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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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67<br />

Country-Specific Information<br />

—<br />

FUNDING FOR MOBILITY<br />

—<br />

The cultural affairs delegations are not fund<strong>in</strong>g<br />

cultural projects at present. Cultural actors<br />

who are travell<strong>in</strong>g are do<strong>in</strong>g so through fund<strong>in</strong>g<br />

provided by <strong>in</strong>ternational human rights organizations,<br />

universities or cultural <strong>in</strong>stitutes. Given<br />

the relative <strong>in</strong>experience of the Libyan culture<br />

sector <strong>and</strong> lack of managerial capacity, Libyan<br />

cultural actors are hard-pressed to compete<br />

with their colleagues <strong>in</strong> neighbour<strong>in</strong>g countries<br />

for funds. AMA, AFAC, Al Mawred al-Thaqafy<br />

<strong>and</strong> Mophradat have scarcely funded Libyan<br />

cultural actors.<br />

—<br />

IMPEDIMENTS<br />

—<br />

Currency <strong>and</strong> costs<br />

· A host of issues make f<strong>in</strong>anc<strong>in</strong>g travel extremely<br />

complicated. In the current bank<strong>in</strong>g crisis,<br />

there is a shortage of d<strong>in</strong>ars, which means<br />

that accounts may be frozen for months at a<br />

time. The d<strong>in</strong>ar is extremely devalued, mean<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that transactions must be paid via the black<br />

market, often with exacerbated rates. Foreign<br />

currencies cannot be exchanged <strong>in</strong> Libya.<br />

· Respondents stated that foreign fund<strong>in</strong>g agencies<br />

require organizations to have a bank<br />

account <strong>in</strong> Tunis, as they will not transfer to<br />

Libyan accounts.<br />

We’re not allowed to exchange any money. We<br />

use the black market. The other problem is the<br />

exchange rate. You have to work very hard to<br />

make $1000. <strong>–</strong> Faiza Ramadan, visual artist,<br />

Tripoli<br />

Visas<br />

· The Libyan passport is very weak; entry <strong>in</strong>to<br />

countries other than Tunisia is not guaranteed<br />

without support from a well-established human<br />

rights organization or cultural <strong>in</strong>stitute.<br />

—<br />

L<br />

I<br />

B<br />

Y<br />

A<br />

—<br />

Libyans aren’t welcome <strong>in</strong> most countries. <strong>–</strong><br />

Faraj Alsileeni, Director, Tanarout, Benghazi<br />

· Visa procedures require a trip to Tunis, <strong>in</strong>curr<strong>in</strong>g<br />

travel <strong>and</strong> accommodation costs.<br />

For my Green Book exhibition, I had to remotely<br />

curate it <strong>–</strong> not because of fund<strong>in</strong>g but<br />

because Morocco doesn’t allow Libyans at all. <strong>–</strong><br />

Tewa Barnosa, visual artist <strong>and</strong> founder of WaraQ<br />

<strong>Art</strong> Foundation, Tripoli / Berl<strong>in</strong><br />

Transport of artworks<br />

With militias <strong>in</strong> control at the airports, transport<br />

of artworks is seen as suspicious. Respondents<br />

reported smuggl<strong>in</strong>g artworks <strong>in</strong> h<strong>and</strong>-luggage,<br />

<strong>and</strong>/or plead<strong>in</strong>g with authorities to let them pass.<br />

Every s<strong>in</strong>gle time I travel with the darbuka, I have<br />

a problem. I need to have it with me <strong>in</strong> the cab<strong>in</strong>.<br />

They’re always annoy<strong>in</strong>g me about this. They’re<br />

treat<strong>in</strong>g me as if I were do<strong>in</strong>g a wedd<strong>in</strong>g party<br />

or someth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>–</strong> people who are play<strong>in</strong>g music<br />

or s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g music don’t have much respect from<br />

society. <strong>–</strong> Mohamed Busne<strong>in</strong>a, drummer, Content<br />

Developer & Head of Music Dept. of Tanarout,<br />

Benghazi<br />

Lack of connections<br />

· Direct flights between Libya <strong>and</strong> most countries<br />

have been cancelled s<strong>in</strong>ce the outbreak of the<br />

war. The most stable rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

connections are between Tripoli or Benghazi<br />

<strong>and</strong> Tunis, Alex<strong>and</strong>ria <strong>and</strong> Istanbul.<br />

War <strong>and</strong> security<br />

· The security situation is extremely unstable,<br />

with the potential for armed conflict to break<br />

out at any po<strong>in</strong>t.<br />

It’s hard to travel with<strong>in</strong> our own country because<br />

of the fights between cities, which make<br />

it dangerous to travel. As long as they’re fight<strong>in</strong>g<br />

amongst themselves, we’re suffer<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>–</strong> D<strong>in</strong>a<br />

Gallal, photographer <strong>and</strong> visual artist, Tanarout,<br />

Benghazi<br />

· Road travel is extremely dangerous; it is subject<br />

to control by militias <strong>and</strong> may cross conflict<br />

zones.<br />

· The Tripoli <strong>and</strong> Benghazi airports are controlled<br />

by militias.<br />

Travell<strong>in</strong>g is not safe at all. Even travell<strong>in</strong>g by flight<br />

is not safe. You never know who is controll<strong>in</strong>g

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