International network against censorship

on Arab women’s art



Xabaca seeks to empower female artists as a source of social transformation and defense of Human Rights.
This project is hosted by the following organizations: NOVACT (Barcelona), Fundation Al Fanar (Madrid) and Jiwar Creation and Society (Barcelona) and is supported economically by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation.

To achieve this aim, the project will be structured into two different areas:

  1. Artistic development: to enhance art and creativity as a means of combating gender discrimination, censorship and social injustice. This will be achieved by an empowerment artistic process of four female Arab artists staying at Jiwar (Barcelona) for 1 month. Jiwar is an organization which offers stays for artists and has its own center.
  1. Empowering activist aspects: to strengthen the capacities of the four female Arab artists to increase their role in social change. This will be done by participation in workshops and in an international support network which will begin when they start their artistic residency and will continue when they return to their home countries.



Credits @Jana Trablusi


Xabaca was born from the collaboration of Novact, Al Fanar and Jiwar. It wants to support female Arab creators for two reasons: their role in social transformation through art and for the dual-faced oppression they face as artists and women.

Very often, cultural creation is a tool used to visualize and cross red lines of power structures as it facilitates the questioning of the status quo. Precisely because of these capacities, at times the authorities see many women artists as a threat, who often violate their basic Human Rights such as freedom of expression.

Female creators face a very specific type of repression. Patriarchy and the defiance towards the status quo generate a particular form of restraint, which affects women in a different way than it affects men. On the other hand women may suffer greater and harder consequences than male artists by their artistic expressions. The public and the political role of female creators is reduced, by minimizing the distribution, exposure and advocacy of their products.

Xabaca proposes the realization of artistic works linked to this entire context, taking into account the importance of gender and repression as fundamental aspects of the defense of freedom of expression and free creation of female Arab artists.



  • Open Call for Arab female artists living and working in Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Palestine. We have chosen these four countries for their importance in cultural and artistic aspects, and because they represent the two geographical areas of the Arab World: Magreb and Mashrek.
  • Open to all the disciplines (visual arts, literature, music, performance, etc.)
  • Residency from the 1st of March to the 31st of March 2017.
  • 4 full scholarships covering 100% the cost of the residence (travel + accommodation), including 400 euros per diem and artist.
  • Artistic material covered.
  • Send your application to
  • DEADLINE: January 15th.
  • Applications can be send in ENGLISH, FRENCH and ARABIC.



The artist has to present a digital format dossier with the following information:

  • Personal motivation letter to participate in Xabaca project (maximum 1,000 characters without spaces)
  • Statement/artist profile (Max. 1,000 characters without spaces)
  • Proposal for the project to be done during the residence (maximum 1,500 characters without spaces) including technical requirements and objectives
  • Updated CV
  • 3 Samples of your previous works (for video formats provide a link)



Artistic development

  • Support and counseling to the artist during their creative process
  • Documentation of the project and digital publicity
  • Novact, Al – Fanar and Jiwar reserve the rights to publish or broadcast the results of the artists work through the website and/or any other media that will be considered

Activism empowerment

  • Participation in a capacity-building programme on social change
  • Participation in an international conference for the creation of a support network organized in Barcelona.
  • Membership of the international Xabaca network


Evaluation criteria

  • Artists products must involve gender-issues
  • Artists must be linked to socials movements, social change campaigns and artistic networks
  • Artists that have been suffered (or are likely to suffer) censorship by institutions
  • Artists must be available to participate in all the phases of the project
  • We will evaluate the artists track record




Social networks:

@JiwarBcn (Twitter)
@jiwarbarcelona (Instagram)

A project of:










With the support of:


With the collaboration of: