Ras Masqa Artists in Residence (RMAR)

"The Museum in the Making" initiated by APEAL (Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon) with the contribution of Temporary. Art. Platform (T.A.P) organized a one month artists- in-residence program that took place from March 18 to April 18, 2016, in the village of Ras Masqa.

The program focused on the theme of “art education’’ by taking the village of Ras Masqa and its surroundings as a site of exploration.

As result of an open call, six participants were selected by the jury. You can learn more about them here

The residency //

The artists in residence conducted research and implemented their proposals by living in the village, giving greater time and depth to explore the local context through the residency format. Proposals addressed the context and use of a participatory approach creating an access point for the public to engage with contemporary art. Taken outside the urban context, the participatory nature of the projects developed an awareness of contemporary art in the rural while engaging with the diverse communities of the village. In what ways and which kind of platforms can pedagogy emerge through contemporary artistic practice? How can the projects create a larger awareness of contemporary art within the community, and, in turn, how does the community inform the project?

Parallel events also took place with the residency partner–the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts (North Branch) - located in the village - including a public program of lectures, events, workshops targeting the University students and the communities living in Ras Masqa. This program was shaped to fulfill the needs of both the artists in residence and the university students, creating bridges between the informal education formats of artistic practice / research and the academic program of the Lebanese University.

You can check out the detailed program of the residency here.

The residency provided the participants with a proper working environment and support on a production and curatorial levels to develop or complete their proposed projects. Above all, it provided liaison with a network of partners to engage with the different communities. The public program fed the residency with discursive input based and developed according to the proposed projects by the participants.

In addition to the official public program, the artists in residency had numerous opportunities to explore the village and interact with its inhabitants. In fact, they visited the industrial zone of Ras Masqa and took tours of several factories producing tissue paper, halawa, and flour. They were also taken on a tour of the city of Tripoli. In addition to the field trips, they had working sessions with prominent Lebanese artists who paid them visit. Some participants also led workshops with university students and residents of the village.

The participants decided to organize an open studio say on Sunday April 17, to mark the last day of the residency. This allowed them to showcase the research and experiments undertaken during that month; especially since some of them had worked on site specific projects. The open studio day was very successful and fostered a spirit of interaction and exchange between people of different background, ages, and generations. The program of the open day can be downloaded here . The artists also submitted contributions to Ibraaz , where more details about the work produced in the residency is available.

Ras Masqa //

The village of Ras Masqa is located near Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli. Nowadays, the village is seen as more as suburb because of urban expansion, even though its rural identity is still present. Ras Masqa is home to a number of important educational institutions such as: Lebanese University, Saint Joseph University, LIU, public and private schools (Collège Sacré Coeur, LIT, Ras Masqa’s public school, Saint Joseph School...) as well as health and social institutions. Located near the northern highway with its proximity to the sea, the village is in an ideal area for its growing number of industries. This industrial area of Tripoli’s suburbs with the village is commonly known as Bahsas.

Ras Masqa, in Arabic, refers to the presence of many water sources in the region, overlooking a main source called “Abi Halka Al Fawwar” that provides water to the city of Tripoli. Two hundred years ago, the southern part of the village was built by Christian families who shaped the contemporary typography of the territory, dividing it geographically between a Southern and Northern part respectively, inhabited today by Christians and Muslim communities. Presently, 70% of Ras Masqa’s residents are originally from Tripoli due to a slow and expanding migration since the last decade.

"The Museum in the Making" initiated by APEAL (Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon), will be a home for art and culture in the heart of Beirut. A generation on from the end of the civil war, the tenacity of Lebanese artists and curators has generated a vibrant local art scene. The museum will contribute to this art landscape, mounting inspiring exhibitions, supporting local artists and cultural practitioners, and building a home for a permanent collection that reflects the strength and diversity of Lebanese art history.

The museum is devoted to art, above all, and serving the needs of its diverse public, contributing to the development of civic society in Lebanon. APEAL believes in the restorative power of coming together before culture; the museum will be a repository for shared heritage, and therefore a truly public space, to which every citizen of Lebanon has access.