Open Call: Research Fellowship
10 May 2022

Open Call: Research Fellowship

Together with Esmat—Publishing List, NAAS invites Arabic-speaking students, researchers, cultural practitioners, community builders and facilitators working at the intersection of cinema and cultural mediation and engaged in creating and sustaining communities and networks both outside and inside the conventional institutional settings to apply for a six-month research fellowship.

In line with its focus on alternative practices in cultural economy, NAAS supports, through this program, fellows investigating dominant cultural and art practices and questioning hegemonic policies, by offering them a thought provoking space to explore the potential of their own collective practices and histories of self-organization within film culture across the Arabic-speaking region. 

Priorities will be given to fellows interested in intersections between their own field or discipline and the different experiences in exhibition and circulation of independent film, network-building, peer-to-peer value exchange, distributed governance and radical organizational models. 

The program encourages fellows to articulate capacities and/or practices they’ve shaped and carried out through their communal engagements into well-standing methodologies and theory that can capture the realities of their lived experiences and act as an action plan for new social and economic configurations. 

Fellowship Period

The fellowship program in its first iteration is planned to run from July to December 2022, during which 10 fellows will be awarded. Interested applicants will have the flexibility to commit to a period of either 3 months or 6 months, depending on their individual needs for collaboration, and their progress. 

Fellows are expected to commit to at least 3 months, during which they actively participate in monthly 3-hour group sessions with visiting guests and receive one-on-one consultation for a fuller expression of their research. Additionally, they are to produce at least one piece of literature in the form of an article or an interview for publication on Malaffat NAAS and Esmat—Publishing List. 

The first phase of the program (July to September 2022, online) weaves an intersectional and transnational web of fellows in close contact with each other’s research trajectories and provides a critical learning space for them to exchange, learn and test their ideas and methods through direct engagement with the diverse institutional structures and practices of alternative cinema screens in the Arabic-speaking region.  

The fellowship program in Phase 1 includes the following support:

  • Access to NAAS Network community and tools

  • Peer exchange through regular group meetings

  • Exchange with a translocal community of mentors and guests

  • Opportunity for cross-regional and cross-disciplinary cooperation

  • Circulation of published work through Malaffat NAAS and partner organizations

Fellows who decide to dedicate more time to the development of their research, can join Phase 2 of the program and extend their stay for another 3 months, with the possibility to enter into a close cooperation with a NAAS member.

During this second phase of the program, fellows will be offered resources, a tailored mentorship for the realization of their research proposal. and a one-month writing residency at 1 of NAAS's 23 member cinema spaces, chosen based on relevance to the fellow's work . The residency will be supported by a travel stipend of 1500 EUR covering airfare and accommodation. Texts resulting from the research residency may feature in a collective publication by Esmat—Publishing List.

Who Can Participate

The program is open to individuals of any research discipline looking into questions of governance, organizational models and value systems in the arts and culture, but also to practitioners who, by occupying multiple positions in cinema and cultural work, have gathered embodied knowledge in community building and self organization, and are interested in articulating them as new modes of thinking and doing. 

Findings resulting from this fellowship can center around working practices that address the contemporary realities and urgent challenges of the arts and cultural sector for example, or also trace histories of organization in the field of cinema across the region . 

Up to 10 individuals with a good command of either Arabic and English, or Arabic and French will be selected.

The program is bilingual and conducted in Arabic and/ or English with the possibility of an assisted whisper translation where needed during group sessions. 

Application Procedure

  • May 9, 2022: Call opens for applications

  • June 5, 2022: Final deadline for Fellowship applications

Fellowship terms  

  • Phase 1 between July 15, 2022 and September 15, 2022 (online)

  • Phase 2 between Oct. 2022 and March 2023; exact dates and location to be determined upon the conclusion of phase 1.

For questions regarding the program’s admission and content, please contact Sabine Abi Saber, Programs Coordinator at NAAS via [email protected]

Application Requirements

To apply, please submit the following information to the online application form on this link:

  • Personal and contact information

  • Short bio and portrait photo

  • Field of work and institution you belong to (if applicable)

  • Motivational letter and research proposal (max 300 w.) 

  • Copies or links of up to 3 previous works (can be a study, an article or another form of research related literature not older than 5 years;

  • Curriculum vitae 

Selection Process

The selection is made by a committee consisting of NAAS members and Esmat—Publishing List. 

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