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Art Moves Africa – Retracing Roots and Tracing New Routes: Mobility and Touring in North Africa

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

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21<br />

Methodology<br />

—<br />

MENASA<br />

—<br />

—<br />

ARAB WORLD<br />

—<br />

—<br />

MOBILITY<br />

—<br />

—<br />

TOURING<br />

—<br />

MENASA is the acronym for “Middle East, <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> South Asia.” It typically designates the MENA countries<br />

as well as a subset of countries <strong>in</strong> Asia, most prom<strong>in</strong>ently<br />

India <strong>and</strong> Pakistan. However, as with the other<br />

acronyms cited above, its boundaries are not set. It is<br />

ma<strong>in</strong>ly used <strong>in</strong> economic <strong>and</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ancial circles but is also<br />

ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g currency <strong>in</strong> the contemporary art <strong>and</strong> cultural<br />

sectors.<br />

Although it is sometimes used <strong>in</strong>terchangeably with the<br />

term MENA, the term “Arab world” typically refers to the<br />

22 states of the Arab league: Algeria, Bahra<strong>in</strong>, Comoros,<br />

Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,<br />

Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palest<strong>in</strong>e, Qatar, Saudi<br />

Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab<br />

Emirates <strong>and</strong> Yemen.<br />

<strong>Mobility</strong> <strong>in</strong> the arts sector is for the purpose of this study<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ed as the temporary relocation of an artist to a region<br />

or a country other than that of permanent residence,<br />

for the purpose of presentation, performance, study,<br />

teach<strong>in</strong>g or rehearsal. The relationship between mobility<br />

<strong>and</strong> migration is frequently related to economic means of<br />

survival (less frequently to an improvement on a social or<br />

economic scale). Draw<strong>in</strong>g the l<strong>in</strong>e between artistic mobility<br />

<strong>and</strong> migration can be challeng<strong>in</strong>g as some artists will<br />

spend part of their career liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> another<br />

country (Wies<strong>and</strong>, 2008) <strong>and</strong> eventually become associated<br />

with the country of their choice.<br />

Accord<strong>in</strong>g to the new Oxford American Dictionary, a<br />

“tour” can refer to a journey made by performers or an<br />

athletic team, <strong>in</strong> which they perform or play <strong>in</strong> several<br />

different places. These places do not necessarily need<br />

to be located <strong>in</strong> several countries. A tour<strong>in</strong>g circuit is a<br />

more or less closely def<strong>in</strong>ed network of performance or<br />

exhibition places for the purpose of circulat<strong>in</strong>g artwork<br />

<strong>and</strong> performances. The organizers are generally the ones<br />

who determ<strong>in</strong>e how open or closed this network is <strong>and</strong><br />

what criteria are applied for membership <strong>and</strong> development.

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