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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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40<br />

Summary of Outcomes<br />

—<br />

6.<br />

LACK OF PROFESSIONALIZATION<br />

AND INFRASTRUCTURE<br />

—<br />

The absence of a structural framework allow<strong>in</strong>g for the professionalization<br />

of artists <strong>and</strong> arts professions is a major factor undergird<strong>in</strong>g poor mobility.<br />

Its impact can be felt on several levels:<br />

a) <strong>Art</strong>ists are unequipped with the skills, knowledge or networks<br />

to search for <strong>in</strong>ternational opportunities <strong>and</strong> / or to complete<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g applications.<br />

b) Cultural operators are unequipped with the skills, knowledge<br />

or networks to search for <strong>in</strong>ternational opportunities <strong>and</strong>/or to<br />

complete fund<strong>in</strong>g applications <strong>and</strong> / or to support artists complet<strong>in</strong>g<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g applications.<br />

c) Centres <strong>and</strong> facilities with the capacity to host <strong>and</strong> support<br />

mobility projects may be lack<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

d) There is a lack of funds support<strong>in</strong>g mobility at the public, private<br />

<strong>and</strong> civil society levels.<br />

—<br />

7.<br />

LANGUAGE BARRIERS<br />

—<br />

While Modern St<strong>and</strong>ard Arabic is the official language across <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>n<br />

countries, differences <strong>in</strong> regional spoken dialects <strong>and</strong> the presence<br />

of different colonial languages pose communication barriers with<strong>in</strong> the<br />

region <strong>and</strong> outside. Respondents named the follow<strong>in</strong>g issues:<br />

a) Language barriers were cited as a source of <strong>in</strong>timidation, discourag<strong>in</strong>g<br />

some artists from pursu<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational travel opportunities.<br />

b) Low literacy <strong>in</strong> written French, English <strong>and</strong> / or Arabic was cited as<br />

an impediment to complet<strong>in</strong>g fund<strong>in</strong>g application forms.<br />

c) Language barriers can be especially relevant <strong>in</strong> discipl<strong>in</strong>es such as<br />

music <strong>and</strong> theatre, where underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g of lyrics or dialogue can<br />

impact overall appreciation of a song or play.<br />

—<br />

QUOTE:<br />

« Sometimes the problem is not with<br />

mobility funds but also with the<br />

freedom of mobility or accessibility<br />

to mobility. Egypt is a shr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g<br />

political space, <strong>and</strong> artists work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with creative <strong>in</strong>dustries <strong>and</strong> creative<br />

expression have this challenge<br />

<strong>in</strong> terms of regime, for example<br />

gett<strong>in</strong>g permissions to apply for<br />

visas <strong>and</strong> permits to travel to many<br />

countries. »<br />

Abdelsamee Abdallah<br />

Cultural activist <strong>and</strong> theatre<br />

practitioner,<br />

Cairo/Amman<br />

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