th March

Location: Sants (Carrer de Rossend Arús, 9, 08014 Barcelona)
City: Barcelona
Coordinator: Novact



Concert by the Palestinian Artist Haya Zaatrt in the concert hall in Sants, Koitton Club.


29th March

Place: IEMed (Carrer de Girona, 20, 08010 Barcelona)
City: Barcelona
Coordinator: Jiwar y IEMed



Presentation of the Xabaca Project entitled “Arab artists for social transformation”. Collaboration with IEMed- Espai Avinyó.


30th March


Place: Espai Jove de la Fontana (Carrer Gran de Gràcia, 190-192, 08012 Barcelona)
City: Barcelona
Coordinator: Novact, Al Fanar, Jiwar



Informal meeting with human rights organisations and artist groups. How can we carry out Xabaca?


To download the information brochure to find out more about the scholarship click on the following link: