Aziza Harmel (DAI, 2013) invites you to respond to the OPEN CALL for the QAYYEM programme in curatorial research, taking place in Amman, Rabat, and Alexandria: 1-6 May 2-7 June and 24-29 September and 1-30 October 2019.

| tag: Alexandria


Diverse landscapes of independent art spaces, curatorial projects, art schools and museums, enact various histories, political alignments, axes of solidarity and possible futures. In the Middle East and North Africa, these landscapes are extremely dynamic and in constant flux, affecting the curatorial knowledge produced and shared regionally. Initiated by MASS Alexandria and co-organized alongside the MMAG Foundation and L’appartement 22, in collaboration with the Allianz Cultural Foundation, QAYYEM aims to dismantle, critique and transform the relationship between curatorial knowledge produced here and elsewhere, reflecting on how to operate from within and proposing deep adaptations, while roaming between Amman, Rabat and Alexandria.

QAYYEM is an intensive programme for emerging curators seeking to discuss notions of education, self-organization and deep adaptation, as well as methodo- logies of hope in the arts and beyond. Up to six curators and researchers will be invited to meet three times over a period of six months to explore different forms of curatorial knowledge, individually and collectively, working together with internationally renowned curators, thinkers and practitioners. Between meetings, participants will be asked to develop a possible presentation of study under the guidance of the curatorial team. After the third and final session, all participants will be invited for a research residency during which they will be supported to work on a curatorial proposal.

Applications are restricted to candidates with 1-2 years of professional experience. Curators and researchers from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diasporas are encouraged to apply. The sessions, which will take place over four days, will be held in Amman, Jordan, Rabat, Morocco and Alexandria, ending with a month-long residency in Alexandria. Candidates selected for the programme will receive a subsidy to cover travel and accommodation costs for the sessions. Upon completion of the course, all participants will receive a residence fellowship.

Participants are required to submit a finalized curatorial proposal within four weeks after the end of the programme, which will be used in an upcoming publication about QAYYEM. The organizers will also maintain a dialogue with all participants in order to assist them in actualizing their proposals in the near future.



QAYYEM comprises three sessions and a research residency. Each session is four days long: Three days of lectures, workshops, discussions, mentoring sessions and talks, with one day dedicated to reflection. The residency will take place over four weeks and culminates in a final presentation.

SESSION 1 Amman, 1-6 May 2019 Curating, Learning and Collectivity

SESSION 2 Rabat, 2-7 Jun. 2019 Re-Imagining Self-Organization

SESSION 3 Alexandria, 24-29 Septmber 2019 Methodologies of Hope

RESIDENCY Alexandria, 1-30 October 2019 Time in Alexandria


Bassam El Baroni, curator, assistant professor in Curating and Mediating Art at Aalto University, Helsinki and COOP tutor at DAI. 

Maria Bérriós, sociologist, writer and curator, co-curator of the 11th Berlin Biennale, Santiago de Chile, Copenhagen and Berlin  and COOP tutor at DAI.

Binna Choi, curator, director of the Casco Art Institute, Seoul and Utrecht and COOP tutor at DAI. 

Övül Durmuşoğlu, curator and researcher, Berlin

Lara Khaldi, independent curator, Jerusalem

Yazan Khalili, artist, curator and writer, Jerusalem

Paul O’Neill, curator, writer and educator, artistic director of Publics, Helsinki

Sarah Rifky, researcher and curator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, New York



Karima Boudou, art historian and curator, Rotterdam

Aziza Harmel, curator, Tunis

Abdellah Karroum, curator, founder and director of L’appartement 22, Rabat

Noura Al Khasawneh, director of the MMAG Foundation, co-founder of Spring Sessions, Amman

Noura Salem, deputy director of the MMAG Foundation, Amman and Helsinki

Berit Schuck, programme director of MASS Alexandria, Berlin and Alexandria

Wael Shawky, founder and director of MASS Alexandria, Alexandria


QAYYEM is open to candidates who possess 1-2 years of professional experience in the visual arts, architecture, artistic/curatorial research or critical writing. Candidates from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diasporas are encouraged to apply. Proficiency in Arabic and English is preferred, however exceptions can be made.

A degree in art, history, theory or interdisciplinary studies is a plus, but not obligatory. The programme will be held in Amman, Jordan, from May 1-6; Rabat, Morocco, from June 2-7; Alexandria, Egypt, from September 24-29; and will be followed by a residency in Alexandria, Egypt, beginning on October 1 and lasting four weeks.

All sessions in the programme are mandatory.

To apply, please prepare: (in Arabic or English)

  • A recent CV (maximum two pages);
  • A short biography (250 words);
  • A portfolio with up to three curatorial projects (individual or collective) that have taken place over the past 1-2 years (does not have to include images);
  • A 500-word statement sketching out a curatorial project that demonstrates your interest in contemporary art, culture and politics, and discusses the research your project might entail;
  • A letter (maximum one page, preferably in English) that outlines your interest in this programme in relation to the topics at stake and how you and your work will benefit from it.


Please combine the above into one single file (doc, docx or pdf) entitled APPLICATION_QAYYEM_2019_FIRSTNAME_SURNAME and submit this file along with the application form HERE.

Deadline for applications is March 8, 2019, 11:59pm (GMT+2).

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a Skype interview on March 11, 2019.

Successful candidates will be notified no later than March 15, 2019.

The course begins on May 1, 2019 at the MMAG Foundation in Amman, Jordan.

For questions or other inquiries, please email us at:

QAYYEM is a project by MASS Alexandria, the Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation and L’appartement 22 in collaboration with the Allianz Cultural Foundation.