Campaign successfully funded on: 04 Jul,2019
As a self-taught artist, I came a long way before applying for a specialized academic program in fine arts. While I cannot think of a more commonly used inspirational expression than “follow your dreams”, I cannot ignore the financial restraint that has long served as an obstacle in the journey toward achieving my goals. I’m the youngest of three children born to underprivileged parents, both dropped out of school as preteens, and always worked as hard as they could, earning barely enough to put food on the table.
When I finished high school, and as much I wanted to, studying fine arts was out of the question. I cannot blame my parents for believing that it would be an “unprofitable degree” when I can open up a path to provide for a better life for all of us. After finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture at the Lebanese University in 2011, I deemed it necessary to engage with and reflect on social structures and relations through art, which led me to take a financially difficult decision and quit my Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture to begin a career in painting. In the initial stages of my practice, I sought help and advice from many established painters so I could develop and further my artistic skills, having not being equipped with the necessary financial means to submit to the expensive academic system that currently grants courses in artmaking in Lebanon.
Through my previous tenures and projects I developed a reputation as someone who learns quickly and works tirelessly push my practice towards new and fertile ground, and took the opportunity to spend most of my time in my studio, questioning the medium I was working with and experimenting with new forms of artistic expression such as text and performance. As a result, I was thus able to complete work on my project, Book of Names, through a fellowship with the esteemed Ashkal Alwan, which deals with the conception of names and their social functionality, taking death—or absence—as a point of departure through which the ordinary function of a name is paralyzed, so as to analyze the metaphysical as well as sociopolitical connotations often obscured in processes of naming individuals at birth.
My dream has thus become more and more attainable, and I was thankfully accepted to the MFA program at Piet Zwart institute in Rotterdam Hogeschool, where I plan on further expanding my research and visual reflection on language and speech, mostly through its intersection with neuroscience.
Last month, I missed the opportunity to accept an offer to undergo my MFA at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology due to my financial situation. As I am currently having to deal with this financial paralysis disallowing me from carrying through with my studies abroad, I’m slowly gaining the courage to ask for help as I believe that the vicious circle of my financial restraint can only be broken with your support for my work and my mission.
The MFA at Piet Zwart is a 10,000 Euros tuition fee for non-EU students, and offers no scholarship to cover living expenses in Rotterdam. I am therefore asking for your support to be able to cover for my tuition fee, travel expenses, visa fees, accommodation, and living expenses.
My art means so much to me, so I also want to use this opportunity to put my original paintings on sale. I value every single donor behind all donations regardless of how little or how big you contribution would be, so in your return for your much-needed financial boost, you’ll be receiving an acknowledgement in my final MFA dissertation.
There are no updates for this project yet.